Ho’oponopono – When The Whole World Is Inside You – A Beginners Experience


Ho’oponopono what? Yes, it is a long word, a word I often have to think about when I try to spell it, but a word that describes an ancient Hawaiian healing process. As many of my readers will know I have  been experimenting with many different spiritual techniques and healing practices over the past 10 years and more. Ranging from Shamanism, NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming), EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique), Law of Attraction – create your reality visualisation – vision boards, scripting, affirmations, angel meditations.. well, you get the drift. I have probably been to most classes, workshops, read so many books and bought many a t-shirt.

But, you get to a point where you realise that nothing works. EFT helps with releasing tension, is great for phobias, BUT I was always craving something else. The spiritual seeking was taking me in a direction of coming home, to myself, to love, the Universe, God, whatever name you choose to label the source of ‘All That Is’. I found many of these techniques encourage attachment even though a part of the teachings say ‘let go’. I was no longer wanting to feel the suffering that came along with attachment, heightened expectations, and a need to control my life. So Ho’oponopono arrived into my life.

I came across this ancient form of healing practice a few years ago, but I was not ready to take responsibility for my life, my choices, my inner reactions to what I perceived was outside of me back then. I intellectually got Ho’oponopono, but another part of me was in the background saying “Well just do this and you will manifest what you want.” WRONG! This is not what Ho’oponopono is about. It is not a fast track approach. It is not ‘The Secret’ where you sit in your armchair imagining you’re driving a sports car and suddenly it appears. No. Ho’oponopono is much more.

My experience of Ho’oponopono has been a challenging one, not in a bad way but in a confusing way. There is a lot of material online on Ho’oponopono, some of it conflicting in that some people use it alongside the Law of Attraction to attract what they want, and some that use the real core teachings which are starting to work for me.

I say starting to work but not in a “What I want has manifested” way, but more that my life path is changing, opening, in unexpected and not intended ways.

What Is Ho’oponopono?

So what is Ho’oponopono and how does it work? Well, I am new to this so bear with me. I could be wrong, but I am just going to say how I understand it. This may change with time.

To me the whole concept of Ho’oponopono is that we are 100% responsible for everything that appears in our reality. Now I used to believe in the whole ‘life is a reflection’ analogy, but did not get it, and often used it to blame people (wide grin) so it’s not like that, not at all. Instead, everything I see, feel, experience through my eyes and senses, that I perceive to be ‘out there’, is in fact ‘in here’. It is all inside me. This goes for mother earth, animals, nature, people, wars, rape. Basically  I am responsible for all those things I can see or experience.

Now this is hard to get the head around, so it’s best to not overthink it like I did. Responsibility is not blame. We are not to blame, but our memories that we replay are responsible for creating the world we see. Often these memories come from our ancestors, there are often million’s of memories that we are totally unaware of in our unconscious. This is the reason why affirmations and visualisations do not work. They may appear to work in some cases, but only if you are clear of the memories that may block your life unfolding in the way you are inwardly guided to. So if you have blocks to money and visualise having plenty, but you have some deeper unconscious memories of lack or non-deserving that you are not aware of, you could visualise till the cows come home and nothing would change. This is where Ho’oponopono comes in – but not to manifest the money!

Now, with experiences like rape, abuse, war, famine etc. etc., I am fairly new to Ho’oponopono, so here is a link to a more experienced teacher who may answer your questions on this. I know the very thought of feeling that responsible for everything can cause so many questions, anger and resistance, so Mabel’s blog may be able to help you understand further.

I am truly open to understanding this fully and if you are more experienced and see Ho’oponopono differently, please do share. I am very interested in hearing your experience too.

Longing & Envy Drove Me Back To Ho’oponopono

What got me interested in Ho’oponopono the second time around was, I had reached a period in my life where despair, longing, jealousy and resentment were beginning to grow in me. I had become so sad to see so many people I knew, receiving easily and effortlessly, those things I genuinely desired at a deep level. I was so attached to these desires and no amount of ‘trying’ to let go was working. I grew frustrated because intellectually I thought that the reason my life was not turning out the way I wanted it to, was my fault because I was unable to let go and if I could just let go it would work. Of course there is no ‘should’ letting go. You cannot should yourself to do anything; you cannot make yourself let go; letting go is an inner thing; it’s a deeper surrender to what is; an acceptance and surrender to the natural flow of life. It does not walk alongside attachment or needing things to turn out a certain way. It’s about trust; deep trust that whatever is happening or not happening is doing so for a higher purpose. Love always knows the way.

