Page 1

FREE COPY

ISSUE 7 • 2019


the art of being

State-of-the-art Wellbeing Centre dedicated to transformational work and the art of being Retreat Venue | Classes, Therapies, Wellbeing Days | Corporate Wellbeing Conscious Events | Wellbeing Getaways | Residential Accommodation (75 beds)

avalonwellbeing.com

avalon@broughtonhall.co.uk

@ avalonwellbeing

Bro u ghton Hall Estate, S ki pto n, Yo r ks hi re BD 2 3 3AN 01 75 6 692 5 1 1


B

ob Hoffman was fond of saying that the Hoffman Process was for anyone who ever had a mother or a father. His message of inclusivity really struck me this year, as we’ve reached a wider demographic than ever before. Students, retirees, entrepreneurs, foresters, doctors, designers, lawyers, teachers and even an artisan cheese-maker. All were children once. Many of them are mothers or fathers now. In 2019 we are adding a wonderful new venue in the north of England, Broughton Hall, owned by Hoffman graduate Roger Tempest, and we’ve scheduled extra Processes at Florence House in Sussex. As well as our retreats and parenting workshops, we are also planning a series of podcasts and bespoke workshops for the educational and corporate environments. 2019 is the year when we come to you! At Hoffman, we change lives, and that’s something I’m very proud of. Last year, generous donations to our affiliate charity, Earth Community Trust enabled many more people to do the Process. With your support we would like to help even more people this coming year.

New Hoffman Process venue, Broughton Hall

Hoffman International www.hoffman-international.com

I’m eternally grateful to our team who work tirelessly behind the scenes, in the office and on the Process. And to our graduates for keeping the Hoffman community strong. A special thank you to all those who have contributed to this year’s magazine and to the amazing staff who have made this wonderful seventh issue the best yet. I’m sure you’ll find something here to engage and inspire you and I look forward to connecting with you during 2019. With love from Serena

Serena Gordon Hoffman UK Co-founder and Managing Director

Hoffman International www.hoffman-international.com Hoffman International supports more than 100,000 Hoffman graduates in 16 countries worldwide.

Editor in Chief: Serena Gordon serena@hoffmaninstitute.co.uk

Design by Minka Design www.minka.co.uk

Production Editor: Debbie Kennedy debbie@hoffmaninstitute.co.uk

Cover image: L’Ouverture by Ramona Galardi Reproduced with kind permission of the artist. www.ramonagalardi.com

Editorial team: Nikki Wyatt, Zoe Flint, Lucy Dancer

Enquires: For all enquiries, please call +44(0)1903 88 99 90 or email: info@hoffmaninstitute.co.uk Hoffman UK: Quay House, River Road, Arundel, West Sussex, BN18 9DF www.hoffmaninstitute.co.uk © Hoffman Institute UK, 2019. All rights reserved.

w ww.hof fmaninstitute.co.uk | 1


p24 p8

p4

p14

p30

CONTENTS Contact us

p4 I recommend it to everyone

p14 I gave myself the best gift

Visit: www.hoffmaninstitute.co.uk Email: info@hoffmaninstitute.co.uk Phone: +44(0)1903 88 99 90

 inging sensation Katy Perry talks about why S the Hoffman Process helped her find her ‘ultimate self’ as an artist in the public gaze.

Shamlan Al Bahar of The Proteges Organisation in Kuwait explains why its founders, mentors and alumni are all recommending the Hoffman Process.

p6 Confidence, gratitude and joy Writer Elaine Kingett tells how she pulled her life back from tragedy and crafted a new plot for her family and career.

p8 The beginning of resilience An interview with Hoffman graduate Dr Gabor Maté, one of the world’s leading authorities in the fields of trauma and addiction recovery

p11 Serious about change? Are you holding yourself back from being the best you can be? Our handy selfassessment checklist could help you decide.

p12 What people say The Process changes people’s lives - but don’t just take our word for it. Read what past participants are saying about Hoffman.

2 | Hof fman Institute UK: +44 (0)1903 88 99 90

p16 Dare to share Children’s author Jo Yaldren reveals her determination to keep joy in her life, following a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease.

p19 Expanding creativity Sculptor Laura Lian unveils the statue that’s touring the world to ‘Give peace a chance’.

p20 Life won’t ever be the same again Coach, writer and public speaker Ben Bidwell (aka @TheNakedProfessor) reflects on the growth, connection and learning he gained from his week on the Hoffman Process.

p23 Mind-Body balance Wellness and nutrition expert Jasmine Hemsley shares a nourishing tarka dal recipe from her bestselling cookbook East By West.


p23 p42

p34

p24 Help Me! Award-winning journalist and author Marianne Power talks self-help, mindfulness and balance on the launch of her latest book, Help Me.

p26 The Hoffman journey Thinking of unpacking some emotional baggage at the Hoffman Process? Here’s some pre-travel info to help you on your way.

p28 This can happen If we each work on ourselves, we’ll all work better. Hoffman MD Serena Gordon explains why mental wellbeing in the workplace is a focus for Hoffman in 2019.

p50

p40

p34 I finally found what I’m looking for Pilot Bruce Crawford on re-plotting his course and finding new ways to move forward.

p37 My Mum did the Hoffman Process ‘I was worried she might come back different...’ Sam Wood (15) talks about his experience of having a parent do the Process.

p38 Strategic survival The emotional legacy of boarding school explored, with Hoffman enrolment supervisor Zoe Flint.

p30 Peace and presence

p40 A leap of faith

‘I knew whatever he’d unlocked, I wanted some of that’. Sarah Powers, co-founder of the Insight Yoga Institute, shares the impact of the Process on herself and her husband, Ty.

