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Junior (Elbert) Smith Hoffman PodcastAttorney, Junior (Elbert) Smith, generously shares his journey to, and at, the Hoffman Process. In doing so, he gives us a view into how patterns and trauma affect how we see ourselves and how we journey through the world.

Content Warning:
This episode contains graphic descriptions of trauma. Please use your discretion.

Junior shares his life story beginning with his parents’ journey to a better life taking them from Mississippi to Compton, California. With great fondness, he shares his memories of those early years growing up in Compton. These times were filled with connectedness, community, and joy. In the ’70s, though, things changed in his hometown. There was more discord and violence in his community and he began to take in that trauma. He responded by going more into his schoolwork and joining the ROTC, eventually, years later, graduating from law school.

Through the process of sharing his stories, Junior weaves his way to coming to Hoffman. He then takes us to the heart of his time at the Hoffman Process when, in a profound moment, “Spirit was able to enter into him.”  After doing deep, hard work to release the patterns and trauma, he found joy and radiant light. And, as he says, he felt love, real love, for the first time. Junior articulates this profoundly intimate moment of opening to his Spiritual Self in such a way that you can feel the depth of his transformation. 

We hope you enjoy this beautiful conversation with Junior and Drew.

Discover more about Junior (Elbert) Smith:

Elbert Smith, better known as Junior, was born and raised in Hub City, Compton, California.  Junior cultivated grit, resilience, and the dream of a better life while growing up in Compton. His lifelong spiritual journey inward led him to the Hoffman Process, where he was able to heal his intergenerational trauma and reclaim his life and joy. 

Junior is a licensed attorney and serves as a senior advisor for a technology company in Southern California. He enjoys caring for his three cats (POTUS 44, Kenya, and Pelusa), reading poetry, learning to play the electric guitar, and his newfound appreciation for nature. 

Follow Junior on Instagram.

As mentioned in this episode:

The South, Mississippi, in the 1950’s
Jim Crow
Ku Klux Klan

Compton, California, aka Hub City:
Compton is known as the “Hub City” because of its position as almost the exact geographical center of Los Angeles County.
Changes in Compton during the ’70s

The brown paper bag test

White Supremacy

A Near-Life Experience:
“We’ve all heard of near-death experiences, but what is a near-life experience? I would define it as a life characterized by distraction, disconnection, and dissatisfaction. It’s a life that doesn’t feel fully lived; a life that we are not completely engaged in and present with; a life that leaves us feeling that something is missing, despite how relentlessly busy we are.” Chris Kresser. Read more… 

JROTC – Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps
“JROTC offers valuable lessons in leadership, character-building, and citizenship.” read more…

Tony Robbins

Funnel Cake

Vania, Coach, and Jeremiah, Therapist

The murder of George Floyd

Ron Settles

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Janelle Martin, Marriage & Family TherapistMALMFT| EMDR
EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing)

Philando Castile

Modern Elder Academy (MEA)
Listen to Chip Conley on the Hoffman Podcast
Transitional Intelligence (TQ) – Workshop by MEA on YouTube:

Esalen Institute

Center for Mindful Self-Compassion
Listen to Kristin Neff on the Hoffman Podcast

John Coltrane: “American jazz saxophonist, bandleader, and composer. He is among the most influential and acclaimed figures in the history of jazz and 20th-century music.”

More about the Hoffman Process as mentioned in this episode:

2-Day Hoffman Essentials

Faculty (mentioned by Junior):
Danny Kim
Barbara Comstock, Listen to Barbara’s story on the Hoffman Podcast
Dorothy Holden
Ian Salvage, Listen to Ian’s story on the Hoffman Podcast
Regina Louise, Listen to Regina’s story on the Hoffman Podcast
Dominique Samari, Teacher Candidate
Kevin Eyres, Listen to Kevin’s story on the Hoffman Podcast
Nita Gage, Listen to Nita’s story on the Hoffman Podcast

Liza Ingrasci, Hoffman Institute CEO

The Cycle of Transformation:
The cycle consists of four steps (see below). Each step is completed in the order of the cycle. Moving through the cycle transforms the pattern from a negative way of being to a new, positive way of being.

Cycle of Transformation

Process Graduate Groups

Hoffman Process Small Group:
When you attend the Hoffman Process, you will be part of a small group for the week, within the larger group attending your Process. A Process teacher leads each small group and is the teacher for each person in that small group.

Cathartic Release Work (Bashing)

Daily Instagram Check-ins:
•   Join us on Instagram for a daily Quadrinity Check at 8:00 a.m. PT and an Appreciation & Gratitude practice at 6:00 p.m. PT.

Bob Hoffman, Founder of the Hoffman Process

Hoffman Teacher Training Program