Recently, we asked some Process graduates to reflect on what Hoffman activities they did for their summer vacation. The following stories are wonderful reflections of a summer that included a Hoffman course or using Hoffman tools and practices, enhancing the author’s life as well as his or her whole summer experience. Enjoy!
My Summer Vacation – Destination: Me
By Heidi McCarthy
The Hoffman Process is not your typical summer vacation, but it became mine. As I dived into the pre-Process work I began to have second thoughts. Who would I find? What if I don’t like “who” I find? What if this process won’t work for me? After all, I’ve spent nearly 25 years in any therapy I could wrap my head around. I’ve embraced any healing I could get my hands onto. Why this? What could I possibly find that I hadn’t gone looking for before? “Stay open, trust this Process” became my weeklong personal mantra during this healing retreat.
My “vacation” was one cathartic adventure on top of another – a wild ride! I never knew I could feel such a wide range of emotions on any single day, let alone in any single hour. This self-excavation unearthed a “me” that had long been buried in patterns. (Who knew? I am NOT my patterns!) And, my digging revealed an internal expansiveness that filled me with love and light. (Again, who knew I could feel this much joy and serenity?!)
Although this wasn’t my usual, conventional vacation, I’m happy to report that Hoffman was the best destination vacation I’ve experienced. It became the expedition of a lifetime. And, I took home the ultimate souvenir: Me!
By Emily Scott Pottruck
When I think back to summers past, my memories are filled with play time. Included among the many memories are splashing in the water, dancing at discos (yes, discos!), creating various craft projects, playing tennis, cooking with friends at our rental beach house, and laughing… always laughing. When a Hoffman newsletter announced the Power of Play graduate refresher, my entire Quadrinity said, “Let’s go!”
I started my Process in February 2014 and have tried at every opportunity to continue doing something “Hoffman” with other Hoffman graduates. While much of Hoffman, for me, is serious work, I am reminded constantly of the joy that the Process has brought into my life. Utter joy. And love. And connection. And compassion. And understanding. And spiritual awakening.
During my week, a few of us danced at every opportunity with carefree glee. When we danced as a group during Power of Play, I was brought back to that feeling of freedom and connection. Which, in turn, reminded me of dancing with women in the Democratic Republic of Congo; women who are victims of brutal rape and torture and whom I was meeting for the first time. I wondered what I could possibly say or do when I met them. When I arrived at our meeting place in Bukavu, DRC, I could hear the African music being played around the corner. As I turned the corner, I saw hundreds of women dancing. Within a few seconds, I started dancing as well, as the rhythmic drumbeat compels one to do so. And in just as quick a time, the Congolese women and I connected at a level that I had not imagined. The power of dance…
The Power of Play refresher brought together all the brilliant aspects of Hoffman – sharing on a deeper level, learning more about oneself and others, visualizing a more positive life, and meeting loving and lovable people. It was a glorious way to spend a summer day.
How the Hoffman App Enriched My Summer
By Ari Gerzon-Kessler
I feel deep gratitude for the ways in which so many Hoffman practices enriched my summer. Even today, after a long and stressful day at work, using the app to listen to the “I Am That I Am” visualization centered me in a way that I needed desperately. Here are a few other regular practices that have helped me regularly reconnect with my spiritual self and transform my daily existence:
- I recently created a Vision Board, which contains a few dozen qualities that I want to consciously bring forth (i.e. authenticity, joy, stillness). I pulled these words from the journaling I did throughout the summer and writings I did while at Hoffman. I soak up these words with my eyes before beginning my morning meditation.
- I use the app to engage with several Hoffman practices and also have a small whiteboard in my kitchen that contains a list of various Hoffman practices that I can draw on at any moment. To name a few: hand on heart; spending time in nature; (p)recycling, bashing, dancing, stride walk, calling a fellow Hoffman grad.
- Each evening I write down a handful of things that I am grateful for in my gratitude journal
- Each month I have attended the local Hoffman grad group, which has been invigorating
- Quadrinity check-ins have become a daily practice and it has been amazing to see how doing this regularly has dramatically improved my feelings vocabulary (I now find myself using words like disheartened and elated instead of sad or happy). The check-ins frequently give me insights into what my Intellect, Body, and Emotional Self need in order to have a more balanced day that is guided by the wisdom of my Spiritual Self.
The challenges that are inherent to my job as a school principal are frequently throwing me off balance and I am constantly humbled by the gap between how I felt at Hoffman and how I feel upon returning from a day at work. However, it is all these and other great Hoffman tools that lead me back to the “me” I want to be in the world. Thanks to all these practices, reconnecting with my most authentic self is now just a matter of intention and practice.
Weird and Wonderful
By Tom Schiller
A little story to share, about life post-Process.
Last Saturday I got back on my local river to have a little fun, get some exercise, and do a little experiment.
I started kayaking 29 years ago. I know, I know – longer than some of you have been here on this planet – yeah, I am old! It was a huge passion for me, and I did it a lot. I always paddled better when I focused on being aggressive while in rapids. I have done this so much, and for so long, that it was how I existed on the water. Kayaking is instinctual for me.
This weekend was the first time I have paddled since Hoffman. Honestly I was doubting if this thing I have ingrained in me would be different in any way. After I separated myself from the group I was near and after one of the rapids, I did a quad check. A sense of pure joy and peace came over me. It was wonderful to be somewhere I had been so often before, and see it with new eyes.
But joy and peace are not aggression! As I continued down river, I noticed I remained in my new state of being. I was still paddling just as well – better in some ways – but if felt so odd, so weird! As I approached the biggest rapid on the run, named Troublemaker, I was doing my normal line, catching eddies, etc. I pulled up in the heart of the drop into a corner eddy and there was an older gentleman sitting on the shore, watching. I smiled and asked him how he was doing; he laughed and shook his head and said he was doing good. I peeled out and took the last of the drop, catching the eddy midstream of the boiling and frothing water coming off the drop. I noticed the two lady photographers were watching in amusement at this silly kayaker who was making it all look a little too easy, and was just smiling back at them.
I continued down to finish the run. I really didn’t expect that kayaking was going to change. Something that I devoted so many years of my life to, in a very specific mindset. But it has.
May you all experience life in new ways as you continue your journey.