So I began investigating Ho’oponopono again. I re-read Joe Vitale’s book ‘Zero Limits’, which was an okay introduction, but left me with more questions than answers. So I wrote to Mabel Katz to see if I could review one of her books and was blessed to receive 3 to review from her very generous company. ‘The Easiest Way‘ and ‘The Easiest Way To Live’ really helped me to understand this further. But I still had more questions and through trial and error I am beginning to understand Ho’oponopono more.

So what do you do? How do you do Ho’oponopono and how does it work?

Well, from my novice experiences of this you simply say 1 or all of the following:

I Am Sorry
Please Forgive Me
Thank You
I Love You

These are statements that can be pretty much repeated like a mantra. You don’t have to feel anything, you don’t have to intend anything; in fact from my experience, intending simply does not work.

These statements are cleaning statements. They clean the memories. Both the conscious and unconscious. Cleaning gives permission to God/The Universe to transmute and clear the memories that are not who we really are. As we are not our memories.

i love you

How do the statements do this? I have no idea, they just do. According to Dr Hew Len, Ho’oponopono is not from this earth and I must admit my inner skeptic did frown at this, BUT I cannot judge the results since I began cleaning. What I got from Dr Hew Len is that everything needs love. Even the walls of my home, my toilet, everything. As everything is inside me, I need love. So in loving everything, giving thanks for everything, including those problems I have with others that I have projected ‘out there’ everything needs love.

Dr Hew Len healed an entire ward of criminally insane patients through the use of Ho’oponopono and without tending or treating any of them. He simply sat in his office; went through the files of the people on the ward and took full responsibility for the people, the ward, the experiences – knowing that everything is inside of him. Take a look at the story of Dr Hew Len and the healing here.

And all he said was I’m sorry, I love you. 

Can it be that simple?

I feel it can. I think as human beings we like complicated, many of us on the spiritual or metaphysical path do not feel a process or technique will work unless it has some significant complexity to it. We also expect instant results and so we go from one technique, training, workshop, teacher, to another. But Ho’oponopono is that simple. It is about love. I feel that if we are all honest, then most of what we gather on the spiritual path comes down to love and Ho’oponopono connected the dots for me.

The Inner Child

inner child
An important part of Ho’oponopono is forming a relationship with our inner child. Most of us have rejected and neglected the inner child for decades or even lifetimes. Our focus on the negative, on replaying those memories over and over again, has made that small voice inside us quiet, and caused a lot of suffering. From what I understand regarding Ho’oponopono and the inner child is that the inner child is responsible for creating our reality as it is the inner child who experiences the memory, or data, as Dr Hew Len would say. If we believe, replay those memories, do not clean the memories, allow them to perpetuate within us, the inner child will create experiences that fulfill those beliefs and memories. So we need to begin talking, soothing and comforting the inner child.

How do we do this? I am new to this, and for me I followed this meditation here and began simply holding my inner child’s hand, stroking her hair, simply to reconnect. I am told that the more we do Ho’oponopono, the clearer we become and we reach a point of zero where life/God/the Universe fills us, and from there we are inspired, with no intent or expectation, simply divine inspiration, as and when we are ready to hear (or know) it.

Is That It? We Only Need To Say Those Statements?

Well, there are more ‘in depth’ ways of doing it, if you choose. However, it is not necessary. I thought it was in the beginning. In the beginning I had to clean on the fact that I did not believe Ho’oponopono was going to work for me, so before I even started, I had to clean on that belief.

I have discovered over the past 2 months that for some, going in more depth is helpful and for others it is not. Use your feelings as a guide. This amazing blog promotes great understanding of Ho’oponopono and if you want to go into greater depth with the statements, it gives good examples. I also realise, since doing the Inner Child meditation here, that more in depth is good when connecting with the inner child. Since reading Mabel Katz’s blog I realise it is not necessary to do this all the time in the cleaning. A simple, Thank you, I love you does it all. She says that ‘I’m sorry’, ‘Please forgive me’ is inbuilt into Thank you or I love you. This works for me.

I did the more ‘in depth’ version described in this blog for the first 2 months and just this past few days I have realised that the words “I’m sorry” “Please Forgive me” are not good for me to say on a regular basis (unless I am spending time connecting with my inner child or it seems to work well when I am out walking).

The more I used the more descriptive statements like “I am sorry that something in me has created this problem, I am sorry that a memory is replaying and causing you suffering” etc.. the more sad and despairing I felt. I realise some of us may have used these words for a very long time in a negative way. For me I was always feeling sorry for my very existence. I was sorry for being such a failure in life. And when I said please forgive me I felt I was back in my inner child space where I was the inner child experiencing the suffering speaking to the inner child experiencing the suffering, which just brought up so much conflict. My human need to understand got in the way.


So now, as of last night, I simply say “Thank you, I love you” most of the time. This brings me a feeling of relief, of lightness, of blessings. So this is what is working for me now. I use more in-depth statements when I talking directly to my inner child or when it feels right to do so.