Dutch entrepreneur Steef Versprille describes the impact of the Process on his family and career, now he’s ‘coming from a place of love instead of rage’.

p33 Personal growth: five top tips

p42 Creating sanctuary

Choosing love over fear and more, with Woman Fest founder Tiana Jacout.

Our cover artist Ramona Galardi on seredipity, sanctuary and the path to self-discovery.

p44 Seven days to change a lifetime  n extract from Dylan Jones’ article in GQ A magazine, revealing why ‘the Hoffman Process is one of those once-in-a-lifetime experiences that will leave you changed forever’.

p46 The Hoffman bookshelf I nspiring reads from the Hoffman shelf, by Wilfred Emmanuel-Jones, Erica Garza, Rachel Kelly, Hayden Eastwood, Elizabeth Shassere and Tim Laurence.

p48 A full-time participant in our world  ampaigning ecocide lawyer Polly Higgins C explores the fundamental connection between our inner worlds and the one we all share, and explains why her conduit charity ECT is supporting the Hoffman Scholarship Fund.

p50 A safe haven Roger Tempest of Broughton Hall writes about transformational change and sharing his vision on the launch of holistic wellness centre, Avalon.

w ww.hof fmaninstitute.co.uk | 3


4 | Hof fman Institute UK: +44 (0)1903 88 99 90


I recommend it to

talks Hoffman in Vogue American singer, songwriter and television personality Katy Perry is a household name. Her records have sold more than 100 million copies worldwide, she’s the number-one most followed person on Twitter, and she’s a judge on the hit US TV show American Idol. Katy’s also a Hoffman graduate, having done the Process in her home state of California in 2018.

F

or years, my friends would go and come back completely rejuvenated, and I wanted to go, too. I was ready to let go of anything that was holding me back from being my ultimate self. I have had bouts of situational depression and my heart was broken last year because, unknowingly, I put so much validity in the reaction of the public, and the public didn’t react in the way I had expected to … which broke my heart. I believe that, essentially and metaphorically, we are all computers, and sometimes we adopt these viruses via our parents or via the nurture that we are given or not given growing up. They start to play out in our behaviour, in our adult patterns, in our relationships.

I recommend it to everyone, my good friends and other artists who are looking for a breakthrough. There are a lot of people who are self-medicating through validation in audiences, through substances, through continually running away from their realities – denial, withdrawal. I did that for a long, long time too. I was with someone recently who asked: ‘Well, don’t you think that if you do too much therapy it will take away your artistic process?’ And I told them: ‘The biggest lie that we’ve ever been sold is that we as artists have to stay in pain to create.’ Extract with kind permission from Vogue Australia August 2018 issue: www.vogue.com.au

w ww.hof fmaninstitute.co.uk | 5


With writer Elaine Kingett 6 | Hof fman Institute UK: +44 (0)1903 88 99 90


A

ged 17, I would have run away with anyone, I was so desperate to escape the conflict and abuse at home. Luckily, my husband Jerry Kingett was a good man. His death from leukaemia after 32 years together was definitely not what we, or our three children, had on the menu. Without my cornerstone, I fell apart. I took up drinking as an active sport, threw myself at any available man and moved house downmarket, feeling unworthy of a big des-res in a ‘nice’ neighbourhood. All my insecurities came back to haunt me. Within a couple of years, I hit rock bottom and decided that the kids would be far better off with their happily married and financially secure guardians, rather than their waster of a mother. I’d even worked out that if I hit the central reservation of the M25, it wouldn’t be classed as suicide and they’d still get the insurance. Then one cold, grey day in Brighton, along came Hoffman, shining off the page of a free mag I’d picked up in the local wholefood shop where I was buying some milk thistle to sort out my liver. ‘Are you repeating negative patterns of behaviour you’ve inherited from your parents?’ sang a strapline. It seemed to have been written just for me, the failure who seemed hell-bent on screwing up her kids in the family tradition. It was on New Year’s Day, with only the dog and a hangover as companions, that I Googled and signed up. The location was near enough to Brighton in case it all kicked off at home, Florence House looked suitably comfy and middle-class, and the testimonials were from well-known people I respected. Plus the cost seemed to indicate a certain level of full-on experience and involvement. What I did not expect was how long-lasting the benefits would be. Or how much I would learn about tools and techniques I could use in the future, to cope with whatever life might throw at me. Or how, instead of only seeing myself through my parents’ eyes as the crazy, unlovable and ‘just not good enough’ child, I could see what my husband saw – the strong, beautiful, intelligent and powerful woman hidden inside. The difference for me between the Process and other counselling workshops and therapies, was that I finally empathised with my parents’ childhoods. I wept for their childhood traumas, loneliness and the lack of love that had thrown them together to make a family of four children, without positive family experiences of their own. I physically released the pain in my body and that’s what

made the change. When I wrote the eulogy for my mother’s funeral and visited my parents’ graves – they died within three months of each other – instead of anger, rejection or a feeling of failure, I felt compassion and love.

