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A Co-Opportunity to Create Something Epic!

Why Ho’oponopono is the Key to a Cooperatist World

When I showed up to Hawaii in 2010, I was in a rough place in my life. I was finishing the fallout from the real estate crash and just healing from a divorce, not that it was a nasty divorce, but challenging nonetheless. I remember feeling lost in the world in terms of everything I spent a lifetime accumulating that I was losing all at once. I compared the real estate crash as my earthquake and the divorce as my tsunami. Finding myself with such a blank slate ended up being a marvelous opportunity. So I decided it was time to live a life dream and move to Hawaii!

Upon showing up, like so many people I was taken by the beauty, of the land, of the people, and of the new culture. I did my best to act as a reverent guest, and smile a lot. But under that smile was tears of pain, tears of rejection, tears of abandonment, tears of loneliness. Here I was in the most beautiful place on earth, swimming with dolphins, hiking to lava, finding hidden beaches with my jeep, scuba diving and even skydiving. I was having the most fun of my life and then go home and cry. Even the good times felt a heavy guilt and shame, and nothing feels lonelier than sitting in paradise alone.


The longer I stayed in Hawaii, the more I was falling in love with the Hawaii culture.  I loved the simplicity, how family is so important, and everyone is an aunty or uncle to everyone’s kids; so much sharing goes on when people have abundance, and they naturally want to share with those who have less and are in need. After hurricane Iselle in 2014, crews of 20+ people were going block to block to help their community for no fees, this went on for over 3 weeks straight.

Volenteer Crews help clean up after Hurricane Iselle. August 2014

People on an island realize that in the end they only have each other. Resources must be shared, trust is everything within a smaller community. At the same time, you can’t just discard people either, because they are still here. So the Hawaiians devolveped a cultural practice for cleaning the slate between a person and their relations. They called the ceremony Ho’oponopono. More than a forgiveness ritual, it a way to bring closure to wrongs from the past.
Ho’oponopono says so simply:

1. I’m Sorry: (I’m bringing attention to __________________) (humility/responsibility)
2. Please Forgive Me: (Resolution)
3. Thank you: (Graditude)
4. I love you! (Honoring)

As I continued my new life in Hawaii with moments of pure joy and secret moments of sorrow. I finally came across Ho’oponopono and found it amazingly simple and powerful.  Before I knew it I was offering Ho’oponopono to lots of people, to the earth for all damage I’ve done and my heavy footprint, for even myself for all ways I have not lived up to my own standards. With each Ho’oponopono another part of my baggage got released.

Finally one day, I remember driving down a beautiful road and in that moment finally being at peace with my past. I knew the tough experiences had all lead me to that moment of pure bliss. It was a lifetime of experiences (some good, some bad, and everything in between), but I had arrived in the present moment. I forgave my family despite childhood abuse, I forgave myself, and even forgave my former wife. It all lead me to this epic moment of life.

I realized my father was abused by his father, and he for sure improved from his dad (less abusive/more loving), and I’m doing my best to improve again. I realized my mom and dad were not the best parents, but did do their best with the skills and resources they understood. I realized they still have done more for me than any people ever will on this planet despite the abuse. Because of my pain I had not been allowing myself to honor all their hard work and sleepless nights, days at a job or working for my benefit. Instead all I and they could see was the dark cloud of abuse, hurts and disappointments from the past. This dark cloud of abuse and abandonment was casting over the bright light of everything good they ever did for me, even not fully appreciating my mom even carrying me for 9 months.

All the love, all caring, all the support, was being eclipsed by my anger and hurt feelings. Finally with Ho’oponopono I realized the 3 people who did the maybe most for me in this world, my mom, my dad, and former wife, I had issues with. I finally realized it was not about them, it was about me. What kind of person did I want to be resenting the three people who did the most for me, and why…because they were not perfect enough, did not love me enough, or perhaps could not overcoming their own programming and limitations?

I finally forgave my parents at the age of 37! I wrote them a touching letter thanking them for all they did for me. I  acknowledged that I was a tough kid at times, and told them I loved and thanked them! My relationship turned on a dime, and I have never been closer to my parents. When they finally die, we are at peace. We accept each other for who we are (good bad and ugly).  And not only did I heal with Ho’oponopono, but I allowed my family to heal as well.  As I accepted them, they accepted me, as I loved them, they loved me.  Even with my former wife, we are still good friends and we truly care for each other.

Going to a Oregon Ducks football game, with my Dad and Brother.

What was I gaining for holding onto this baggage over these people, a feeling of anger, of mistrust, of guilt/shame, of not ever feeling good enough, feeling disempowered like a victim and blaming others for everything I did not like about my life. When finally in paradise I realized my own bad moods and troubles in life were truly mine. Ho’oponopono was truly my ticket to freedom, to re-own my own life, to let go of the baggage. To become a much more authentic version of myself.


So Ho’oponopono was and is a tool I used to clean up my emotional life. To transmute negative feeling and energy into positive feelings and positives energy. In order for us to have a new world of cooperation, we must first heal the wounds of our past, make good with the people in our lives, with our communities, with the earth and maybe most importantly is make peace with ourselves for all of our own short comings. Nobody had a scoreboard on me like I did, and I felt the weight of all the times I had truly let people down. I had kicked many people out of my life for doing far less than what I had done to others. We know we do our best and yet we also know we could have done better as well.

How are we suppose to change our world while we are hurting so much?  This era of thousands of years of fighting and hurting each other, lying to each other, abusing each other, and taking advantage of each other. From global issues like environmental destruction, wars, colonialism, and inequality, to personal relationships which resulted in trauma.  It’s no wonder a peaceful world seems so out of reach!

Ho’oponopono a tool for healing these pains and releasing the pain.

Every trauma we receive also comes with gifts, things like heightened awareness, or a desire to live better. Once we heal the pain and trauma, the gifts remain. We can’t even begin to cooperate and have peace with each other and take our society to the next level, while we are still a walking set of conflicts. We must release the pain, we must forgive each other, we must turn all this negative energy into positive energy. Forgiveness is the key foundation of cooperation from where we currently are. Do it for yourself, do it for your family, do it for your community and do it for the world!

Let the dark clouds drift off, and let your light shine bright. You deserve it, and the world is ready for it. 🙂

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