In December 2011, I had an adventure with 29 other excited and simultaneously nervous souls that I’d like to share with you! We spent eight days removed from the outside world, reflecting on the journey that got each of us to that day. I had wanted to experience the Process for several years after hearing about it, but it took me a while to get there. Now that I have, I’m not sure I can adequately describe the profound effect it has had on me, but I’ll try.
The Hoffman Process is a physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual evaluation of your life. By examining each of these four aspects (Hoffman calls it the “Quadrinity”) individually and then as a whole, you take a careful look at what negative patterns might be holding you back from being the person you truly are and living the life you are meant to have. The premise is that negative patterns cause us to act, react, and even build our life based on automatic compulsion rather than choice. Choice is a good place to be —- compulsion is not.
The way the Process does this is by getting us to identify the patterns that govern our behavior through somatic exercises, visualization, connection with spirit, play, and dance. We learned to find compassion and forgiveness for ourselves and for our parents’ own unique and often painful journeys. This was a true departure from our collective comfort zone – one filled with tears, laughter, hugs and an abundance of LOVE.
On my first day at the Process, I wasn’t sure if I really belonged there. I felt a bit guilty that I did not have a lot of pain to process while some of my classmates had endured so much. Some of my classmates were wildly successful beyond comprehension, and others struggled to find their way. Ultimately what brought me to the Process was my curiosity and unquenchable desire to learn about the human spirit. I wasn’t broken and was very happy with my life.
While I wasn’t broken and was happy with my life, I wanted to become aware of these negative patterns and boy, did I find them! I also did the Process for my kids because I didn’t want to be beholden to patterns that might affect my behavior toward and around them. And I certainly don’t want to pass my patterns on to them.
And as with each and every one of my classmates – my new soul sisters and brothers who were strangers one day and soon felt genuine love for one another – we emerged from that week with newfound energy, spirit, happiness and love for ourselves. People who were pale and very unhappy on the first day glowed with color in their cheeks. Those who were skeptical said “You know what? It works!” Classmates who wore mask over mask over mask to disguise the real person inside radiated with honesty, integrity and true spirit. Even hardened, wrinkled faces were softer and less lined (I promise – this might work better than Botox!).
And me? I felt so incredible, even happier and more grateful for the life that I have built with my family. I found more love in my heart and a true connection to the person that I am. At the Process I realized that I had been striving for the unattainable goal of perfection despite telling my clients and workshop participants that this was an illusory standard. I hadn’t realized how much I had been hiding from myself. I had a new awareness of my former limitations and practical new tools to deal with them.
Myself and 29 other souls set out on an unknown journey called the Hoffman Process and through it we discovered the wonders of ourselves, our dreams, our hearts and of each other! What a life-changing week it continues to be!
Karen Elizaga is a NYC-based executive coach and speaker who works with top level executives to sharpen their performance, as well as individuals looking to effect change in their lives. She is also the author of Find Your Sweet Spot: A Guide to Personal and Professional Excellence. Karen also focuses on helping women to attain happiness, health and love for themselves. For more on Karen, please go to www.forwardoptions.com.
Your heart is ready to open. You want to experience more light, love and connection than you ever thought possible, but how can you do it if you’ve spent years keeping your heart locked away and protected? We’ve all known states of flow and ease, when we feel whole, balanced and full of a loving, powerful energy. Who doesn’t wish they could feel this way all the time?
It can be tempting to shortcut the steps of personal growth by identifying with lovely things found on the surface of life, while continuing to distance from what exists inside for fear of what we’ll find. We might seek the sort of happiness that comes from money, success, status, and objects, but while this can feel fulfilling for a time, this type of surface happiness doesn’t last.
For Hoffman Process graduates, transformation is effective and long-lasting because it happens differently. On the Process path we learn that the elements that make up our troubling dark side and our loving light side are not really opposites but are, in fact, connected. Many of us have found some of our most powerful, life-affirming experiences by having endured pain and misfortune.
There comes a time in each of our lives when we are called upon to face and heal our wounded hearts and begin to embrace our successful, joyful, authentic selves. To do so, we need to become acquainted with that dark side of our personalities that we learned early in life to keep hidden. The question is, how do we engage with that early life material in a way that transforms our suffering rather than sending us further into it. We want to blossom — not wither on the vine!