‘What I did not expect was how long-lasting the benefits would be.’ What reassured me and encouraged me to participate fully in the course during that extraordinary, exhausting, exhilarating and life-changing week on the Sussex coast, was the impressive way the leaders so gently and intuitively facilitated the daily workshops. They always ensured that the dynamics were well-balanced, acknowledging the needs of every one of the participants. They allowed us a safe space to each find our authentic voice, gaining confidence to express ourselves more clearly and openly – but group therapy this most certainly was not. I never felt exposed or diminished because everything progressed at my own pace; there was no pressure to share anything I didn’t want to. Unlike my childhood, I always felt that I was the one with the power and if I wobbled, someone would catch me if I fell. The diversity in ages,

backgrounds and financial status of the people on my Process was refreshing and added to my feelings of acceptance and support. I felt safe, respected and able to be honest with myself and others without fear of ridicule. The leaders’ patience, professionalism and attention to each and every one of us taught me so much about managing and achieving success for the participants on the therapeutic writing workshops and retreats that I now run. Today, it’s more than 15 years since I completed the Process, and since then my life has not been without drama or sadness. I’ve learnt from an abusive relationship – leaving with greater self-awareness, no anger or resentment and with confidence to try again. I’ve survived a heart attack and then surgery and treatment for breast cancer. I have also completed an MA, launched a new business and supported my children and my friends in ways I am proud of. In my work as a writer and facilitator of workshops and retreats, I’m grateful to share with others what my time with Hoffman inspired in me. I teach those who doubt their creative abilities and their self-worth to value their lives and the importance of sharing their stories. Together we can learn from one other and find cause to celebrate. We can let go of the past, stop panicking about the future and live in the now – with confidence, gratitude and joy.

You can read more about Elaine’s writing and retreats on her website: www.elainekingett.co.uk w ww.hof fmaninstitute.co.uk | 7


An interview with

Dr Gabor MatĂŠ 8 | Hof fman Institute UK: +44 (0)1903 88 99 90


Gabor Maté is an internationally renowned authority in the fields of trauma, addiction, childhood development and AD(H)D. He is also an acclaimed speaker, the author of four bestselling books – and a Hoffman graduate. In 2018, Dr Maté was awarded the Order of Canada, in recognition of his work on mindbody unity and the necessity of social change. When people think of trauma they tend to think of dramatic situations, but smaller incidents can also be termed as traumatic. Can you explain more about your definition of trauma and how it affects people? Trauma is not what happens to a person, but what happens within them. In line with its Greek origins, trauma means a wound—an unhealed one, and one the person is compelled to defend against by means of constricting his or her own ability to feel, to be present, to respond flexibly to situations.

situation. It is a coping mechanism that, over time and during the course of maximal development in the early years, becomes programmed into the brain, as I point out in my book Scattered Minds. Later on, that same coping mechanism becomes a problem, as that unwilled tuning out becomes the brain’s default setting to which it reverts during times of emotional unease and even intended attention. It interferes with one’s capacity to engage with life fully in the present moment. One’s mind is literally absent. Lack of self-regulation is evident in people who experience strong and distressing emotional states or impulses without being able to move through them and ground themselves. They act

and the child has no support to experience and move through the pain, one mode of selfprotection is to disconnect from our feelings. Now we no longer experience ourselves authentically and fully. Early experience is also the template for our lifelong view of the world, our unconscious window through which we see and understand our environment. If the early environment is unreliable or hurtful, we may develop a limited view of the world in which we perceive threat even when there isn’t any or, conversely, in which we defensively deny or misperceive threat when it is present. In short, our view of the world is skewed away from actual reality.

Nothing overtly dramatic needs to happen to a young human being to induce trauma: it is sufficient that she or he is wounded without an immediate capacity to heal the wound. Thus, a parent’s emotional distance or depression, in the absence of any intended or implied abuse, is enough. Young children can be traumatised simply when their need for attuned attention and responsive interaction with the parent is unmet—often due to no conscious awareness on the part of the parent. How can a person begin to identify whether they have trauma? Over the years, have you noticed that there are particular signs or symptoms to look for? Trauma induces a defensive tensing of body and psyche, a constriction, a triggering of pain out of keeping with the present stimulus. Whenever we experience significant bodily or psychic tension, we are likely to be experiencing a traumatic, implicit memory. You mention that if a person can’t selfregulate as a child, they will learn to tune out as adults. How then would someone realise that they have not learnt to self-regulate, how would someone know if they are tuning out, and what becomes the impact to daily life of tuning out? Tuning out, notably but not exclusively in the case of ADHD, begins as the automatic brain-derived defense of a young child who is stressed but can do nothing about the stressful

out the feelings, rather than experience and express them in healthy ways. This, too, reflects early life situations when the nurturing adults could not be emotionally present enough to help the infant’s immature brain to develop self-regulation. If someone recognises that they have unresolved trauma, how can they begin to build resilience? The recognition of trauma is itself the beginning of resilience, meaning that the person is no longer in denial of or in unconscious flight from their emotions. Resilience comes from building that consciousness, in recognising and accepting the traumatised parts of us, in understanding them, and taking care of them. For this there are many paths and modalities, the Hoffman Process being one example. Within your definition of trauma, you say that trauma disconnects you from yourself, and shapes your view of the world. Please can you say more about this? We are born connected to our gut feelings, our natural and necessary way of being. When the pain of the traumatic event is unbearable

In your books and workshops you say that we cannot separate the biological from the emotional and social. Please can you explain what you mean by this? A big question, for which I recommend people consult my books and YouTube talks. The essence of it is simply the scientific fact that our emotional system is inseparable from the physiological apparatus responsible for our nervous system, gut, immune defenses and hormonal functioning. And all this is impacted by our social relationships, since we are intensely and innately biopsychosocial creatures. We cannot be cut into parts, not in real life. What would you say to someone that says that they are feeling unhappy or unfulfilled in life, but that they had a happy childhood so looking at their childhood is not going to help them with the issues in their life now? It usually takes no longer three minutes to help such individuals know the deep pain they experienced but had to suppress, make unconscious, in childhood. Their memory of a purely happy childhood is an artifact of selfdefence. w ww.hof fmaninstitute.co.uk | 9


