a big part of the self-leadership journey is learning not just WHAT is going on for us but WHAT the heck to do about it.


it goes like this:

wow. i’ve realized that i have this fear / worry / doubt / frustration / story / memory / trigger / limiting belief / resistance / block / pattern / issue / insert whatever you’ve realized here

wow. i’ve really got to let that go / change that / heal that / stop that / clear that / get past that

great! but how?

there is one “how” that i truly believe helps with anything and everything.

that "how" is forgiveness.

many times when we hear that word – forgive – we can get a little defensive.

why should i forgive that person or that situation? they don’t deserve it!

this is the most important thing to realize about forgiveness: we don’t forgive for the other person’s benefit, we do it for ourselves. WE deserve it.

forgiveness is a way to let go of the weight we carry around with us. a way to change the energy around something that is blocking us. and a way to clear the fog that prevents our light from shining through.

another thing can happen when we hear the word forgiveness. we think how do i forgive a fear? how do i forgive an old story, an old pattern, a limiting belief? isn’t forgiveness for PEOPLE?

here is my take on it: when i do forgiveness i do it for me, and i do it to me.

if it is a fear, a limiting belief, a layer of resistance… i picture forgiving my inner self, my soul, the lighthouse me that lives inside. i ask her to forgive me for letting that thing block me or for hanging on to it for so long or maybe for not being aware of it.

my favourite forgiveness practice is ho’oponopono (you can learn more about this practice in this video or this article if you’d like.)

ho’oponopono goes very simply like this:

i love you

i am sorry

please forgive me

thank you

when i do this practice i simply say the words to my inner self until i feel the energy of whatever it is i am stuck with begin to change. but you can create your own practice or ritual out of this if you’d like!


  • visualizing your inner self/younger self/future self/higher self and saying the words to her
  • visualizing a beam of light and love being sent out to heal/clear/dissolve whatever you are forgiving
  • writing out everything associated with whatever you are forgiving and then reciting the mantra - burning or crossing out or releasing in some way whatever you have written
  • using the mantra with tapping/EFT or while doing reiki or some other practice you love
  • using the mantra while meditating, saying each phrase with each breath
  • using the mantra while running it out, or walking it out, or moving your body in some way to shift things
  • using the mantra while in the shower or the ocean… picture the flowing water washing away the pain of the issue and leaving nothing but learning/awareness/understanding behind
  • singing the mantra
  • visualizing the mantra healing whatever part of your body you are holding this resistance/stress/trauma in
  • writing a letter to a person associated with whatever you need to forgive… let it all out! and then forgive. and remember the forgiveness is for you, not them… burn the letter instead of sending it if you wish.
  • use the mantra to make a list: everything you love about yourself, what you are sorry for and what you need to forgive yourself for now, and then everything you are grateful for. self-love and gratitude are powerful practices on their own, why not combine them with forgiveness for an even more powerful practice

my point is that the practice itself will have more power if it feels powerful to you… the words will have the intention that you give them! so make this your own, make it something that is truly a “how” – a tool in your toolbelt to use when you need it.

perhaps this is a practice you have already been using. perhaps this is a nudge to take it to the next level in someway – to create that personal practice or ritual that feels even more powerful!

perhaps these 4 simple phrases seem too simple to be powerful. i get that, i thought that at first too. but honestly, i have seen situations change before my eyes when using this mantra, in ways that can’t really be explained except that the energy of the situation truly shifts when we use ho’oponopono…

…when we use it from the heart and to the soul.

click here for a free class teaching my signature illuminate process for doing inner work. when the illuminate process shines a light on something you need to clear, you can try forgiveness!

karen gunton1 Comment