What has happened since I began doing Ho’oponopono?

I did not expect what happened; I did not think it would work but it has. The first thing that began to happen was that people began to respond differently to me. People wanted to connect more with me (and being a practical loner for 3 years now, this was a big thing). I then noticed people I had difficulty with in my home life began to change. One major change was a person that would cause a lot of noise and was very ungiving, began to give and share and be more kind. I had known him for over 10 years and suddenly he began to offer help and support in ways I had always hoped he would but didn’t. I did not speak to this man, I simply cleaned when the feelings of anger and resentment came up. I said: ‘I love you, I love you, I love you’. I took responsibility for his place in my world and it changed his place in my world. I  did not intend this to happen. And it happened within 2 days of doing ho’oponopono.

Life flows, when I ho’oponopono!

I suddenly began to get more opportunities related to my blog, more ideas and inspiration. Life flows when I ho’oponopono.

So this is just the beginning of my journey, a journey of surrender and letting go.

What do I want out of this process?

To feel free, to feel clear. To accept myself, to love myself. To embrace my life with gratitude. To allow myself to be divinely inspired and to no longer need certain outcomes in life to make me feel good. To be present, in the now.

And this is a big turnaround for me. Before Ho’oponopono I wanted to travel the world, write, teach. I still have some yearning to do with this, and I clean. The difference now is that day by day I realise that love (divinity) knows me better than I know myself, that what I think I want or need is not necessarily what is for my highest good in life. And yes, I still have wants; I want to be in the flow. I look forward to sharing my journey further with you and please share yours.


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If you are looking for more resources or more information on Ho’oponopono, drop by Mabel Katz’s site.

How has Hooponopono changed your life?


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Kelly Martin
Kelly Martin

Kelly Martin, author of ‘When Everyone Shines But You’ is a dedicated writer and blogger who fearlessly explores life’s deepest questions. Faced with a decade of profound anxiety and grief following the loss of her father and her best friend Michael, Kelly embarked on a transformative journey guided by mindfulness, and she hasn’t looked back since. Through her insightful writing, engaging podcasts, and inspiring You Tube channel Kelly empowers others to unearth the hidden treasures within their pain, embracing the profound truth that they are ‘enough’ exactly as they are.

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  1. May 13, 2013 / 10:34 pm

    I love the way this has been explained – you're right, the inner child has been neglected by a lot of us for so long. Early days for me, but I am interested to see how this method will be of influence in my life .. then I will be able to share 🙂

  2. May 16, 2013 / 5:37 pm

    Thanks Andy, glad it made sense, as you know this is a work in progress for me, learning more every day. I look forward to hearing more about your journey with Hooponopono.

  3. May 28, 2013 / 2:14 pm

    I am unsure of what you mean by 'cultural appropriation' can you clarify?

    I am finding Hooponopono is wonderful and absolutely full of love for me it is bringing me into a deep surrender of what is, in my life, unlike anything I have done before. I think anyone that thinks it is a magic mantra does not understand Hooponopono it takes discipline and time and is not a pill to pop that fixes all. I have seen some teachers of it completely contradicting the surrendering they speak of by making out it is something that gives us what we want. It gives us what we are ready to receive and experience. All part of a naturally unfolding universe in my eyes.

    How do you do it? Or how do you view it?

  4. May 28, 2013 / 2:18 pm

    One more question, with your experience of Hooponopono, which may be different to my experience, how has it helped you in your life so far?

  5. dream109
    May 28, 2013 / 3:19 pm

    Thanks for this, Kelly, I'm so intriqued by Ho'oponopono and really want to look into it more. This is a great introduction and I look forward to learning more x

  6. May 28, 2013 / 3:28 pm

    Great stuff, look forward to hearing how you get on. There is a lot of data out there on it so I found getting as clear as I could on it and just doing it gave me a greater understanding.

  7. PaodeQueijo
    August 11, 2013 / 9:53 am

    Hoʻoponopono is not a magic mantra to be repeated. This is cultural appropriation and misrepresentation of an ancient Hawaiian spiritual process.

  8. September 14, 2013 / 2:47 pm

    Hi Kelly,

    Your article is great and it is exactly where I am in my life too. How long have you been doing Ho-oponopono? Is it still working for you. I have been doing the Mark Ryan meditation for 2 days and it really stirs me up.I find it very confronting talking and connecting to my inner child.