In your first book, In The Realm Of Hungry Ghosts, you explore addiction. You’ve argued that instead of trying to stamp out the use of substances like alcohol or drugs we should really be asking, ‘What is the pain?’ What do you mean by this? An addiction is any behaviour a person finds pleasure or relief in—therefore craves—but suffers negative consequences as a result without being able to give it up. Obviously drugs are one addictive outlet, but so is eating, gambling, shopping, sex, work, relationships, pornography, internet, etc. Addictions of whatever form are always attempts—temporarily helpful but ultimately worse than unsuccessful—to escape emotional discomfort, emotional pain. They are not diseases or choices but a normal response to abnormal circumstances of suffering, usually first incurred in childhood. If we want to help heal addiction, we must deal with not simply the behaviour, which is only a symptom, but with the underlying pain, the trauma. The brain itself is shaped by early experience: the addicted adult brain is, in part, a product of early trauma. The scientific references backing such a view are fully available in my books, along with many other sources. You’ve been quoted as saying, ‘We will often choose attachment over authenticity.’ What

do you mean by this, how does it play out in our lives, and how do we begin to find our authentic self?

‘Trauma is not what happens to a person, but what happens within them’

In your view, how does the Hoffman Process benefit people and help them resolve feelings of anxiety, depression, burnout or a general lack of joy in their lives? The essence of Hoffman, as I experienced it, was to restore the connection to the authentic self that, for perfectly valid reasons, as we have discussed, we abandoned early in life. When we are ourselves, life is vibrant, a challenge and a calling, rather than a chore.

Just as trauma causes us to disconnect from our gut feelings, so we disconnect from our authentic selves early in our lives, when fitting in with our familial or social environment demands that, for the sake of belonging or being accepted. Now we are no longer our own person. We live and act to please, impress or induce others to love us, hence we are afraid to experience or show our real selves.

We’re excited to hear that you’re currently working on your next book. Can you tell us more about it, and when can we expect it to come out?

If the child does not experience himself for being valued for who is, he may desperately seek to prove his value through what and how much he does.

The Myth of Normal: Illness and Health in an Insane Culture, to be published in 2021

As a workaholic physician I became a very successful professional, so driven was I to impress others, to prove my worth, and to demonstrate that the world needed me. That external success was accompanied by inner depression, anxiety, alienation, and troubled personal relationship.

10 | Hof fman Institute UK: +44 (0)1903 88 99 90

Thank you for your interest! I have just signed contracts for two new books with major publishers in Canada, the US and the UK. I believe the titles are self-explanatory:

 ello Again: A Fresh Start for Adult Children and H Their Parents, co-written with my son Daniel, to be published in 2022.

You can find out more about Gabor Maté and his work, including upcoming workshop dates in the UK, on the website: https://drgabormate.com


IS THE PROCESS FOR ME? The list below contains some common reasons why people tell us they’re drawn to doing the Hoffman Process. Do any resonate with you?

❏ I feel at a crossroads with major decisions to make. I don’t know how to move forward or which direction to take.

❏ I’m struggling to find meaning in my life. Sometimes it feels pointless. I feel numb – on automatic pilot.

❏ I’ve messed up with my children. I want to be a better parent.

❏ I often feel stressed, angry, resentful, embarrassed, or depressed. I want to change.

❏ I work compulsively, often to avoid other aspects of my life. It impacts my relationships and happiness.

❏ There’s a lack of joy in my life. ❏ I have anger, frustration and grief stuck inside me and it’s impacting the way I relate to people. ❏ I bounce between burnout and bursts of overactivity and can’t seem to find a way to break out of the cycle.

❏ I’ve been unsuccessful in creating meaningful relationships or have had repeated failed, unfulfilling relationships.

❏ I’ve read lots of personal development books, done retreats, courses, tried therapy and anger release work, but I still feel trapped and unhappy.

❏ I’m a compulsive people-pleaser, organiser or carer and it’s wearing me out.

❏ I have low self-esteem, which manifests as self-sabotage, insecurity or perfectionism.

What is the Hoffman Process?

T

he Hoffman Process is a seven-day residential personal development course. Created by Bob Hoffman over fifty years ago, it’s now available in sixteen countries around the world. More than 100,000 people have benefitted from the tools and techniques we teach on this experiential programme. The Process is not a quick fix, or a replacement for therapy. What it offers is the opportunity to delve into your past. You will discover why certain patterns of behaviour keep coming up in your life and be offered the opportunity either to stay as you are - in a reactive way of being - or to embrace change and approach your future better-equipped.

At heart, the Process is an individual journey, taken in a safe and loving environment. Each day, our team of experienced facilitators will guide you through a series of different techniques. Sometimes you’ll find yourself sitting in silence, journalling or going out in nature. At other times, you’ll work in a group, doing guided visualisations, bio-energetic work and some Gestalt-based exercises. People who allow themselves to commit fully to the Process emerge with a deep sense of their own resilience. They gain a greater awareness of life’s possibilities and a commitment to a better way of being.

❏ I’m bored, directionless and fed up with feeling fed up.

❏ I hate my job and want to change direction but feel trapped and resentful.

❏ I’m approaching retirement and dreading it.

❏ I had a really unhappy childhood and it’s still affecting me as an adult.

IF YOU HAVE TICKED ONE OR MORE OF THE BOXES ON THE LEFT, YOU’RE DEFINITELY NOT ALONE! The first step is recognising that there are areas that could be improved in your life. The Hoffman Process might be able to help. If you’re interested in enrolling, see our centre spread for the next steps, call the Hoffman office on (+44)1903 889 990 or

email enrolment@hoffmaninstitute.co.uk. We’ll discuss whether the timing is right for you and what we can do to help.

w ww.hof fmaninstitute.co.uk | 11


I’m a much calmer and more easy-going person than before. I’m so much more at peace with myself, and, as a result of that, with the world. I’m a much more purposeful mother, grandmother and friend.

