The Week That Changed My Life…..The Hoffman Process
by Matt Hodges
28 August 2013
The Hoffman Process
In short The Hoffman Process is an 8 day retreat whereby you take yourself back to your childhood, recognising the patterns that make you who you are today and to embrace them with kindness, love and understanding.
If I had read something like that six months ago, I would have instantly dismissed it as happy clapping (Pattern #1 – Judgemental – ‘Patterns’ will become clearer later on in this article). However, if it wasn’t for my own mother doing the process I would never have experienced this life changing week. I had resisted it for so many years (Pattern #2 – Resistance) with the attitude that I already knew what I was like, I knew what my parents are like and in some ways I had accepted that. However, I had accepted it with a deep negativity, jealousy, hate and self loathing (Patterns #3, 4, 5&6). How can you be complete with these character traits? Well you can’t…….. I hit 30, life didn’t seem like it was going anywhere, my business wasn’t progressing and my relationship with my girlfriend was stagnant. It was time to pluck up the courage and do the course, and oh dear god thank the heavens I did.
Rolling up to the front door, with all my personality safety buttons firmly switched on, I entered into a crowded room of chatty people for registration. Zero eye contact and a sense of ‘you’re on your own here Matt’ washed over me (Pattern #7&8 – Insecurity, Shyness) it took less than three hours and I’m standing in front of 22 (beautiful) strangers crying my eyes out. Big, strong, confident Matt crying about how insecure he was….Who’d believe that eh? And thank god I did because the next seven days were a journey I will never, ever forget.
So how does it work?
Well without saying too much (I don’t want to spoil it for you), you may have guessed it by now that one of the most important aspects is to identify your character ‘patterns’. These are the characteristics you have adopted through ‘negative love’ from your childhood by your parents, surrogates and siblings. These patterns determine who you are when things go wrong, are awkward, stressful or just plain negative which will lead to vicious cycles that restrict our lives in so many awful ways. Below is an example of one of my own vicious cycles:
Understanding why and who you get these patterns from is the key to unlocking these vicious cycles, in turn creating freedom and a much more fulfilling life. Is it easy? No, when has something worth fighting for ever been easy? This is self development in its purest form. As long as you can identify and change for the better, and trust me if you think you are unchangeable, that life is at a dead end, there are never any opportunities for you or you think that you have it all but your gut still feels hollow, then you are absolutely ripe for The Hoffman Process!
Living and working in a results driven industry, it is hard to contemplate something where there is no finite answer, no quantifiable result, but I understand the process is a long one, it is no quick fix and needs to be nurtured exactly like human beings. I know that my friends, my loved ones, my family and my clients will all feel this in the near future.
On a Final Note
I’ve not long left the course but I am still in such a raw form. I miss my Hoffman buddies incredibly. I liken it to losing a long term partner – that’s how strong the process is! (I promise this is the last one -Pattern #9 – Abandonment). Upon reflection, I know this is because of the safety net I had in the week but who’s to say you can’t build this safety net in your ‘real’ life? I know that you can and I know that I will try my hardest to get this feeling back.
Finally being understood for who I truly am will go down as one of the most heart warming experiences I will ever encounter. It is the most powerful, beautiful present you can give to yourself and to others. If anyone wants to share their Hoffman experience with me, please feel free to contact me. I am open to you all.
*UPDATE* 6 Weeks Post Course
So has the experience left me? Do I still long to see my fellow Hoffmanites and am I left with anything worth having that still day after day changes my life?………. Well in one word no. Life is now ‘normal’ again, back to the daily grind, carrying on with everything I did pre Hoffman. However things HAVE changed. I am much more calm with day to day living, my business is booming, my relationship with my partner is the best it’s ever been and I am still feeling a huge positivity radiate through my body. It has however been fairly difficult. I often slip back into my old patterns but I do so with an amazing awareness which allows me to snap out of it pretty quickly. I finally, and genuinely feel good. So what have I done to keep this great feeling?
I recognised what was bringing me back into my old ways and I’m now actively trying to change it. I noticed that I was doing everything at light speed. I was moving and thinking quickly giving me no opportunity to live in the moment. This is EASY to change. Slow down, take in your surroundings, breath in the air and look at the colours around you, try and feel whatever it is touching your skin (wind, rain, sun). Send your hearing to all the noises that surround you and try and focus on the furthest sound. Doing this every day at certain moments gives you absolute clarity and calms the soul. Its such an effective technique that whenever I get a moment this is what you’ll see me doing……….smiling.