Healing Tools: Resolve Conflicts and Ease Tension with Ho'oponopono

This simple practice of mentally repeating a set of phrases to yourself is based on a Hawaiian forgiveness prayer. Use it anytime there is tension or conflict in a situation.

The phrases are:

I’m sorry.

Please forgive me.

I love you.

I thank you.

Say the phrases to yourself to calm and clear your own mind. Calming and clearing your own mind changes your energy. Changing your own energy can change the energy around you. When the energy shifts, this may just allow a situation to shift on it’s own.

“I’m sorry” acknowledges that you have some role in the conflict at some level. “Please forgive me” is an act of self-forgiveness and releases you from being entangled in the conflict. “I love you” expresses self-love. “I thank you” expresses gratitude. Love and gratitude are powerful energies.

I used this technique a lot at work. I worked in a field where there was a lot of politics and competing interests. In meetings, I would mentally go around the table and say one round of the Ho'oponopono phrases for each person in the meeting. I would continue to mentally repeat the phrases to keep myself focused and so I didn’t get caught up in any emotional drama.

I did an experiment comparing two big work projects in 2012 and 2014. They were both the same type of long term multi-stakeholder project. The first one was very stressful, took a long time in approval, and resulted in a lot of bad feelings. The second time around I decided to see what happened if I used Ho’oponopono and other techniques to change my own energy. The second project was faster, had much better relationships, was approved faster and was under budget.  I received personal recognition from the Mayor. This may have been because I was using Ho’oponopono, it may have been other factors. There is no way to know for sure.

I can say for sure that using Ho’oponopono in the workplace helped me manage my own stress and keep perspective. One of my colleagues noticed that I had a calming presence in meetings and wanted me to attend her meetings with her.

It is amazing to experience that by changing my own mind and energy, my experience of the outer world can change.

This article is based on my own personal experience of using the Ho’oponopono phrases. When I first learned about it form a friend, there were few published resources on the topic. Now, I see there are quite a few online resources that you can reference if you want to learn more about the history and theory behind it.