Before I did Hoffman, I felt that I had become very destructive - both in terms of my impact on other people and on myself. If you’ve tried everything then this Process is the one to try. I wouldn’t be alive today if it wasn’t for the Hoffman Process.

Caroline Laurence

Goldie

Craniosacral Practitioner

Producer and DJ

I did the Hoffman Process in 2015, I sent my management team to the Process the year after. Developing people individually is the single most useful thing you can do for your company - happy accepting, empathetic humans are gold in any business.

Lisa Myers CEO, Verve Search

You get into habits of relating that aren’t necessarily healthy. I just wanted to get that perspective on my childhood. You have to delve into the fire and experience and discover where an issue really lies and deal with it.

Naomie Harris

If I had done the Hoffman Process when I was younger, it would have changed the trajectory of my life a lot sooner.

Dr David Hanscom Spinal surgeon

Actor

I came away at the end of the week feeling brave, powerful, excited by life, and loved. Six months on from doing the Hoffman Process, I feel more positive and healthy than ever before. Those close to me see me as brighter, more straightforward and more optimistic.

Ellie Nunn Actor

12 | Hof fman Institute UK: +44 (0)1903 88 99 90


This Process is like nothing else: uncovering, seeing, feeling, setting free and changing your life and others’ in a way that will always be hard to put into words. Experiencing this at a young age opens your perspective and opportunities for your whole life in front of you.

I’m much softer, less angry and more understanding and compassionate.

Becca Teers Cognitive behavioural hypnotherapist

 his unique course has a hugely T impressive record for helping individuals achieve lasting emotional growth. Nothing else comes close.

Oliver James Psychologist and author

Ed Hodge Structural engineer

I t thoroughly ‘undoes’ the negative patterns of behaviour that we inherit from childhood, resulting in profound transformation in relationships and a sense of who we are.

Patrick Holford Nutritionist and author

Self-awareness and the way the Hoffman tools enable us to shift position has particular significance at work because what we bring to that role is what’s inside us. If that’s whole and at peace, and has clear intention, we’ll be much more effective than someone who is full of unresolved emotional ‘noise’.

Mollie Treverton

The Hoffman Process is the most powerful single thing that I did in my ongoing journey of recovery. It was emotional and magical and I learnt a lot about how important it is to focus on emotional and mental health.

Matthew Todd Award-winning editor and author

Executive coach and trainer

I think Hoffman was the best ‘parenting training’ I could have had. Being the best person I can be; living from my spirit and a place of self-love; responding, rather than reacting, in life and with my kids; reducing my internal conflicts and burdens before taking on the role of helping form children - being their guide, mirror and centre. These are all things I got from Hoffman that I think are helping me be the best parent I can be to my kids.

Hoffman offered a safe practice arena for testing out new ways of being that I then transferred, with great results, to the outside world.

Sheri Jacobson Psychotherapist and founder, Harley Therapy

I ’d say it’s probably the most dense, profound and effective kind of psychological work I’ve ever done, and I’ve done a lot! It is near to impossible to walk out unchanged.

Helene Weiss NLP/Mindset coach and blogger

Zeina Mobassaleh Lawyer and mother w ww.hof fmaninstitute.co.uk | 13


Interview with Shamlan Al Bahar Director and Founder of The Proteges Organisation (Kuwait) 14 | Hof fman Institute UK: +44 (0)1903 88 99 90


Shamlan pictured with alumni of The Proteges mentorship programme

F

or readers who may not have heard of you, what is The Proteges and what does it do?

The Proteges is a mentorship organisation that was started in 2010 to focus on young people in the Middle East and to embed in them the values of tolerance, dignity, respect, honesty, humility, humanity, pluralism, giving, commitment, and ethics. In an area that has a lot of turmoil and problems, we think programmes like The Proteges achieve significant change. At The Proteges, we believe in the 20/80 law - that 20% of the people affect 80% of the events in the world - so we focus on our gifted students and give them the right tools to change and improve the communities around them. Every year, around 2,000 students between the ages of 16 to 24 apply to The Proteges, and after intensive interviews and a screening process, we select 25 people who are fit to join the programme, based on their values, morals and other criteria.

Proteges founders have done the Hoffman Process after one of the mentors, Yarub Bourhamah, did it in 2013. He advised many of our mentors to do Hoffman as he believed it would help them be more clearheaded, be comfortable with themselves and be in a position to mentor others. Our values in The Proteges organisation are in line with the Hoffman values. We believe that change starts when individuals discover themselves and their strength. Surprise plays a significant role in The Proteges programme, as does daily reflection, and Hoffman focuses on those too.

strengths and weaknesses. Once you can see how to deal with those, it’s much easier to pass on your knowledge to others as a mentor. Have you continued to stay connected to Hoffman since you returned to Kuwait? Yes, through The Proteges. We are working closely with Hoffman in the UK and also the US, as three of our mentors have done the Process in the UK and one has done in it the US. We are proud that we just held our first Hoffman graduate meet-up in Kuwait, which was very successful, and we’ll continue to run those in association with Hoffman in future.

What triggered your personal decision to do the Process? I was in a place in my life when I was feeling a bit confused. There was a lot of haze, and my decisions were foggy. In my position as the head of a mentorship program, I couldn’t afford to be in this situation. Hoffman sounded like the perfect mental detox retreat, and I gave myself the best gift.

Quite a number of The Proteges founders, mentors and alumni have done the Hoffman Process. What do you think resonates between the work you do and the work we do?

What has changed for you since doing the Process? Which areas of your life have been affected?

