By BJ Jensen
Love. I am moved by the love. It takes my breath away every session, every two weeks when we meet. I look at the faces of six other humans, five of whom were total strangers two months ago, and I feel a sense of connection and love that I never could have imagined, especially in the context of an ongoing pandemic, and on Zoom.
In September, I became an inaugural participant in a Hoffman Transformation Circle. The Circles are made up of six to eight participants, all Hoffman Process or Essentials grads, and which are led by a Hoffman teacher. Each Circle meets for two hours every two to three weeks for an initial six sessions. (Participants can then decide to recommit for more sets of six sessions after the initial six are complete.)
The Circles were conceived of as a space to facilitate reconnection with the Hoffman tools, explore topics like resilience, visioning, boundaries, and self-compassion. But their role in creating connection and community has been most important to me. While I undoubtedly developed a strong sense of caring and love for the other participants in my Process, that week was more about my own personal work. For me, in contrast, the core of the Transformation Circle has been connection and love.
I have always struggled to put into words my Hoffman experiences, and am somehow still always stunned by the power they carry. I was a little skeptical when, at the end of our first two-hour session, we were asked to say to each other, “I see you and I love… [x] aspect of you.”
I See You and I Love You
What could I possibly have to say to these strangers? What could they have to say to me? How could they know me at all after 90 minutes, let alone well enough to love some aspect of me. And yet. And yet.
As always with Hoffman, great wisdom underlies each practice and experience. Teachers know how to create the conditions and spaces for safety, vulnerability, and authentic opening. And so, I got out of my head and spoke from my essence and heard myself, to my own surprise, speak words of truth to each of my fellow participants about what I loved and appreciated in each of them. And then had it said to me. They named things I struggle to see and accept in myself, but which form the core of who I am.
Each week that we meet, our connection has grown. We have witnessed each other’s struggles, strength, pain, and resilience. Moreover, we continue to see the beauty of each other’s souls and are able to hold each other in love.
Words do not do it justice. But for me, that has been true of everything Hoffman. Language fails me. The experiences operate at another level and, in this case, it is a flow of interconnected love.
More information about the Hoffman Transformation Circles is available at https://www.hoffmaninstitute.org/hoffman-transformation-circle/.
BJ completed his Process in February 2020. He has recently returned to his native Canada, after about a decade of living in Brooklyn and working as a lawyer in Manhattan.