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By Shawn McAndrew

courage journeyAbove all else, working at the Hoffman Institute means that we get to see courage. From the moment someone hears about the Hoffman Process, the journey to a better life is launched.

I initially heard about the Process from someone I had just met. When she strongly suggested I could benefit from the Process, I wondered why I had never heard of it before. I had been on a long journey of trying to piece together the whys and wherefores of my pain and patterns (though at the time I didn’t know I had patterns). No bells went off nor did an “aha” moment occur when I heard about Hoffman, but I was willing to look into this method and see if it could help me get out of my anger.

The Beginning

That was the beginning of my courage journey. Sure, I’d had moments and stretches of courage before, but none of them went as deep or opened me up as much as preparing for the Process did. Just to walk into that classroom on the first day took a lot of slogging through pain while unearthing the reasons I was so angry and hurt.

I recently went to a concert where, between songs, the artist shared stories that illustrated her courage journey. I was struck by how much we carry on our minds and shoulders as a result of our childhoods, and how, when we open to courage, we can and do rise above the adversity. This is what we see at Hoffman every day – people rising above; people who are willing to face their demons and heal the past. This brings us into a better future, a better life, a better Us.

What Keeps You Going

If you think back to your first step of preparing for the Process, then walking into the classroom, and working through all the pain and patterns, what kept you going? What made you stick it out until you could get to that final Friday, and feel the exuberant love and light in the room? What gave you the courage to keep pushing through?

For me, I wanted to know what it felt like to let go of that anger, to understand what love is, to know who I am at the very core of me. I wanted to stop letting my parents’ patterns rule me. I wanted to be me, my true essence. I’m reminded of this each time I run into a roadblock. Whatever knocks me off my course is a reminder of who I am not. Whatever allows me to be love, loving, and lovable is who I am.

In the Hoffman office, we celebrate courage. Each time someone enrolls in the Process, we ring a bell. It is our way of acknowledging that someone has found the courage to step into the next phase of their life’s journey, to show up and be their true self, to start healing. Each person is held in love and light until they are able to hold themselves in love and light. We celebrate paths of courage. It is the first step to finding our selves.

  • Annie Spong


    05/13/19 at 6:56 AM

    Beautiful and so correct… courageous we are and together we help each other down the path and through the woods… grateful doesn’t really cover it.
    I am grateful. I am courageous!

  • Freddie2 Camozzi


    04/26/19 at 11:46 AM

    So simple, yet powerful. I love “Whatever knocks me off my course is a reminder of who I am not. Whatever allows me to be love, loving, and lovable is who I am.” I printed it out and pinned it to my office wall! Thanks, Shawn! xoxo

  • Julie


    04/26/19 at 11:45 AM

    This is a beautiful, powerful piece about courage. Thank you. I appreciate you sharing your story and the way you write of these things with such clarity and graciousness.
    Love, Julie

  • Shawn


    04/26/19 at 7:24 AM

    I wish there was a “Like” icon on this site! I love all of your comments and reflections. We’re stronger together.

  • Sharon Henderson


    04/25/19 at 4:46 AM

    Thank you Shawn for your story. I love that a bell is rung for each new registrant! So fun. I also remember how nervous I was, in a good way. I was totally ready to face my fear of the unknown head-on!! I had a life changing experience thanks to all of the supportive, caring and selfless facilitators. Always take the Right Road!!

  • Mimi Mather


    04/24/19 at 9:30 AM

    Great reminder of what the journey is all about and the power of finding the sweet spot… Love this: “I wanted to be me, my true essence. I’m reminded of this each time I run into a roadblock. Whatever knocks me off my course is a reminder of who I am not. Whatever allows me to be love, loving, and lovable is who I am.”

  • Jenna Tontz


    04/23/19 at 4:51 PM

    I was terrified walking into the classroom on the first day. I could barely muster my introduction to the rest of the class. What kept me going was trust. I kept looking at the poster that said I couldn’t fail the Process and also trusting Raz who gave me the honest words I needed to hear to keep going. Someday I hope to tell my story of the Process and what it gave to me the day I got home, it was truly life changing.

    • Shawn


      04/24/19 at 9:25 AM

      Thanks, Jenna. I do hope you tell your story. We all learn from others’ experiences!

    • Julie


      04/26/19 at 11:41 AM

      Hi, Jenna,
      I’d love to hear your story of the Process and going home. Will you share with us?

  • Robin


    04/22/19 at 8:35 PM

    Love that a bell is rung for each new courageous person!
    Thank you for reminding me I’m on a path of courage and held in Love and Light!

  • Janet Mason


    04/22/19 at 7:38 AM

    Awesome reminder of this powerful journey thanks so much.

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