Four Simple Phrases That Change Everything

Because your heart and mind are no longer constricted by negativity, you discover that you are more creative and inventive, more open to the broad range of possibilities that each moment holds . . .

MantraI first learned about the four phrases of Dr. Hew Len’s Ho’oponopono (Ho-oh-pono-pono) in 2007 through Dr. Joe Vitale’s book, Zero Limits: The Secret Hawaiian System for Wealth, Health, Peace, and More.   In the book, Vitale describes how he came across a story that seemed to him wholly unbelievable.

According to the story, a Hawaiian psychiatrist, Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len, had cured the entire population of a prison’s mental ward without ever encountering a single inmate face to face.  Instead, Dr. Hew Len, performed a process he called “cleaning” as he sat in his office and reviewed each of the inmates’ medical charts.

As reported, the story seemed ludicrous.  It flew not only in the face of science, but of common sense.  Surely some part of the narrative was missing, Vitale thought.  And yet he was intrigued.  If it was true as it stood, he had to find out more about what seemed a genuinely miraculous process.  And that’s exactly what he did, and exactly what he found.

The book is a great read, and I recommend it.  But the heart of it is that Dr Hew Len’s process, evolved from the ancient Hawaiian spiritual tradition of Ho’oponopono, consists in mindfully repeating four simple phrases:

I’m sorry.
Please forgive me.
Thank you.
I love you.

It doesn’t matter whether you think you are saying them to God, Source, Spirit, the Universe, your Higher Self, or your inner mind.  It only matters that you say them sincerely, from your heart.  Direct them in the way that has the most meaning for you.

You can chant all four together as a mantra, or repeat a single phrase in response to whatever perception or thought you find yourself entertaining.

The Practice

Begin by simply repeating the four phrases together:  I’m sorry.  Please forgive me.  Thank you.  I love you.  I’m sorry.  Please forgive me.  Thank you.  I love you.

Repeat them as you walk, as you drive, as you go about your daily tasks.  Let them become the default state of mind for you, replacing the random rambling of your ordinary thoughts.  Play with them over the span of a month; make the mantra your grand obsession.  Watch how it opens you and frees you as you put it into play.

Restoring Positivity

“I’m Sorry.  Please Forgive Me.”

If your goal is to focus on the positive—on those things that produce satisfaction, meaning, serenity, and joy—and you notice that you have been lost in replaying an argument you had with someone, or that you are wrapped in images of hurt, criticism, complaint or blame, you can instantly refocus by repeating, “I’m sorry.  Please forgive me,” from your heart until you feel a sense of peace.

“Thank You.  I Love You.”

Then, as peace enters you – and if you are genuine in asking for forgiveness, peace will indeed enter – you can respond to it with “Thank you.  I love you.”  Your thanks is for the gift of recognizing the negative thought, and for the relief that came when you chose to apologize for it.  Your love is an appreciation for choosing to let go of the negative, to embrace the healing, the cleansing of it from your mind.  And with your sincere utterance of gratitude and love, you set off a wave of joy.

You Are Responsible

According to the teachings of Ho’oponopono (and just about every other system of well-being as well), you are responsible for everything that you experience.  Everything you see, think, notice, hear and feel is a creation of your own mind.  All your reactions and interpretations are of your making, based in memories from the past.

Have you become upset?  Are you irritated? Pressured? Repulsed?  Disgusted? Distressed?  Accept that you are reacting to nothing but memory, apologize and ask forgiveness, over and over and over again, until you feel release.  Then give thanks for the grace that cleansed your mind and freed you from the weight of your burden.

Heartfelt I'm SorryCircumstances arise that expose us to our shadows, to the places in us where darkness dwells.  They come as teachers, to give us an opportunity to see our errors of interpretation and to shine the correcting light of truth on them.  Ho’oponopono’s mantra brings the correcting light.  It’s not necessary to understand what caused the darkness or why; you only need to release it, and the mantra ushers in the release.

When a troublesome person enters your sphere, he or she, too, has come to teach you peace and joy.  As you watch your automatic negative reactions rise, begin your inner mantra.  “I’m sorry that I react to this person so negatively.  I’m sorry that I have closed my heart and mind.  I’m sorry that I’m not really listening, that I’m not seeing the person behind the behavior.  Please forgive me.  I’m sorry.  Thank you.  I love you.”

Seeking ForgivenessWhether you think so at the moment or not, on some level you love even the annoying or threatening one who is standing before you. In different circumstances, at a different time, you would clearly see what is there to be loved.  Repeat “I love you” as you listen to the rant.  See how it calms and centers you.  See how it softens the moment.  See how it impacts and transforms not only you but the one who came to teach you in the first place.