Almost 50 years ago, Bob Hoffman began devising the Hoffman Process, a program of emotional and spiritual re-education to help us understand and transform our patterns of suffering. In the Process, the origins of our persistent suffering are brought to light in a safe, respectful and confidential setting, and the transformation begins on deep emotional and spiritual levels.
The Hoffman Process is so effective because right from the start participants learn to identify and experience their wise, compassionate and loving “Spiritual Self” and the all-powerful “Light.” This spiritual energy is then brought to bear on the unwanted patterns that are causing so much difficulty in our lives. The emotional hurts that were caused by a lack of unconditional love in childhood can heal only in the presence of the love that comes from deep within and beyond one’s self.
During the Process, healing occurs and is reinforced by experiencing forgiveness toward the parents of our childhood who unwittingly passed their pain onto us. There is great relief for many Process participants who, after years of feeling anger, resentment or avoidance, now find a sense of compassion and love for oneself, others, and for the parents of their childhood.
The Hoffman Process is a contemporary “hero’s journey,” a healing of the past and an empowering initiation into your new reality. As you are released from the unwanted emotions of the past, you move into a way of being that is more free, open, loving and spontaneous.
Your heart blooms and, finally, it’s possible to live from your heart and be your best self!
Excerpted from the article published in 2011, by Raz Ingrasci
©2014, Hoffman Institute Foundation
by Paula Jones
What prevents us from giving? Fear of being taken advantage of may be an underlying pattern that interrupts our desire to give. If we give our heart away, it may be broken. If we give all of our energy to others we may have nothing left for ourselves. If we give money, it may not be used efficiently, or there may not be enough left for ourselves.
Loving ourselves provides the fuel that enables us to give to others. If we care for and love ourselves, we are more centered, energetic, and connected to spirit. We are calmer, less frustrated, and we expend less energy on fruitless pursuits. The more connected we are to spirit, the more open we are to receive support and guidance, instead of feeling we are all on our own. The more abundance we recognize, the more we realize we are able to give.
The belief that we don’t have enough for ourselves can get in the way of our desire to give. We may feel that we need all of our money, time, and energy for ourselves. When I’m feeling conflicted between my desire to be a generous person and my hesitation at being vulnerable, I turn to this poem, attributed to Mother Teresa:
People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies. Succeed anyway.
If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you. Be honest and sincere anyway.
What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight. Create anyway.
If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous. Be happy anyway.
The good you do today, will often be forgotten. Do good anyway.
Give the best you have, and it will never be enough. Give your best anyway.
In the final analysis, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.
~ Mother Teresa
Giving is not about seeking anything in return. Still, most of us would like a ‘thank you’ for what we give. But when we give, we can come away with having had the experience of doing something that makes us feel fully alive and acting as the person we truly are — no matter what the response. When a gift we give has a positive and lasting impact on someone, we become not just financially invested in his or her success, we become emotionally connected. When we give to a cause, we become more connected to the world. Giving, whether locally or globally, makes our lives fuller. There is freedom in giving… and so much unexpected joy.
Six Great Ways to Give:
Give a smile to everyone you walk past for the entire day.
Pay the toll for the car behind you.
Surprise your children; take a night off from all technology and spend time with them.
Give your heart by reminding the people in your life of how much you love them.
Give a donation to a worthy cause.
Remember The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein? Read that to your family or yourself tonight.
Where to Aim Cupid’s Arrow - By Hillary Illick
If you could choose anyone in the entire world to fall in love with you, whom would you choose? Seriously. Give it your consideration.
Out of everyone on the planet, whose love would be the most fulfilling? The most life changing? Whose approval, whose affection, whose benefit of the doubt, whose championing would make the biggest difference to you?
Out of anyone - yes, anyone - on the entire planet, yours would. In fact, its your love and approval and affection, your championing, your benefit of the doubt, your healing, your blessings that you really crave.
Here’s the deal. We think we need other people to love us, especially certain other people. We assign them the role of the person whose love we think we need in order to survive. We think our life depends on getting this love. Yet the person whose love we most deeply crave is our own. We’re the one we spend every minute with. We’re the one whose voice is piped into our heads every waking second. Even asleep, its our dreams we experience. Imagine your world and your life with love coming at you 24/7, from the inside. This is entirely possible. In fact, you already know what its like.
