Ho’oponopono – How To Heal and Love Your Life


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Hi there, welcome back to Kelly Martin Speaks. I’m your host Kelly Martin and this is episode 82.

This week I am going to talk about Ho’oponopono. I have written about it in the past on my blog, but I wanted to do more of an exploratory update and to offer ways of working with this ancient Hawaiian system of healing.

One thing that I have been thinking about is that too many of us want quick fast solutions or to manifest the lives of our dreams. We are bombarded with ‘How to’s’ and ‘10 step programmes for happiness’ that it can be easy to keep on wanting this. I look around me and see everything is quickly at my fingertips. I have a personal computer, a tablet and a smartphone and I realised this week, when writing something on my computer, when I wondered why it was not autocorrecting and giving me alternatives for the words I was using, which only happens on my phone or tablet. I wanted it to be easier, but let’s face it, life is not always easy is it? But perhaps it can be.

Now before I get into talking about this further, some of you may know all about Ho’oponopono but for those who don’t I will give a brief description of what it is.

Ho’oponopono was taught by spiritual leaders or Kahunas trained in this Hawaiian tradition.

We in the West discovered it through an author called Joe Vitale. Now he’s not my favourite author if I am honest. I get the impression he will sell you a goat and make it sing if it makes money. He comes across as a bit of a snake oil salesman, but he did bring the process of Ho’oponopono to the world. In his book ‘Zero Limits’ he talked about a psychiatrist and shamanic practitioner called Dr Hew Len. He shared Dr Hew Len’s story about how he helped heal an entire ward of criminally insane patients in a Hawaii hospital. Now it may seem far-fetched and perhaps it is, but I think the evidence of people using his process far outweighs any scepticism. If it works, why not use it, even if you don’t understand it.

Dr Hew Len

Now this hospital that Dr Hew Len took over was run down, the staff were getting sick, they had a high turnover of staff, paint was falling off the walls; in essence it was an incredibly sick place. Now when Hew Len arrived, he decided to use a completely different approach. Instead of seeing his patients one by one, giving them medication and talking to them, he used the healing and cleansing method of Ho’oponopono to accomplish all of this.

In its most basic form Ho’oponopono is healing through self-love or self-acceptance. When I first learned about this I found it a bit confusing, because I couldn’t believe that saying words like I’m Sorry, Please Forgive Me, Thank You and I Love You, would make any difference to me or the outer world. I did a lot of investigating and workarounds because back then when I was first using it, I just couldn’t say the worlds ‘Please Forgive Me’ because saying those words triggered me into feeling shame and negative about myself. I have changed in how I view them now, but it bears considering if you struggle with this too.

Now what this system of cleaning or healing involves is taking full responsibility for the world, outside and well as inside yourself. Initially I was shocked. How could I take responsibility for the atrocities happening in the world like war or abuse? But over the years, when I actually looked at it more introspectively and kindly, I began to further understand that all war, all abuse is already inside of me.

Dr Hew Len, in his quest to bring sanity and peace to the ward of patients, would take each patient’s file and would start repeating the following words:

I’m Sorry

Please Forgive Me

Thank You

I Love You

He took responsibility for that person’s pain and suffering. He became aware that that person could not be in his, Hew Len’s, worldly reality, unless they were inside of him also. So, he would tap into that part of himself that was experiencing what they were experiencing. And even if we cannot recognise we have that experience within us, we can accept that it is unconscious, that we are not only cleaning our present reality, but that of our ancestors, that inside our blood, our bodies, our consciousness is all of creation that has been, is and will be. He repeated these words and over time, every single patient was healed. Even the staff were enjoying working again. Eventually I believe they closed the ward down as it was no longer necessary. Even the actual physical side of the building improved because it is not only about people.

Dr Hew Len said: No one wanted the job I did with the criminally insane. They were averaging about one psychologist a month. But I got asked. We had about 25-30 people. Half of them would be in shackles at the ankles or the wrists because they were dangerous. They could either kick you or slam you. Everyone would walk with their back toward the wall so that they wouldn’t get struck. They had no family visits. No one could leave the building. A year and a half later there was none of that. There were people going out on bus rides. Nobody in shackles. The level of medication dropped. What did I do?  I worked on myself. I took 100% responsibility. – Dr Hew Len, Shamanic Wisdomkeepers

So your house, your computer, your garden…all of this too is inside of you. You are responsible for its presence in your world. If you were the projector of a movie you would be projecting the world as you see it. So, if your walls are a bit shabby and needing painting, you first repeat the phrases with love and appreciation for the walls being in your life.

Sounds crazy doesn’t it? Saying simple statements that have profound results and experiences.

How To Use The Phrases

sorry blackboard

So, what about forgiveness? And with the words I’m Sorry, Please Forgive Me, Thank You and I Love You? Who exactly are we saying sorry to? Who are we forgiving? And who are we thanking?

Those were my questions back in 2013 when I first started this practice.