  9. January 4, 2014 / 12:56 pm

    Hi Kelly

    I just found your website while looking for Ho'oponopono info in the UK. I started practising just two weeks ago after watching a recording of one of Dr Hew Len and Joe Vitale's workshops and I was hooked from the word go. Like you, I've studied tons of approaches over the years and this is so simple, it's beautiful. One interesting thing for me is that things are much more difficult now than before I started! However, my guess is that this is because I'm stirring things up and bringing issues to the fore that I didn't even know about. I was driving with my husband the other night (he was driving) and I started to clean on the car. Within 10 minutes, we were pulled up by the police for speeding!! Now I could look at this in a negative way, but I choose a positive way. Perhaps it's cleared something for my husband and he'll drive slower in future avoiding accidents. Who knows.

    The fact that you felt worse when saying "I'm sorry, please forgive me" also resonated with me, so perhaps I'll try and stick to "I love you, thank you" for a while and see how that goes.

    Thanks for your article – it's great to hear other people's experiences.

    I love you

    • Letty
      March 17, 2020 / 11:34 am

      Hello Jill this is true for me too, but I still have to clean by thanking the memories that are within me that brought these uncomfortable situations. Then I love you for showing me what I need to erase.

      • March 17, 2020 / 12:22 pm

        Much love to you both. Jill, I hope you got my message reply a while back, it may have gone below your message.

  10. January 4, 2014 / 2:59 pm

    You are welcome Jill. I find that when you shine the light of forgiveness or presence on your life those things that were in the shadows come up brighter and are then able to change 🙂

  11. January 29, 2014 / 10:57 am

    Great post! I too Ho'oponopono and feel it's made a great difference in my life.
    I wrote a post about it some years ago:

    I feel it helps me get unstuck when I sink into negativity – resentment, distrust, blame etc. It's helped me be more accepting of myself and others, and to surrender to my greater good. I like riding the wave of inspiration!

    Here's another Ho'oponopono blog I think you'd appreciate:

    With all I've learned about Ho'oponopono, your post helped me learn more. Thank you!

  12. January 30, 2014 / 4:09 am

    Hi again Kelly, I think this from my blog post about Ho'oponopono is in sync with where you are at:

    "Eventually. we will even transcend the need for mantras or other re-minders. As we live from zero point, we won't need to make lists, for example, of where to go, what to do. We will simply _listen_ and follow the guidance we receive from within. We will become wise Fools."

    So maybe Ho'oponopono helped you get there. 🙂 x

  13. January 30, 2014 / 7:50 am

    HI Jen, I am sure it helped, I still do it from time to time, when judgements arise, I also work through Byron Katies 4 questions and do the turnarounds a lot.

  14. Rod Aries
    March 1, 2018 / 11:50 pm

    “Cleaning gives permission to God/The Universe to transmute and clear the memories that are not who we really are. As we are not our memories.”

    Wondering why this wasn’t cleaned when we began this life? Unless its a test?

    • March 2, 2018 / 12:31 pm

      Hi Rod, thanks for dropping by my blog. Thought-provoking question. Perhaps we are simply experiencing AS creation, so part of our journey is to unravel and peel away all that we are not to remember who we really are. Ho’oponopono being one tool to do this. What do you think Rob?

      PS. Thanks so much for supporting my blog, very much appreciated.

  15. nic
    November 29, 2019 / 8:28 pm

    Hi Kelly,

    If you could update your experience with Ho’oponopono it would be very much appreciated.
    Time has gone by, do you still feel the same about Ho’oponopono, are there updated thoughts about

    Thank you,


    • November 30, 2019 / 11:14 am

      Hi Nic, I plan to do an update soon, possible next week and I will link it back to this blog post, so thank you for triggering my memory on this.

  16. Amy
    January 13, 2020 / 4:27 pm

    Hi Kelly,
    I stumbled upon you blog this morning and am so grateful for your sharing your experience with Ho’oponopono. Though I have heard of the healing powers of it, I’ve never looked at it in too much depth because my experience of saying “I’m sorry” and “please forgive me,” as part of a mantra seemed to invoke feelings of guilt and of course this is not what it is intended to teach. Just your sharing your experience was of benefit to me! I look forward to your follow up post on how this process has evolved for you since you wrote this article and I appreciate the links to others who practice Ho’oponopono who have influenced you and look forward to reading those as well. Thank you and blessings!

    • January 13, 2020 / 4:48 pm

      Many blessings to you Amy and thank you. I will be doing a follow up post, so be sure to subscribe to my newsletter or follow me on Twitter @kellymartin_UK or pop over to Kelly Martin Speaks on Facebook which I update regularly. I think there are probably many of us who find certain words don’t work, so we need a workaround. So hope that it supports your personal journey, with love, Kelly x

  17. Jason
    November 2, 2020 / 5:58 pm

    Thanks for the great post and sharing your authentic approach to this amazing healing art!

    • November 2, 2020 / 6:04 pm

      Thank you, glad you enjoyed!

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