In your Process, you experienced self-love. You felt what its like to love who you are, and your whole world felt different. You may have looked in the mirror and been able to see the shift. You beheld the radiance, the love, shining back at yourself from your very own eyes. From the state of self love, life changes. Colors appear more saturated. Food tastes more flavorful. Other people even seem different. Someone previously experienced as threatening may seem, from the state of self-love, more vulnerable, or in pain. Our capacity for compassion deepens. Our stress level lowers. Even traffic jams can seem less annoying.
You know how to attain this state. You do this by remembering who you really are - you are your spiritual self - and by remembering who you are not. You are not your patterns. Self-love - establishing a healthy, loving relationship with your self - is a requirement for experiencing healthy love and intimacy with another. What does on inside of you sets the tone for how you experience everyone and everything else.
Remember to give yourself the gift you so deeply crave - the gift of your own love. Take yourself on a date, or an adventure, something you’ve been hankering to do - whether or not someone else is available to do it with you; your company is enough. You are enough. Read the note you mailed yourself from the Process. Text yourself a reminder saying, “I am not my patterns.” Look into those eyes of yours and see your spiritual self shining back. Hug your body. Tell yourself what you really need to hear, in words only you can say.
What Do You Want to Do with Your Life? - By Paula Jones
What is your passion? What can you do in 2014 to further your purpose? Finding the answers may not be as difficult as you think, and the new year is a very appropriate time to focus on what you are passionate about, because your passion is your purpose.
If you are someone who has always known what you want to do with your life and have found a way to do so while earning a great living — complete with health insurance and retirement benefits — that is wonderful. However, the rest of us have been tripped up by either not knowing what we want to do with our lives in the first place; or, if we do know, not knowing how to pursue our passion while tending to the rest of our real-world responsibilities, such as families, jobs, health, and community. Perhaps it involves being afraid to take the risk to step into our purpose.
There are some useful ways to get in touch with what you are really passionate about:
- Ask yourself, what would you do with a month off, assuming you had all the money you need, all the time you need, no judgement or criticism from anyone else, and freedom from all responsibility?
- Another helpful question to ask yourself is, what sections to you automatically go to when you walk into a bookstore? Are you drawn to travel, cooking, or finance sections?
- Take a look at activities or interests that you have always had. Perhaps you have been writing in a journal, playing in a regular basketball game, volunteering for a particular cause, or serving a role in your community.
- What has someone else accomplished for which you are envious? Envy can be a very valuable emotion, since it shows you what you want. Rather than react to envy by trying to tear down or discount the person toward whom you feel envy, use it to identify what goal you want to attain, and then set about to attain it.
- If you had 10 minutes to get up on your soapbox and speak to the world, what would you want to talk about? Maybe you would like to recite poetry to bring the beauty of words to others, talk about a political issue to increase others’ awareness, or share with other parents how you handled a difficult phase with one of your children.
Once you have a list of answers, dig below the surface to interpret them. For instance, even though you would love to spend a month off traveling, and you regularly head to the travel section of your bookstore, this should not necessarily be interpreted literally to mean that you are meant to make a living as a travel writer. More often than not, your answers point to broader foundational concepts.
What is it about travel that you love? Perhaps you love meeting new people, experiencing different cultures, seeing new places, and trying new things. It could be that seeking — the opportunity to constantly experience new things — is part of your purpose. If you love to share your experiences with others, teaching others may be part of your purpose. Perhaps the part you love most about travel is connecting with people who are very different from yourself, or bringing people from different backgrounds together. These elements are part of your purpose, as well. List these broader concepts in order to get a more universal view of your purpose.
A major stumbling block to living your purpose is the belief that it must become your career. You might want to turn your passion into a paying job, but you do not have to in order to legitimize your purpose. If you want to be a writer, then writing and you are a writer. If your passion is to make music, then make music. If your purpose is to teach children, then volunteer to teach children. You do not have to quit your day job in order to pursue your passion right now.
