This is Not About Vitamins or Stretching, Unless It Is
By Phoebe Hearting
I have a pretty dynamic tasting menu of vitamins, and by vitamins I mean more than just oral supplements. Any uplifting experience is a vitamin. A Ted Talk, journaling, moving trash to recycling, taking a nap, making a cuppa, emailing an extra “thank you” – these are all vitamins.
Vitamins as Guided Meditations
A favorite is Hoffman’s guided meditations. For almost two years, I have been showing up for Hoffman’s Instagram Lives* twice a day, rain or shine in my mind. I set an alarm, my dog sits in my lap, and (about the time they’re over) I drop in, finally. I do get there! Because I show up, I get there – willing, desperate, curious, annoyed, grateful, and because a Hoffman teacher or teacher trainee is prompt, present, and committed. I leave better than I came, every time.
Recently, refreshing the menu are new and different voices. A bunch of Hoffman teacher candidates are leading the evening Appreciation & Gratitude guided meditations. They are creative (even musical!), they are not rushing, and they’re sharing what makes them them. This diversity in offerings is nourishment.
Behavioural Stretches Are Vitamins
Also of great benefit to my holistic health has been “behavioural stretches.” I’ll leave that extra “u” since these are defined by Hoffman UK thus: “An action that will take you out of your usual comfort zone. It can be a one-off challenge specifically to allow you to release a pattern, or the first step towards embracing an ongoing New Behaviour.”
Behavioural stretches are how one gets back on, or stays as closely as possible on, their Right Road. At the Hoffman Process, we learn the value of a Right Road and Left Road model. The Left Road is what we’re on when we’re in patterns: it’s repetitive, it’s not working, we feel stuck, and are at our worst. On the Right Road we choose authenticity: it’s novel, filled with fresh possibilities, and we’re resourced to handle life’s curveballs.
Vitamin RR (Right Road)
And, since one can always return to the Left Road anytime (kind of like that enabling old codependent “friend” who never calls you on your shit, and whose filthy couch is always available), why not try the Right Road? Seriously, what’s a behavioural stretch you’re willing to try? You know, the one your Spiritual Self keeps hinting at, and you keep responding “I don’t wanna”? You might just move the needle closer to your idea of contentment.
Like my vitamins concept, stretches are diverse and should not be confused with physical stretches (unless that is your edge, then, by all means). My stretches are: (1) asking for specific help, (2) receiving others’ love, (3) appreciating exactly how the last two (help and love) are given, and (4) slowing my ass down.
Less Hard and More Heart
My life and my mindset are different as a result of these vitamins and stretches. I am less hard and more heart, and have literally changed the spelling of my last name from Harding to Hearting as a reminder of my intention.
I’m going to keep adding and diversifying these vitamins & stretches, strange as they may seem to anyone but me. I write to encourage you to join me. You know what to do. Your vitamins & stretches are waiting for you.
*Instagram Lives are every day at 8 a.m. PT (Quadrinity Check) and 6 p.m. PT (Gratitude & Appreciation).
Phoebe Hearting is a two-timer. That is, she felt compelled to take the Hoffman Process twice, because the first time she was self-conscious & scared of the unknown. After beginning working for the Hoffman Institute about five years later, she realized she better go back and get what she came for…she took the Process again. She loves to encourage others to try again if they feel so called, and believes the best way to serve the world is to be a loving parent to oneself, first.