By Marcie Beigel
A month ago, I stepped into The Guest House, ready to dive into the Hoffman Process. I had done many personal development retreats and had spent my entire adult life honing my skills as a behaviorist. While I was optimistic that something new would come from this experience, there was a voice in the back of my head that wondered if that was even possible.
I had been feeling rather lost for a while. Feeling like I knew it all was part of my intellect’s way of keeping me in confusion and allowing my ego to drive. It was working so well, I didn’t even notice how egotistical of a concept I was entertaining.
On the first day of the Process, the teachers explained that each of us were to stay in our own Process. If other students had questions, we were to direct them back to the teachers and not attempt to answer ourselves. If something happened in class that we had a different opinion about, we were to keep an open mind and speak with a teacher about it. What I recall most is the invitation to be curious, rather than judgmental.
I recall feeling relieved hearing these directions. My thought was that I am often helping others and it would be such a nice break to not ‘have to’ do this. When they explained that we were not to talk about our careers, another deep wave of relief passed over me.
Often, when I share that I am a behaviorist and work with families by going into their homes to provide real-time support, there are follow-up questions that put me in work mode. It feeds my intellect, and I was starting to see that was not the best way to navigate my life. Having a way to stay out of work mode sounded delightful and terrifying.
My Personal Experience
Then the Process opened my eyes. Over the following days I saw how often I think I am right and know better. I would sit critiquing the information shared, rather than reflecting upon it. I judged the details provided or excluded and determine that I would do it better. I saw how often I wanted to use therapeutic experience to connect, rather than authentic, vulnerable conversation. I watched as pattern after pattern after pattern arose, showing me that my Dr. Marcie patterns ran my life, much more often than my authentic self.
Throughout the Process I noticed my patterns, bashed my patterns, found compassion for myself, and then determined the new behavior for my life. Using the tools allowed me to stay aware. It was not a one-and-done experience for me. I stayed aware of the strength of these patterns and each time they came up, I made a choice.
Usually I chose to go down the right road, aligning with my higher self and finding curiosity and authenticity. There were also times when I caught myself in the middle of an interaction with my old patterns and could not figure out how to change course. In those moments, I did my best to find compassion and later reflected and recycled.
In many moments I was scared, thinking, “Who would I be if not the expert?” In those same moments, I was excited to think, “Who would I be if not the expert?” There is a freedom in seeing my patterns and exploring the answer.
I thought I was very good at stepping out of work. What I learned is that many of the patterns that led to my professional success were hindering my personal life. Yes, at times I am a behavior expert and I get to consciously use my knowledge to help families and educators. At other times, I am making different decisions about how I interact and engage with others.
Since being home, I see the shift in my relationships. I am not correcting friends; I am openly listening to stories and sharing mine. It feels more connected and reaches a new depth. There is no longer an ongoing evaluation running in the back of my head, which I did not even know was running. Energy I did not know I was expending, and I am gratefully reclaiming. I am excited to see how my life changes with this new awareness, openness, and energy level!
For over 20 years, Marcie has helped families and schools change challenging behaviors. Her work includes the preschooler who won’t sit still, the tween who is defiant and disrespectful, and the teen who has ODD and/or ADHD. Realistic, action-based tools are her specialty, which results in happier families and more positive classroom environments.
After 15 years of transforming thousands of classrooms and families, she began helping businesses expand their reach, increase their profit margin, and create healthier working environments through behavior change. From entrepreneurs who are just starting out, to multi-million-dollar corporations, she provides realistic behavioral change strategies that enhance company culture, build stronger client relationships, and improve internal protocols.
Over her career, she has published two best-selling books, been interviewed on national television, and provided keynotes around the world. From individualized consultations to group facilitation to organizational-wide training, her work supports you to build the life and family and career you love. Learn more at DrMarcie.com.
Gabriela Fried Amilivia
10/07/19 at 9:17 AM
Marcie- Thank you for your post, I really enjoyed it and found it very compelling, as I think and write about my own process and ways in which I find the Hoffman Process unique and helpful. I am a recent graduate (July 2018) – but also a life-long learner of psycho-therapy, particularly on issues of memory and trauma – and I also just did the couple retreat – I really resonated with your post! It is wonderful to find your comments so close to what I might have written – and to convey the marvel of finding the curiosity and excitement of challenging oneself to “un-veil” your authentic you even as you grow professionally.
I am excited for your path (and mine!)