By Shawn McAndrew
Community – it is what connects us, keeps us present, and helps us to remember that we are spiritual beings having a human experience.
Community is part of being a Hoffman graduate; it helps us stay connected to our tools and practices, as well as other Process graduates. All of these are important aspects of staying connected to our own Process experience and continued awareness and growth.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years it’s that I cannot do this “being human” thing by myself. Although I’m comfortable doing a lot of things on my own, I know that being in a group setting and joining forces helps me combat whatever is keeping me from having a more satisfied, light- and love-filled life.
The Hoffman Institute offers many opportunities for each of us to join a group setting, whether it’s through a graduate group, graduate courses, or our social media presence.
Here are some thoughts from a few of our graduate support team members on “Community.”
Marissa Ingrasci, Hoffman teacher candidate and graduate group leader in the Los Angeles area
Being in a Hoffman graduate community means having a shared experience – whether or not anyone was in another person’s Process, everyone at that grad group has done it, so there’s an instant understanding or shared bond.
Graduates gain perspective from others’ post-Process experiences. They are able to create a deeper understanding of the tools, how to use them, and how to make them their own and work for them. There are different levels of understanding what one does, and the more someone uses the tools in a group environment and sees what works for them, the better they’ll understand them and know how to use them in the future. There’s something that clicks over time with any tool or practice.
Attending a grad group gives you the opportunity to hear concepts in a different way – many people share with me that hearing something described differently than they originally heard it has helped them have a firmer grasp and understanding of how to use their tools.
A group setting offers the opportunity to be witnessed by another person and, in turn, witness others. Graduates are also able to work on what’s currently going on in their lives and to be seen for their efforts and accomplishments.
Ed McClune, Hoffman teacher and graduate facilitator supervisor for the Midwest and East Coast
Community is like a garden, a rich place for growth that can then extend out into the world. It’s from communities that the larger world is touched.
Tami Tack, Hoffman graduate group leader, and member and leader of various community groups in Portland, Oregon
I believe all primates are designed for community – we are not solitary beings by nature. We feel more ourselves when we are connected to others.
A community can be accidental and temporary, intentional and long lasting, and everything in between. But to be a community, you must share something in common. In every group to which I belong, we connect deeply, and I always feel that my world has expanded as a result.
We need community to remind us who we are when we have lost our way, but also to share our joy when we celebrate. Community is a place where we can get support and offer comfort. It is where we can be challenged when we become complacent, as well as show us where we need to grow. Communities inspire us to be our better selves.
Heidi McCarthy, Hoffman’s graduate resource manager
What comes to mind for me is building community from this new place of awareness, the post-Process place. For me, I can pause and make choices that keep me moving forward rather than feeling stuck. Staying connected holds me accountable to my own Process.
It also means keeping boundaries and honoring myself. I can extend out into my community when I keep myself whole. Supplying Light to all aspects of my Quadrinity (better food choices, sleeping well, taking time for me, nourishing my creativity – all Right Road stuff) just spills over in a positive way to my community.
Building a Community Through Your Process Experience
The Hoffman Institute has been helping graduates build community for decades. Through the Process, Light Circles, graduate courses, community events, and graduate groups, you have many opportunities to continue your connection to who you uncovered and discovered during your Process. You are never alone in continuing your growth and connection.
To explore more opportunities and find out if there is a graduate group in your area, please visit our Graduate page (https://www.hoffmaninstitute.org/for-grads/) and our Graduate Community & Groups page (https://www.hoffmaninstitute.org/hoffman-community/). Happy communing!