My own understanding came up with the idea that we are saying sorry to the inner child, for whatever it is we are experiencing, for the choices we have made either consciously or unconsciously that have contributed to our inner pain or the outer pain we may see in the world. This could be unconscious also in the form of our roots in our ancestors and how a part of us is our ancestors if we look at it through the unlimited lens of pure consciousness.

We are simply asking for forgiveness from the inner child, the part of us that may still be suffering in that way, or if for example we were feeling pained by someone dying in a war torn country, we are asking for forgiveness for the aspect of consciousness that we are, that made choices that created the situation.

And this forgiveness does not come from a blaming place, but more from a taking responsibility in a loving-kindness way. We don’t blame ourselves for the world and its suffering. We accept what is, and we bring love into that situation.

Ho’oponopono helps us clean the memories that created the life stories we experience. We have literally thousands of unconscious memories that we cannot work through, but by saying, I Love You, Please Forgive Me, Thank You, I’m Sorry, we are doing the cleaning of those memories.

We don’t have to understand it at a deeper level; we can simply say these phrases as a mantra, but I find that personally I like to connect in my heart to what I am saying and how it relates to me.

The essential goal of Ho’oponopono is to get back to zero, your purest state, the place where peace resides. Zero is our aim, but we need to accept that we may never get to that place, for it is a journey and not about a destination. If you want to use Ho’oponopono to manifest money or other things in your life, it’s not really what it’s about. It may have that knock-on effect as you take responsibility and clean and clear the way, but we don’t do it to produce a specific result.

Ho’oponopono and Self-Love 


There are some great examples on how to use Ho’oponopono on philosophadam.wordpress.com (check out the transcript on the website to get direct to his site), but a couple really stuck out to me, which I loved.

He said:

On one occasion, I noticed that I was comparing myself with other people and that while this compulsive comparing can make me feel temporarily better or worse about myself, it ultimately doesn’t make me any happier.  I chose this as my ‘focus’ for the four phrases practice. I focused inwardly on the tendency to compulsively compare. Then, silently in my mind, I let the four phrases give rise to a spontaneous flow of words in my mind, just allowing the words to come naturally without overthinking or overanalyzing. This is what came:

I’m sorry for the movement to compare myself to others and to find myself lacking and inadequate. I’m sorry for punishing myself when I find myself ‘less good’ or valuable than the people I compare myself with. Please forgive me for mistaking these mind-concocted stories about my value for realities. Thank you for revealing that these value judgments only have meaning in the mind and not in the world beyond it.  Thank you for showing me that when I obsessively compare myself to others and find myself either lacking or feeling ‘better than’ them, this is only the inner child of my unconscious trying to feel good enough and yearning to be loved.  Please forgive me for not being caring and compassionate to this inner child and for denying these tendencies rather than accepting and embracing them.  Body, mind, heart, and being, I release you from the urge to compare yourself with others. I love you.”

Ho’oponopono and War 

A friend of mine ran the four phrases on the violence she observed around her. She inwardly focused her attention on war and let the four phrases guide the words that flowed out of them:

I am sorry, war, please forgive me for all unconscious ways I contribute to violence, oppression and ignorance. Thank you for bringing my attention to the impulse to fight, and to re-examine if it actually works, I love youThank you to the sadness that arises when I see such violence, for reminding me to care and love. Forgive me, I love you earth, despite all the cruelty, I love you humans, thank you.”

So you see you can work with this beautiful method in a simply mantra cleaning way or go a little deeper and understand both yourself and the world in a whole new way.

All I say is, try and keep an open mind. Try it on anything and everything. For example, right now I am having some major transformation happening in my back. I have had a lot of back pain for years, so I am seeing a chiropractor. In between sessions the pain is increasing as my posture changes. I am using Ho’oponopono to accept what is taking place, to give thanks to my inner child for protecting me all these years by giving me a stooped posture, because I did not want to be seen for a long time. And I am also giving thanks that my inner child is bringing these issues to me through pain. I am sending love to that part of me in pain, instead of cussing and fighting against it.

In common with other shamanic traditions, the Hawaiian tradition teaches that all life is connected.  Ho’oponopono is, therefore, not only a way of healing ourselves, but others and our world as well. – Timothy Freke

So all I can say is try it out, try saying the four statements of I’m Sorry, Please Forgive Me, Thank You, I Love You and see what happens and how you feel. You don’t have to do them in any particular order, and you don’t have to say all of them if you don’t want to. If you want to keep it very simple, you can simply say I LOVE YOU to all the memories you wish to clean on.

Thanks for listening to this episode of Kelly Martin Speaks

If you have a question or topic you are struggling with and would like me to answer on an upcoming podcast episode, please get in touch. Your name will be confidential. EMAIL me at kellymartinspeaks@gmail.com or message me on Facebook via my page Kelly Martin Speaks.

And don’t forget, if you feel that others are passing you by and ‘The Not Good Enough’ voice is screaming loudly, pop by kellymartin.uk to find out all about my books, including Book 1 ‘When Everyone Shines but You’

You can also support my channel via my podcast page on my website kellymartinspeaks.co.uk via Paypal or buy me a coffee via ko-fi.

Until next time…bye for now


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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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