Have you heard of Ho’oponopono?
No, it’s not a tongue twister. Ho’oponopono is the Hawaiian practice of reconciliation and forgiveness.
Here at Hawaiian Healing Skin Care, we love everything that Ho’oponopono stands for and try to incorporate it into everything we do — whether than means giving back to our customers, giving back to Hawaiian conservation non-profit organizations (like the Hawaii Wildlife Fund), purchasing from small businesses and local vendors on the islands, or simply making our Hawaiian products with the utmost love and care.
We want to share Ho’oponopono with you, our loyal customers, and explain how the mind, body, and spirit can work together to help you live your best and most fulfilling life.
Keep reading to learn more about Ho’oponopono and how to incorporate it into your lifestyle.
What Exactly Is Ho’oponopono?
In the Hawaiian Dictionary, Ho’oponopono is defined as:
“Mental cleansing: family conferences in which relationships were set right through prayer, discussion, confession, repentance, and mutual restitution and forgiveness."
In ancient Hawai’i, the islanders believed that physical illness was caused by errors, guilt, or anger. Therefore, the cure was forgiveness.
This forgiveness, and Ho’oponopono as a whole, is based around four key phrases:
- I’m sorry
- Please forgive me
- Thank you
- I love you
Chances are, you say these phrases in your everyday life, but some can be more difficult to truly speak aloud than others, especially in certain situations
The purpose of these four phrases is to help us let go of our ego and to open up without fear of vulnerability. When you first read these phrases, you might immediately relate them to a romantic partner or perhaps to a family member, but the practice is most importantly applied to yourself. And, it can also be applied to inanimate objects or even feelings.
Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len, a passionate practitioner of Ho’oponopono who has written extensively on the subject, explains that one of the key principles behind the ancient Hawaiian healing method is to accept total responsibility for everything in your life.
I know, that sounds a little insane, especially considering everything going in the world right now. But, I also know the feeling of getting frustrated or anxious about things that are out of my control. This is different. Dr. Len recommends taking a step back from the stressful situation (whether it’s in your personal life or something you see on the news) and simply repeat to yourself, “I love you, I’m sorry.”
You may be wondering: How can loving and accepting myself change situations that I’m not necessarily involved in?
Well, Dr. Hew Len famously has claimed to heal an entire ward of dangerous criminals at the Hawaii State Hospital in the 1980s without even meeting the criminals in person. All he did, he said, was sit with the inmates’ charts, read about their crimes, and work with Ho’oponopono to erase the negative feelings he had in regard to those acts.
In an extreme way, Dr. Len took responsibility for these acts, then forgave himself for these emotions. The prisoners got better gradually and were eventually all released, according to the legend.
But how can four simple phrases heal an entire prison? How can you heal someone you’ve never even met?
We understand your hesitation, but you also have nothing to lose by giving it a shot! If the four key phrases still seem a bit abstract to you, we’re about to dig a little deeper. Keep scrolling for a breakdown of how Ho’oponopono can apply to you and your life!
Taking Care of Your Mind
Would you believe me if I told you that your harshest critic is yourself?
It can be so easy to fall into patterns of negative thoughts - telling ourselves that we’re not working hard enough, that we’re not the best spouse or parent, or maybe simply getting down on ourselves when we make silly mistakes (as we all do).
This is where the four key phrases come in. Instead of polluting your thoughts with negative energy and self-criticism, try telling yourself, “I love you. I’m sorry.”
Apologizing to yourself may sound a little silly, we know, but just try it with us.
Besides, while it may not be realistic for you to completely eradicate all negative thoughts, you can apologize to yourself for them and acknowledge that those thoughts aren’t all there is. In this way, you can forgive yourself, which brings me into my next point…
Taking Care of Your Body
More often than not, these negative ways of speaking to ourselves may be directed towards our body. It’s easy to get down on ourselves for not looking a certain way, but what if we took a moment each day to thank our body for all the wonderful things it does do for us every day?
