Article Update Friday 19th April 12:21 pm (Sydney Australia Time) Thank you to everyone who is engaging in this discussion. We value your feedback enormously. We of course respect wholeheartedly Hawaiian ancient wisdom and teachings. We have edited this article to reflect our respect for ancient indigenous cultures and also you, our readers. Love and Gratitude – Team Uplift.
Because forgiveness is like this: a room can be dank because you have closed the windows, you’ve closed the curtains. But the sun is shining outside, and the air is fresh outside. In order to get that fresh air, you have to get up and open the window and draw the curtains apart. – Desmond Tutu
The beach we visited as kids was home to hundreds, if not thousands, of pipis (small clams). As the waves receded, rows upon rows of their smooth shells would stand up, saluting the sea before burying themselves back into the sand. We would hop between them on our toes, careful not to tread on these little creatures; they seemed almost mythical – hiding in their shells. Then, as if overnight, they were gone.
With the disappearance of the pipis also came a reduction in fish, and then less and less seabirds. Our pride for this beautiful world with its strange creatures evaporated and was replaced with shame. Overcome with the guilt of being part of the human race destroying the Earth, my sister and I were unable to even contemplate finding a way through the overwhelming task of making environmental amends.
The Power of Making Things Right …
Over the years, the collective efforts to take care of our home planet have taken many forms; from local initiatives to global climate councils, from local schools planting trees to carbon emission treaties. Yet, there is one simple thing that is often overlooked in the art of making things right: Self-Forgiveness and Forgiving others too.
Healing the Earth and healing ourselves are completely intertwined. Therefore, forgiveness will play a tender and crucial part in our planetary evolution and transformation. By taking responsibility for healing ourselves and our environmental guilt, we will lay the groundwork for creating harmony with our planet.
How the Hawaiians have Inspired us …
Bill Mollison, credited as a modern visionary, considered Hawaiians to be among the greatest experts on land management and sustainability. In order to survive on small islands with limited resources, surrounded by thousands of miles of ocean, people learn to live and work harmoniously with each other AND with the land.
The Hawaiian term Malama Pono loosely refers to the idea of caring for one’s self and living life in a healthy way. However, more and more, we understand that the wellbeing of the individual, the community, and the land are co-dependent on healthy symbiotic relationships. The responsibility of caring for one’s self includes: honouring our ancestors, looking out for future generations, and living from a place of integrity. Striving to live from authentic integrity often brings challenges, fears, disagreements with friends or relatives, colleagues and employers, and sometimes even bitter confrontations. The Hawaiians have a beautiful practise based on ancient Hawaiian traditions, prior to western influences, for bringing resolve and restoring harmony. They call it Ho’oponopono. The word does not mean forgiveness; it means to ‘set things right’ in a morally correct way.
There are many approaches to Ho’oponopono practised in different ways across the Hawaiian Islands, depending on each family tradition. No one way is correct, but the objective is to consciously channel negative energy into positive outcomes for self and community. The West has taken great inspiration from the intentions of ancient Ho’oponopono and offers a 4-step heartfelt process to make things right:
1. I’m Sorry – This is not about being wrong or right, it is about humility and recognising that even when we mean the best, or stand firmly in our own integrity, we can still inadvertently hurt others. This is a natural part of being human and acknowledging this is a powerful way to re-examine and reflect on the pillars and values of our own integrity.
2. Please Forgive Me – We free ourselves when we ask for forgiveness. Even if the person we ask doesn’t give it right away, we have done all that we can to resolve the situation just by sincerely asking for resolution. The ball is no longer in our court for this particular issue, we have completed our part and remain open for future reconciliation.
3. Thank You – Gratitude is one of the most powerful ways to open the gates of humility and the ability to receive even more life-lessons. Demonstrating gratitude for painful situations or challenges communicates that we are accepting our reality and learning and growing from it. We are emerging stronger and wiser for having weathered the storm.
4. I Love You – Love is the energy that connects us all; it is what animates us to take care of ourselves, our community, and the land. Only from an honest place of love can we accomplish anything of real and lasting value in this world. Yet we often block this energy with unresolved wounds or trauma. The essence and intention of Ho’oponopono clear these blockages, returning us to a place of joy, connection, and personal power.
You can say the four principles to yourself, to your relatives, to your ancestors, to future generations, and to the land. By focusing this intention in the present moment, you can experience a profound energy shift. The power of humility, forgiveness, gratitude, and love is a great catalyst for lasting, positive change.
Global Ho’oponopono Inspired Prayers and Intentions for Earth Day
Ho’oponopono and its many inspired prayers and intentions are beautiful antidotes to the many challenges we face in life. We may all benefit from hearing the stories of others, as these can bring us closer together and strengthen our understanding of this powerful practice.
We invite you to practise Ho’oponopono, or your own variation on this theme, this Earth Day, April 22 2019, and to share your own stories with us in the comments below. Many people try it for one day and feel liberated and empowered by the peaceful resolutions and the creative solutions that emerge. Start with yourself, then expand the ritual to friends, family, and colleagues. If you can’t yet find the courage to speak it out loud, you can write it down on a piece of paper. It is your solemn and heartfelt intention that will forge the path to peace and harmony.
Healing our Earth starts with healing ourselves, our connection to each other, and to the ecological systems that sustain ALL life. All true and benevolent approaches are needed at this time to protect what is vital. This will require unprecedented cooperation, respect, and love.
Before taking to the streets or to your garden; before sitting down on the generous grass to picnic with friends, take a moment to go inside and make things right with yourself so that you can bring a humanitarian and spiritual roundedness to your Earth Day festivities!
I am going to set a strong Ho’oponopono inspired intention so that the pipis come home in their multitudes, bringing a surge of fish and a chorus of seabirds.
We love you and we thank you.