THat being say, if you would like to pursue your passion as your career, often the most difficult logistical hurdle is how to make the switch from “day job” to “dream job”. Fortunately, it is not necessary to solve this problem in order to realize your goal. Instead, identify one small step you can take — right now — to expand the amount of space your passion takes up in your everyday life. Then, see what happens. The universe has a way of opening up and showing you the next step once you take the first step. The passionate traveler may put together an itinerary focused on cultural exchanges and form a small group to take a trip. If your passion is politics, volunteering for an advocacy group is a quick way to be involved without quitting your day job. If you are interested in starting a business, joining a trade association can put you in touch with others who can lend support, networking, and brainstorming opportunities.
One of the biggest pitfalls is convincing ourselves that we do not have the right education, experience, money, time, or the right contacts. Your passion is there for a reason; it is your Spirit’s way of showing you your path to happiness. Just ask yourself, “What would I do if I absolutely could not fail?”
Every person leaves a legacy.
Through the Hoffman Process, your legacy is transformed.
Thanks entirely to those who came before us, the Hoffman Process was available when you were ready. Sharing Light, wisdom and love has kept this miracle alive for nearly 50 years.
We invite you to ensure this same opportunity is available in the future.
Hoffman is poised to double the number of people we now serve. Please ensure the Legacy of the Hoffman Process at this important time.
With Light and Love,
Liza Ingrasci, CEO
Meet Hoffman graduates-turned-donors who are making a difference for generations to come, and learn what giving to Hoffman means to them. Through their eyes, explore the various effects of investing in Hoffman.
REBLOG this video and let us know what Hoffman means to YOU!
Connecting with Spirit and Self - by Paula Jones
Holidays can be a very happy and connective time for many of us, but we can also experience holiday stress. Fact: stress exacerbates our patterns — our own and the patterns of people around us. While we may be able to keep our patterns in check during the rest of the year, the holidays can hold up a mirror showing us what we really don’t like about ourselves. Common patterns that may come up around the holidays are fear of rejection in social situations, fear of abandonment, overcompensating with gifts in exchange for love, needing to impress everyone around you, loneliness, or even just showing up late for gatherings.
Connecting with Spirit is an excellent way to re-center yourself when these patterns arise. Staying grounded, deep breaths, lots of compassion, showing vulnerability, and even reaching out to a Hoffman buddy can help. The whole team at Hoffman is available to help you too. After all, we are ALL human!!! We have a great teleclass coming up later in December — just in time for the holidays — as well as on-the-phone coaching readily available, and our entire Facebook community to give you added support.
I find that if I let the sounds of "The Hoffman Connection" radio show waft over me while I’m driving in the car, cooking, or paying bills, something I need to hear will jump out at me and bring me clarity and understanding. Recently I took the teleclass “Communicating with your Guide”, which helped me identify the beliefs that were blocking my connection with that place of all-knowing inside of me. Restoring connection with Spirit is a resources that we can reach for in the midst of triggered patterns and difficult feelings that the holidays may bring.
Other ways to connect with Spirit, self-love, and other Hoffman Graduates are through the local graduate groups that meet in many areas. Some graduate groups choose to connect on email lists, group conferences, or Skype. Many graduates of a 2003 Process class are planning to attend a Q2 together as a 10-year anniversary celebration. Some graduates plan their own gatherings, which include a session from a Hoffman teacher. Every November, my Hoffman class — who completed the Process in November 2007 in Massachusetts — has a one-day session led by Hoffman teacher Hilary Illick, where we delve back into bashing our Dark Side, visioning, elevators, uncovering our vicious cycles, and any other tools that can bring us back to center. I encourage you to get your gaggle of geese together and do the same wherever you are!
I am someone who has made a habit of running off for some kind of workshop, personal growth seminar, meditation weekend, or just a personal retreat with my journal towards the end of each year. I was born the day before Thanksgiving, so starting a new birthday year and ending the calendar year during a spiritual season focused on gratitude, birth, and light seems like an appropriate time for reflecting on the path ahead. That path may include everything from getting in touch with your anger to saving a certain amount of money to cleaning out the hall closet. I find that at leas one good epiphany comes out of each workshop or retreat that I attend. It is the kind of epiphany that feels like a very subtle but definite shift deep inside me — the kind that makes for deep and lasting change.