If you’re an able-bodied person, you may take for granted your ability to sit, stand, and walk around every day. Yes, some bodies are able to run marathons or balance in intense yoga postures (which is a call for celebration in itself), but even the simplest things deserve our thankfulness and recognition.
Try telling your body “thank you,” or “I love you.” This may help you appreciate your body for all the amazing things it does for you every single day — from getting out of bed in the morning to hauling a large load of groceries from the car.
And what better way to further take care of your body by feeding it lots of good, natural, organic food filled with the nutrients your body craves? Or by moving it in the way that makes you feel great rather than punishing yourself with exercises that you don’t actually enjoy? (80’s/90’s dance-party session, anyone?)
Externally, treat your skin, your hair, and even your fingernails with extra love and care.
You deserve the best, and that’s what we at Hawaiian Healing aim to lavish you with our full range of skincare products. Made with only the finest natural and organic ingredients, we try to incorporate Ho’oponopono into every product that we make especially for you. From our Kiokio Coconut Beauty Bar to our Hawaiian Healing Pure Revitalizing Cream, all of our products treat your skin the way it deserves (and yearns) to be treated.
Think of Hawaiian Healing as the cherry on top of your Ho’oponopono practice — helping you to stay healthy and radiant on the outside, as well as nourishing your soul on the inside.
Taking Care of Your Spirit
It’s one thing to discuss taking care of your mind and body, but when it comes to your spirit, things can get even more abstract than they already are.
The most important thing about adopting a practice like Ho’oponopono is to truly believe in it, and in yourself. Just like meditation or affirmations, believing is half the battle -- and nobody else can tell you what’s “right” or “wrong” when it comes to your spirit and what makes you feel good.
Take the time every day to ask how you feel. Did you feel joy today? Did you laugh today? Did you do something you enjoyed today?
Think of a child’s carefree ability to find joy in simple things and to have constant curiosity, then try your best to emulate that.
If your spirit is wounded or feels stifled, that’s alright. Just repeat the four phrases until you find your spirit in its truest form — and let it shine — again:
- I’m sorry
- Please forgive me
- Thank you
- I love you
How Can I Incorporate Ho’oponopono Into My Life?
Unlike taking Marie Kondo’s methods to your entire home, incorporating Ho’oponopono into your life doesn’t have to involve physical labor — or tons of trash bags.
Start simple, by repeating the phrases to yourself in whatever order comes the most naturally to you. Maybe you’re saying them to yourself, maybe you’re directing them towards a frustrating situation, or maybe you’re directing them to someone else in your life who you might be having difficulties with.
Although we broke it down into the mind, body, and spirit, all three of them work together and will ultimately benefit together from Ho’oponopono.
You can try the four phrases at your low points — when you notice that you’re feeling down or feeling frustrated. You can also try the four phrases daily, in the morning or at night, similar to affirmations. If you practice meditation or yoga, you may want to sub in these phrases as your mantra.
You can focus the phrases on a person you want to connect with or get along with better, or you can focus the phrases on a “thing.” For example, if you feel that you have a problem with jealousy, you can use the phrases to break through those personal hang-ups.
And remember, practice makes perfect!
How Will Incorporating Ho’oponopono Into My Life Benefit Me?
Healing starts from the inside, and no matter what you’re trying to heal — it starts within yourself. Remember, wanting to heal doesn’t mean that you’re broken, it just means that you’re taking necessary steps to help you live your happiest and healthiest life.
Many of the people who incorporate Ho’oponopono into their lives claim that it absolves them of stress, improves their relationships with others, and most importantly, improves their relationships with themselves.
At Hawaiian Healing, we incorporate mind, body, and spirit into everything we do. We love that we can adopt the Hawaiian practice of Ho’oponopono and hope to spread this Hawaiian mindset along with our Hawaiian products around the world. We hope that your new knowledge of Ho’oponopono will enrich your life and your mindset as a whole in the same way our products enrich your skin.
The Hawaiian Healing Skin Care team