Moments of Beauty and Joy

When you first begin the practice of reciting this mantra, you may find that many repetitions are needed before you feel it doing its work in you.  But after you have some experience, a single whisper of “I’m sorry” will immediately dissolve your negativity and leave a bright and peaceful positivity in its place.

Your “thank you” will steadily grow more heartfelt and more joyful, and the “I love you” will pour from you in sparkling streams.  More of your moments will be spent in positivity—in engagement, amusement, satisfaction, pleasure, inspiration and awe.  Then the “thank you; I love you” becomes a vehicle for the up-welling of pleasure and delight, a means for expressing your genuine gratitude for life’s boundless goodness and grace.

Thank You! I Love You!Expanded Possibilities

When you are no longer reacting to the present moment on the basis of something you learned or experienced in the past—whether the ‘past’ was two seconds or decades ago—you are released to live in the present.  You begin to see things as they are, uncolored by your projections and interpretations.

And because your heart and mind are no longer constricted by negativity, you discover that you are more creative and inventive, more open to the broad range of possibilities that each moment holds, more playful, more at peace.  In a word, you become happier.  And isn’t that, after all, what each of us truly wants?


40 thoughts on “Four Simple Phrases That Change Everything”

  1. I needed this right now. I must remind myself to continuously say this mantra. I do believe that I have created this reality that I am living. It is so painfilled. I am sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you. I love you.

  2. I am sorry for being miserable when there’s so much that I should be thankful for. Please forgive me for forgetting my blessings. Thank you for that reminder to reexamine the cause of my misery which made me realise that it isn’t a big deal, not even a deal. I love you for sharing. Namaste.:)

  3. please forgive me, i am sorry,i love you,thankyou for being a part of you the greatest thing i will do is to love you more unconditionally.

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  5. hi, there is a guy i like and i believe he likes me too. but our friendship is full of strife. at the moment we are not even talking because of a small misunderstanding. i love him and at am practising hoponopono to restore our friendship. i started yesterday to clean the situation with water in a glass. iam sorry, please forgive me, i love you, thank you

  6. Dear Ones………I read all of your messages and my heart is open with love and joy for ALL of you. You are surely wonderful and blessed.
    ….I am sorry, please forgive me, I love you, and I thank you.”

  7. If Ho’oponopono is just for our use and can not be used to help others, how did Dr. Len accomplish what he did at the prison psych ward?

  8. This i Awesome. I read the book Zero Limits. Learned how to cleanse and did this “mantra” and i must admit it caught on like wildfire, cannot stop say it and yes it did change my life , as matter of fact it keep making it peaceful and pleasent. I can go on but must say try i you wont go wrong.

  9. these are really wonderful words and it really helps a lot.I would like to share an experience which happen to me recently.I was taking my morning round as usual in my Hopsital.It happen all of sudden that one of my senior Doctor who was annoyed with some mistake of my night duty staff had started shouting at me all of sudden.I was really felt very hurt and depressed that time,because it happen in front of so many relatives and staffs,I literally started crying and went to my MD sir.he consoled me.all of sudden my Chairman sir came there,he is our teacher,he teach us always about life very nicely.He started chanting these words in his mind and as we were arguing before he came,after that we became quite and we finish all our problems with a friendly atmosphere.We planned for classes.Whenever I see him ,I start telling these words and it helped me a lot.

  10. Beautifull all this people connected, all toguether I love you all we all looking for beter life Thank you Susan K. for the post is beautifull and I am sorry my bad english Life is a great adventure (k)

  11. It was so soothing to recite this mantra as I was reading through the article. Indeed a great share and I am sure it is going to do wonders in self- healing.
    thank you
    Certified EFT Practitioner
    Skype: savvyeft

  12. I want out, struggling for such a long time now, but I hope it will help me to reconect with Love & Acceptence…

  13. Don’t give up, Dion. Hold on to your hope, and to the possibility that things actually may turn out just fine after all.

  14. Dion – I’ve been there and my heart goes out to you … hoping that all is well in your world by now and that you’re tuned into the everyday miracles of Light and Life. Very much Love to you and all readers of this beautiful blog

  15. Dion – I’ve been there and my heart goes out to you … hoping that all is well in your world by now and that you’re tuned into the everyday miracles of Light and Life. Very much Love to you and all readers of this beautiful blog

  16. I had forgotten the Ho’onoponopono and was reminded today. I think it was sent to me to help me love and forgive loved ones. As an ProEFT Practitioner, I wonder how tapping along with the mantra might connect me even deeper.
    Caryl Williams Love
    Trailblazer of blocks/Life Coach
    ProEFT Practitioner

  17. i love this,have been practicing it regularly and can feel the shift..long ways to go ,but on the right path…Im Sorry…..Please Forgive Me ……Thank You…..I Love you ….x0x0x0x0x

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