For those who celebrate, Christmas is a time of joy and sparkle. But no matter who you are or what you believe spiritually, as the hustle and bustle of busy lives slow down for just a few days of the year, Christmas can also be a time to reflect on those relationships we’d like to improve with love, forgiveness and thanks. In other words, you could have a very happy Ho’oponopono Christmas of togetherness and connection this year.
So, What is a Ho’oponopono Christmas?
To answer this question, let us first take a look at Ho’oponopono itself. Ho’oponopono is the art of forgiveness. It is a Hawaiian healing technique with a simple message of responsibility, repentance, forgiveness, and gratitude, used to solve disputes and problems. The word loosely translates as ‘to make it right with yourself and others’ — and, as they say, if you can’t make things right at Christmas, when can you?
Hawaiians are experts in using forgiveness to make things right through understanding. It’s not about tolerating people through gritted teeth and politeness but existing in harmony with others, especially when you feel you have been wronged.
Ho'oponopono does not mean you will never have negative feelings; simply that you will learn to let go of them for your own wellbeing.
It is part of the ancient Hawaiian belief system, Huna.
There are seven principles of Huna and they can each help us settle conflict and live more fulfilled lives through the art of forgiveness.
The seven principles are as follows:
- Ike: the world is what you think it is
- Kala: there are no limits, everything is possible
- Makia: energy flows where attention goes
- Manawa: now is the moment of power
- Aloha: to love is to be happy
- Mana: all power comes from within
- Pono: effectiveness is the measure of congruousness within ourselves
While these principles of Huna are a part of everyday healing for many in Hawaii, they can also help you to have a happy Ho’oponopono Christmas.
Mana states that no one can influence you without your consent or hurt you without your invitation. It also teaches that defining yourself as a victim allows someone else to take ownership of your power. Ike helps you change your perception of the realities of your life. Kala says there are no limits to your ability to let hurt or anger go. Makia allows us to focus on the good in trying times. Finally, Pono represents the ultimate goal of ‘making things right’. In Ho'oponopono, ‘pono’ appears twice to represent ‘making things right’ within yourself and with those around you.
Ho'oponopono is based on the principle that everyone carries karmic debt and emotional baggage from many lifetimes through unconscious memories. By understanding and harnessing the power of the conscious, subconscious and superconscious minds, you can control your present-day experience, freeing yourself from the past and becoming open to new and positive experiences.
The ultimate goal of Ho’oponopono is to connect with your divinity and petition a higher power to wipe the slate (the subconscious mind) clean in order to approach everything from a limitless and open State of Zero, freed from past hurt and able to move on.
How to Have a Ho’oponopono Christmas?
It was initially intended as a group practice to solve disputes in communities, but nowadays, it has been adapted into 12 steps fit for modern life so you can also practice alone. Still, anyone can master Ho’oponopono. In essence, it is achieved through four simple mantras designed to help you take responsibility for your past, forgive those who have wronged you, show gratitude for your present and, thus, resolve your troubles.
The four Ho’oponopono mantras are:
- I’m sorry
- Please forgive me
- Thank you
- I love you
The best part? Anyone can have a Ho’oponopono Christmas, anywhere. Ho’oponopono requires no guru, no temple, and no religious icons. You already have everything you need within you to have a Ho’oponopono Christmas through this method of cleansing the mind and soul.
But, despite its initial simplicity, Ho’oponopono is a complex and deep practice. This is partly because you have to really connect with the mantras and mean them wholeheartedly — and this means taking 100% of the responsibility for your life.
Additionally, the art of true forgiveness is incredibly hard to master. Some feel that the person who has wronged them is undeserving of forgiveness. Others can forgive but find it hard to let go of those past hurts. But the cost of unforgiveness is great, sometimes leading to anger, exhaustion and isolation. The good news is forgiveness can be taught and, ultimately, is good for you. You might experience a lowered heart rate and blood pressure, better sleep, and reduced stress.
So, with all the benefits, it is certainly reassuring to know forgiveness is available to you no matter what you have experienced.
Ho'oponopono teaches that there are three wrongs that are important to be able to identify before you can find forgiveness and move forward.
- Hala: the missing path or erring by omission
- Hewa: wrongdoing by excess
- Ino: hate in the mind
This is often unintentional wrongdoing caused by miscommunication or not being mindful of other people and their needs in a relationship.
This is sometimes thought of as ‘going overboard’, such as taking over someone else during conversations or consuming the material things or time and energy of others.
This is an intentional wrong, designed to hurt, and can range from gossip to harsh criticism and judgement, and even acts of violence.
Some of these wrongs may strike a chord. No doubt, you have experienced one or a number of these. If you are reading this, you might be ready to let go and begin healing.
Forgiveness is often thought of as an apology that is either accepted or rejected — but this creates a one-sided narrative of guilt and repentance. However, in Hawaii, closure can only be reached by saying: ‘E Kala Mai Ia'u’. It means ‘Please forgive me if I have done anything wrong’ and opens both parties up to two-way communication and, eventually, mutual connection. Ultimately, the most powerful force in Ho’oponopono is love.
Christmas may be a time for family and friends, but we all know relationships are imperfect, complicated things that are in constant flux and need our care and attention. Whether you’re interested in mending bridges that have been broken for years, healing current conflicts over the Monopoly board, or even making things right within yourself, a Ho’oponopono Christmas might just be the celebration you need this year for a very happy yuletide.
We wish you a very Ho’oponopono Christmas, from our CoE family to you and yours.