We believe that The Proteges and Hoffman work in the same field of improving lives and spreading awareness. Four of The

I think the Process is sort of a cleanse that helps you to hold a clear mirror to yourself and achieve a greater understanding of your

You can find out more about The Proteges Organisation on their website: www.theproteges.org or on instagram: @theproteges w ww.hof fmaninstitute.co.uk | 15


‘I’ve found that in being imperfect I’ve had more meaningful relationships’ by children’s author Jo Yaldren

F

our years ago, I was stuck in all sorts of patterns. Although on the surface everything seemed fine, I was anything but. I was absolutely ready for change when my sister gave me the best present ever – the Hoffman Process. From the first phone call onwards, the Process was wonderful. The week at Florence House (where it was held) was so incredibly special. My group of twenty four formed deep and lasting bonds. Four years on, twenty-two of us are still in touch. How has my life changed since that summer in 2014? It’s been a rollercoaster of unexpected highs and lows and accelerated learning, so I’d need to ask a lot of your time to answer that in depth, but there are three things I’d like to share: my Vision, my diagnosis and the surprising gifts it’s brought me.

Jo Yaldren, portrait by Ian Donald Crockett

During the Process, we worked on our ability to create a Vision for our future. The Vision I shared was to turn a story I wrote for my children when they were small into a children’s book. With absolutely no clue how to make this happen, a full-time job and a busy life, this dream would previously have fallen by the wayside. This time, Process practices got me back on track when I wandered off.

16 | Hof fman Institute UK: +44 (0)1903 88 99 90

It was an incredibly lengthy slog – writing the story up, finding an illustrator, searching for an agent, giving up after the third rejection – and in the meantime, an unexpected drama was unfolding with my health. J OINING T HE DOT S T O DIAGNOSIS The signs of the disease were already there while I was at Florence House. I’d noticed my handwriting had been getting smaller and a writing exercise was pretty challenging. My left leg was stiff – making


Jo Yaldren, portrait by Jane Victoria Photography

sitting on the floor interesting – and a tremor had arrived in my left hand. Not only that, but I had persistent fatigue. I’m ashamed to say that despite twenty-six years of nursing (and university nursing teaching), I didn’t join the dots. My sisters finally bullied me into seeing my GP, who referred me to a neurology consultant. I arrived at the initial consultation by myself, thinking, ‘Don’t be silly, no one ever gets a diagnosis on the first visit. They’ll need to do tests…’ Which meant I was sitting by myself when my lovely new consultant explained that I had Parkinson’s disease. ‘Oh dear…’ was all I could manage before the tears began. I was 47, and couldn’t take in the news I’d been given. COM IN G T O T E RM S W I T H A D IF F E RE N T F U T U R E That was three years ago. Without Hoffman, I don’t know how I would have coped. My husband had also done the Process, so we were lucky to have a shared language and experience to help us avoid imploding, exploding or numbing ourselves from this uninvited guest. Coming to terms with my diagnosis has been messy. It’s been a smörgåsbord of

emotions, and I noted with academic interest how I moved through the stages of grief. The Hoffman work on transference helped me deal with other people’s responses to my news. I used the Hoffman App to keep up practices I’d found so restorative during the Process. Quad Checks – where you check in with the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual aspects of yourself – were calming and Gratitudes were lifesaving. I spent a lot of time walking on my local beach during the first year after diagnosis. It helped me think, cry in private and

provided a quiet space to contemplate the hand I’d been dealt. As I walked, collecting rubbish along the shoreline became a kind of mindfulness practice; it focused my attention on the present moment and gave me a rest from my busy mind. Before long, I was posting my beach cleans on social media and I began to highlight the problems of plastic pollution across the UK and beyond. In 2016, I invited local, like-minded souls to fundraise to purchase a #2minutebeachclean board, which reduces beach litter by approximately 60%. Our group now has a Facebook following of over 1,000 and our monthly beach clean attracts between 30-130 volunteers of all ages. As well as a cleaner beach, we’ve created a wonderful community who care about making the world a better place. But the next gift was even more unexpected. PARKINS ON’ S – A CATALYS T F OR J OY All my life, I’ve been used to the roles of bossy oldest sister, nurse and teacher so it’s taken a while to be at ease letting people know I have Parkinson’s. I found it incredibly hard to be seen as needing support or help. I drew courage from many sources: friends, family, counselling, inspirational author Brené Brown and all I learnt on the Process.

• Jo’s book, Jeremy (A Noisy Child), is available to buy via her website: https://joyaldren.co.uk • To read more about the global #2minutebeachclean movement, visit: https://beachclean.net • Keeping it Clean at Saltburn can be found on Facebook: www.facebook.com/kicasaltburn w ww.hof fmaninstitute.co.uk | 17


Hi Jo! Your friend Ann shared with us the courageous way you’re facing your Parkinson’s diagnosis. It was such a brave move to post your tremor on Instagram! What a hard decision, but no doubt it inspired so many to realise they are not alone. We want to celebrate your courage in embracing who you are right at this moment. We’ve enclosed The Gifts of Imperfection, signed by Brené. Keep living wholeheartedly! The Brené Brown team I just sat with my mouth hanging open (rather unattractively) and stared at it. What was going on? Not only had I received this wonderful gift, but my friend - who works full time, has sons doing GCSEs and a finals dissertation, and who had only lost her mum a few weeks earlier - had taken the time to hand-write a letter to Brené Brown about me. About me! Mind = blown. Being authentic was bringing me love and connection. Parkinson’s was a catalyst leading to joy.

 ake time to think about T your dreams for your life (not based on your current reality). Write your goals and visions down. Talk about them often with supportive others. Just keep going... even when it’s a disaster. Good things can come from the most awful situations.  elieve in yourself and the B power of intention.

