The Hawaiian Secret of Thanksgiving

Gratitude is great, but how do you make it work for you?

If you live in North America, over the past few days you probably ate yourself into a coma, watched endless touchdowns and spoke to your family with a tear in your eye for how grateful you may be for them in your life. That’s lovely and honestly, Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays (and favorite meals!) of the year.

But now that you are saturated wth turkey and stuffing, now what? Do you go back to your “normal” day to day being, or have you grown just a little from the Gratitude Attack of last Thursday? Did the needle in your life move even an inch higher on the “Joy-o-Meter” as a result of some epiphany of awareness that now makes you sing like Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music? NO? Well, why not? Didn’t you just connect with family and friends who really love you even if they don’t always agree with your points of view? Didn’t you just ingest more food than most Third World families will see in a year? How is it we gather for a day of national celebration in Thankfulness and Connectivity and come home loaded with cheap sweaters and electronics from frenzied shopping as the takeaway?

If you return to daily life feeling less than recharged or inspired, it may be that you need a deeper injection of what Gratitude really means and how it works for you. Hence, Hoʻoponopono.  

Hoʻoponopono is the ancient Hawaiian practice of reconciliation and forgiveness. You see, for centuries, the families and culture of the Pacific Islands relied upon close and healthy family ties to survive. It was widely believed that your guilts, angers and upsets would eventually make you physically ill and would destroy a family. If a child was ill, the elders would turn to the parents and ask what they did to cause it. In fact, it was perceived that secrecy fed illness and that harmony could only be returned by bringing it all out to the Light. This was serious business, and when your very survival depended upon everyone not going to war over hurt feelings, you can see why this deep and honored practice thrived.  Family members were all expected to participate, share, be acknowledged and then the transgressions were healed by forgiveness. Then, in celebration, there would be a feast to honor the family and bring joy back to the clan.

I like this tradition waaay more than the ones kept simmering in many homes for years, resentments disguised under false smiles and pained gatherings hiding under cranberry sauce and field goals. Wouldn’t it be great to be heard and accepted for who you are and loved anyway for it?

Since you may not be able to go back to last week and alter the course of history, you can alter the course of your own destiny to come, and maybe make the life you are living now work a little sweeter and more honestly – with a lot less anger and resentment. Wouldn’t that be nice? How about more self-love to boot, hmm?

There are only 4 simple things you need to do to effectuate this gratitude machine in your life. Practice Hoʻoponopono for yourself by saying four simple phrases.

  1. I love you
  2. I am sorry
  3. Please forgive me
  4. Thank you

Now do this about a thousand times. Do it until tears really do form in your eyes and you feel the glacier that was familial bonds thaw in true gratitude and abundance. Say it to your family, even if it’s just in your mind, say it to your boss, your spouse and to your children. Most importantly, say it to yourself as often and as sweetly as you can. This magic formula works miracles and might literally change your life, preventing that clogged heart chakra of yours from becoming a heart attack. It might open up your throat chakra just enough to let more beauty & truth flow in your words and your third eye may reveal more wisdom in your opened mind than past grievances allowed.

I share this practice with my students frequently, and it’s incredible how strong this simple act can be.

Let me know how you experience this in your life. What do you need to open up, heal and forgive? How can your “Joy-O-Meter” fly off the charts?

Contact me for classes and private sessions in this practice and many others, and jump start the truest gratitude you may ever feel for the life you already have, while assisting the germination of the life you always wanted. 

I am grateful beyond words for you as my community and thank you for allowing me to be of service to you and to your loved ones!

Sat nam- Kristen


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