The personal connections we have made with other Hoffman graduates can be a very grounding and supportive boost for all of us, as well. There is an automatic openness among this group of people who have experienced deep personal work and are coming together again to continue that process. There is tremendous acceptance in that environment, as well. In whatever way you are spending the holiday season, you can feel confident knowing you are NOT alone. You have your Spirit ever-ready to guide you, and a Hoffman family who is on call to help. Rely on the support, encouragement, and wisdom of your fellow Hoffman graduates. Remember: you are loved, loving, and lovable. Here’s to gratitude!
Creating Your Vision and Designing the Life You Want - By Ed McClune
Everything that has ever been created began as an image in someone’s mind. Look around a room — or a garden, or at a career — everything that’s there was imagined first. Creating the life you want is no different — it starts with having a vision, which is essentially your Spiritual self being allowed to explore your deepest desires without constraints.
For many of us, the patterns we learned in childhood have us focusing our energy on supplying others with what they want, rather than looking inside for what we deeply long for. But that can change! Creating a vision involves exercising a muscle that have been used often enough, but before long if can grow and lead you to where you truly want to be.
If you’re not sure where to start, a simple practice is stopping to ask yourself basic questions around small decisions, and then listening for the answers. This will add bulk to your visioning muscle. For example, when considering what to order from a menu, you can trust that you’ll order what’s right for you without considering the price, calories, or what other people are ordering. It’s about asking yourself, “What does all of my Quadrinity want?” then actively honoring the answers that come to you. This can lessen your inner conflict and help you trust yourself to make more life-fulfilling choices.
The Hoffman Process empowers people to become their open, loving, spontaneous, and inherent selves. This happens because Hoffman catalyzes a moment of great personal evolution – an inflection point – in people’s lives, so they can remove their inner barriers to love.
Today, the Hoffman Institute is at an evolutionary inflection point of it’s own. Please accept our heartfelt invitation to INVEST WITH US at this critical juncture.
Join our wonderful Hoffman Process Graduates who are making a difference: http://bit.ly/18TpEZj
Visioning With Dale DeNunzio
Close your eyes, and take a long, deep breath. Be aware of your breathing, coming in and going out…
So begins the Visioning practice. The purpose of keeping up a practice of visioning is to bypass our intellect and to connect with our Spirit in order to live in greater alignment with it. Put simply, visioning helps us to know what we really want in our lives. Albert Einstein, known primarily as a great intellect, said, “I never came upon any of my discoveries through the process of rational thinking.”
I’d like to give you a refresher course on visioning. Begin by closing your eyes and envision how you want things to be or to turn out. You do not have to envision every area of your life at once either — picking one area of your life works well too.
For example, let’s assume you are focusing on the type of home you want to live in. Now that you’ve decided on an area for your vision, how do you go about forming that vision? One common obstacle in forming a vision is by focusing on the physical details of the vision, rather than focus on on how you feel in the vision. For instance, you may picture the large size of the rooms in the house. Instead, feel the emotions in your vision. Be at your destination and tap into the emotional sense of being there. Feel how you would want to feel in that house. Through your emotional perspective, your vision of your house becomes your feeling of spaciousness when you are there. It can help to imagine as many of the five senses as possible along with your vision, too. Some find that imagining a scent, or a taste that would be associated with their vision helps anchor their emotions.
It can also be difficult for some to come up with any vision at all, if you really don’t know what you want. I have found that envisioning yourself as having clarity can help. This can help break through the indecision.
The next step is to write out your vision. Describe what you saw in your vision and again, try to avoid the intellectual details. Also, be sure to write as if the vision is happening right now. Instead of writing out, “I want a house that has seven large rooms,” focus on how you are feeling in that house right now, then your vision changes to, “I’m enjoying the feeling of spaciousness of my home.”
During the visioning process, your intellect may have a few limiting things to say. Observe and note the patterns that emerge. For instance, when envisioning the feeling of your spacious home, your intellect may say, “Yeah, but, I can’t afford that.” The remedy of observing the pattern is to bring yourself back to center and back to your vision.
Visioning is a practice. Remember, the practice part is reading the vision over again every day and adjusting it accordingly. When reading it over, bring your vision to live as much as possible. You should be trying on your vision as if you are trying on new clothes. You will know if there is something about it that doesn’t feel right. Then, adjust accordingly!