J E R EM Y (A NOIS Y CHIL D)

I’ve started saying ‘yes’ to things I’d always wanted to do but didn’t, and saying ‘no’ to the things that held no appeal. I’ve found that in being imperfect I’ve had more meaningful relationships and that my struggles, when shared authentically with the right people, have been met mostly with nothing but love. In June 2018 I shared a short video of my hand tremor with a closed group of Instagram friends. I wanted to share something real – not just the smiles and filtered images I usually post. As soon as I did it I experienced a shame storm. Had I overshared? Would I seem needy? You get the picture.

As you can imagine, my book took a bit of a back seat while my life adjusted. However, after my diagnosis, the idea of completing the book took on new meaning. I felt ‘on the clock’. I decided I’d try again to make a success of this venture. Perhaps it could even help support me if I couldn’t work any more? So I asked a small local publishing house to make a mock-up of the book. When the first copy arrived through the post for me to actually hold, it was a really special moment. My ‘pie-in-the-sky’ vision had been realised. Now I have a book, a website and hope. I just need an agent and some luck if this pipe dream is to become a reality.

My sister Melly and friend Ann (my S.O.S. people) contacted me to talk me through it, as they anticipated this would happen when they saw it. A couple of weeks later, a parcel containing a book arrived – and not just any book. It was The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown with a hand-written note: 18 | Hof fman Institute UK: +44 (0)1903 88 99 90

I f you were living life ‘on the clock’, what would be important to you? Really important? I thought of my eulogy (yes, this was a dark day) and realised that no-one was likely to mention the hand prints on the wall or my lovely sofa cushions. In a moment of clarity, I felt time and the people I love are the most important things for me. What’s truly of value to you?  hat’s stopping you from W creating a life you really want?


by sculptor Laura Lian

I

was a teenager in the 60s and a follower of the peace movement. I wanted to help the world, but at that time I didn’t know how.

My calling seemed to be sculpture. I made a living from it, but as time went on I found that the bigger my challenges became, the harder it was to break through my fears. The therapist I was seeing suggested the Hoffman Process. He’d done the course himself and knew me well, so I signed up.

On the course I became aware of the negative patterning that I’d inherited from my parents. There was a lot of support, and being in a group made me realise that we all have similar hang ups. Getting over my fears of both failure and success was a key breakthrough for me with my work. I also loved how spontaneity and play was encouraged - it reminded me that life is to be enjoyed and isn’t meant to be all hard graft. I left the course much more able to love and accept myself just as I am, and that confidence

has allowed me to expand my creativity ever since. Bob Hoffman’s vision was to spread peace in the world one person at a time. I also believe that the more inner peace we each hold, he greater chance there is for peace in the outer world. Thanks to Hoffman, I now have more courage to move forward with my projects and share my creative visions.

• Laura’s crowdfunded John Lennon Peace Statue (pictured) will tour the UK in 2019 promoting the message ‘Give Peace a Chance.’ Proceeds from the tour are being donated to the charity War Child • To read more about Laura’s work, visit: www.lauralian.co.uk w ww.hof fmaninstitute.co.uk | 19


By Ben Bidwell, coach, writer and public speaker

20 | Hof fman Institute UK: +44 (0)1903 88 99 90


Ben at work as @TheNakedProfessor

D

eep down, I knew the Hoffman Process was something I needed to do. Since first working with a coach six years ago, I have been on a journey of self-discovery and learned that so much of how I am stems from the environment I grew up in as a child. Yet it wasn’t a space I had really investigated or deeply stepped into until October 2018. There was an apprehension on the day of my arrival, a sense of anxiety told me that I was stepping out of my comfort zone. I had a nervous excitement, a sense that something impactful was about to happen, something deeply rewarding but challenging initially. Our mind’s primary job is to keep us safe, so when it senses nerves or anxiety, its natural reaction is to lead us in a different direction. But the nature of growth is that in order to achieve it, we must go to places we haven’t

‘I found a way to connect at a deeper level and feel emotions that allowed me to feel truly alive’ been before. My hope was that the end reward would be worth the pre-game nerves. As I approached my destination, I had to quieten the safety-seeking voice inside my head and instead connect to my original motivation to keep me moving forward. I arrived at a peaceful location on the Sussex Coast to beautiful early October sunshine. The weather helped settle my nerves; I saw it as a positive omen. Having done personal development courses and retreats before, I knew that I would look around without much familiarity upon arrival.

Without the comfort of a mobile phone or any access to the outside world, I was joining twenty-two strangers who would play an integral part in my life for at least the next week. Who would I connect with? Who was my cup of tea? My nerves were still apparent. Of course my fears are quashed right away; ‘I’m greeted by friendly staff and I can relate instantly to my roommate is of instant relatability. So far, so good - now on to the action. And then it happened. Seven days flashed by in an instant. There were tears almost daily, but these weren’t tears of sorrow or pain - simply a release of emotions that left space for joy, empathy and contentment. As a man who had lived without much connection to my emotions for the first 30 years of my life, there was a lot of buried energy stored within me. The tears washed away the trapped energy inside, much w ww.hof fmaninstitute.co.uk | 21


starting to see their true light. By day four, all twenty-two were now my friends. By day seven, we were a family. Some of the group freely admitted that their early judgements of me were not in unison with the man they really saw during the week. I walked in as someone who could easily be perceived as self-absorbed, and at times even arrogant. These are the masks that I inadvertently wear as protection upon first meeting others. The man they got to see during the Process week was one of peace, love and huge vulnerability. I won’t ask you to guess which one they felt more connected to.

