As I’ve written about previously, I recently had the opportunity to attend the Hoffman Process at the Hoffman Institute in St. Helena, California. It was an amazing opportunity and one of the best experiences I’ve ever had, worth every penny it cost me to take this trip of a lifetime. Without question, I would recommend the Process to anyone who is, as their tagline states, “serious about change”.
That said, today I want to write about how Hoffman is already changing my life. I suspect the effects of my Process experience will actually increase over time, as studies have shown to happen with Process graduates, but for now I can write about how things have changed just one month out from the experience.
For one and I’ll start with it because it’s the most obvious to me: my joy has vastly increased. I feel more at ease, lighter in my body, less prone to over-thinking and ruminating. And when I do start to ruminate and feel anxious, I can use Hoffman tools like some of the visualizations we were given, to help myself stay present and calm and not worry.
There’s a tool we use called the Quadrinity Check that is so helpful to me (the Quadrinity is Bob Hoffman’s way of stating the four parts of our being—body, spirit, intellect and emotional self). As an example, if I wake up in the middle of the night, I now know to check in with each part of my Quadrinity. I ask my body how it’s doing and what it needs and then appreciate and thank it for all it does for me, and then do the same with the other three aspects. When I get in touch with my spiritual self, I ask what message it has for me. Often it is a message to stay present and grounded, and that I don’t need to figure it all out right now. Just assuring my intellect that I can think about this stuff in the morning tends to relax me enough to go back to sleep!
That is huge, right there. And the truth is, I am way less anxious and tense because at Hoffman I got rid of a lot of crap I’d been carrying around. I felt my emotions and expressed them in order to release them. This contributes in a big way to my current lightness of being and playfulness. It isn’t that we dismissed our anger or other negative emotions, it is that in the Process we paid attention to them and expressed them. We were given the safe space and effective, non-harmful ways to do so. I am convinced that is a big key to the success of the Process. At least it was for me.
I have a new attitude, born from this lightness of being and joy. I no longer give a shit about a lot of things. I don’t care as much to impress people. My (sometimes excessive) self-consciousness and shyness has faded a lot. It’s not gone entirely, but it no longer is ruling my life.
And yeah, I don’t give a shit. I no longer feel this arbitrary need to be nice and helpful to everyone. My work is going to change, I feel, because whereas I used to have this vague notion that I was supposed to do ‘important work helping people’, I no longer feel this way. I may still do some important, helpful work but it’s not going to be about proving myself or being nice or doing what I’m ‘supposed to do’. It’s going to be fun.
FUN in capital letters fun! The other day I was talking to the cashier as I was buying groceries at our natural foods store. She told me about her three jobs and how she was thinking she should cut back on at least one so she could have more time for herself. I said “good for you. Life is meant to be enjoyed” and I realized, that is my new attitude.
Life is meant to be lived and enjoyed. This is a primary message I learned from my spiritual guidance and visualizations while at Hoffman. “Live! Be alive!” is now written on my white board on the fridge. In much of my visualization work (one of the great tools of the Process), I saw myself active and having fun. Biking, hiking, camping, kayaking, cross country skiing—all things I enjoy but too rarely do. George and I tend to work too much—if not at a job, at housework and maintenance, or sitting at the computer. We have too often forgotten to play.
So now this summer we’re (almost) daily going for bike rides, taking the kids to the beach and getting in the water ourselves, taking our dog Billy to the dog park to run and play, getting out in the canoe. We are having a blast! (And if I happen to lose a few pounds in this process of being way more active, I’ll be delighted. I have spent too much time sitting and waiting around for the fun rather than going out and embracing it myself!)
The fact is, I feel great. I’m not perfect, and I’m still not clear on everything (my spiritual self just chimed in ‘you don’t have to figure it all out right now Lisa’). And that’s okay. I am going to take each day as it comes, and I am more determined than afraid now. I am determined to make myself a good life.
How about you? How would you like to step out and into your life in a more fun and enjoyable way? What will help you to do this?
Feel free to send me an email if you want to know more about the Hoffman Process.
And please read my other two posts about my Hoffman experience:
The Hoffman Process: Pre-Process Jitters and Why I Went
The Hoffman Process: My Experience