‘Seven days flashed by in an instant’ of which I have no doubt had sat dormant and buried since I was a child. By day five or six I was actively looking to shed more tears - a novel experience for me - but the tears in the first few days had already created so much space for new emotions, I wanted more of the same. Two months on, I am grateful for a huge amount of learning about how my past has shaped me to be the person I am today. That understanding has given me a deeper perspective, and with it the ability to let go of the behavioural patterns that no longer serve me, many of which stemmed from childhood perceptions. But beyond that, what have stayed with me at an even deeper level are the emotions that I learned to feel and the connections that were made during the seven days. Without screens to hide behind, the daily teachings and exercises meant we had no choice but to ‘show up’, deeply and authentically. With our protective, inauthentic masks removed, we really got to see each others’ hearts. From there came a type of connection I hadn’t really experienced before. I got to see the truth behind the eyes of my twenty-two compatriots. That, for me, was a truly beautiful thing. On day one we were all encouraged to share our vulnerabilities; this bared a little of our hearts and souls. By day two I was already

I recall the change in body language that I could witness in the people I shared the experience with. The individuals who walked out looked entirely different to the people who walked in. This happened in two ways. Firstly, they now stood square to the world - more open and loving, less judgemental and fearful, evident in their appearance alone. Secondly - and most memorably for me - was the natural smile that started to shine through each of us as the week went on. By day seven, when I engaged in conversation with each member of my new family, I saw a smile on their face that came from a deep sense of newfound contentment within. It was as if they had been washed and cleansed on the inside and come out sparkly and shining. They say that when a top-level rugby player gets the opportunity to tour with the notorious British Lions, they will always have a knowing look with every other British Lion once they are back in their homeland. I feel the same with Hoffman; every man and woman who has attended the course became my brother and sister in some capacity. We have shared something special that has connected us beyond the average person. It’s an incredible community to be part of. In the last few years I’ve been focused on seeing life as an experience to be celebrated, not a problem to be solved. To do that, we need to put ourselves into situations that make us feel uncomfortable so that we can learn and grow from our reactions. Hoffman, I thank you. I thank you for giving me exactly that. In getting out of my comfort zone and learning from your spectacular teachers, I found a way to connect at a deeper level and feel emotions that allowed me to feel truly alive. Life won’t ever be the same again. You can follow Ben on Instagram @thenakedprofessor and through the podcasts that he co-hosts with Matt Johnson as The Naked Professors.

22 | Hof fman Institute UK: +44 (0)1903 88 99 90


TARKA DAL WITH GRATED COURGETTE Recipe by Ayurvedic nutritionist & Hoffman graduate Jasmine Hemsley

D

al is an absolute Indian classic — it’s cooked every day in most households. Everyone needs a good dal recipe up his or her sleeve. Often my go-to dish, this one is nourishing, easy to make and gentle on a stressed digestive system. Make sure the lentils are cooked very well — old chana dal doesn’t cook well, so make sure your packet is fresh. If you didn’t soak the lentils overnight, use split red lentils or split mung dal that can be cooked straight away.

INGREDIENTS • 200g (1 cup) chana dal, soaked in water overnight • 750ml (3 cups) water • 2 tbsp ghee • 1 tsp cumin seeds • 1 tsp black mustard seeds • 10 curry leaves • 1 large spring onion or 1 medium onion, sliced

I love my dal with something green and fresh — if I’m eating this for supper, I usually sauté the courgettes to gently cook them, but for lunch I sometimes enjoy them raw. Feel free to add your choice of greens, remembering to cook them for evening meals.

Recipe reproduced with kind permission from East By West: Simple Recipes For Ultimate Mind-Body Balance by Jasmine Hemsley.

1

 Simmer the chana dal in the water for about 45 minutes until very soft. Adjust the consistency to your taste, adding more water if you like it more soupy and lighter to digest.

2

 To make the tarka, melt the ghee in a pan and fry the cumin and mustard seeds on a medium heat until they start to pop. Add the curry leaves, spring onion and chilli and stir for a few minutes.

• 1 green chilli, finely sliced •1 medium tomato, skinned and deseeded, finely chopped • ½ tsp ground turmeric • ½ tsp sea salt • 2 garlic cloves (use wild garlic leaves in summer), crushed

Tarka refers to the technique of adding spices to hot oil, which helps to bring out their flavour (as well as their properties). Everyone has their favourite way of serving tarka — it can either become the base of the dal, or for a really fresh flavour you can pour the tarka over the freshly cooked dal, top with a lid and then leave to infuse for 5 minutes before serving.

METHOD

• ¼ tsp asafoetida • 1 large courgette • Grated freshly ground black pepper • Handful of fresh coriander leaves, chopped

3

When the chana dal is cooked, stir in the tomato, turmeric, salt, garlic and asafoetida. Add the tarka to the dal and remove from the heat, placing a lid on top.

4

 Meanwhile, in the same pan that was used for the tarka, sauté the grated courgette for a couple of minutes with a pinch of salt.

5

 Garnish the dal with freshly ground black pepper and a scattering of coriander leaves, then serve with a handful of sautéed courgette.

For more about Jasmine, visit: www.jasminehemsley.com You can read an interview with Jasmine on our website: www.hoffmaninstitute.co.uk

w ww.hof fmaninstitute.co.uk | 23


By journalist, author & Hoffman graduate Marianne Power

O

ne hungover Sunday morning, Marianne Power realised that things couldn’t carry on the way they were. Outwardly, her life looked pretty great; she had her dream job, lots of friends, designer clothes and nice holidays. But the reality was that while her friends were getting on with buying houses, starting families and generally moving on with their lives, she was stuck in a rut and lost. Then she had an idea. Instead of endlessly reading self-help books in an attempt to fix her life, she would DO self-help books, road-testing one book a month for a year and following its advice to the word. Surely by the end of the year she would be... perfect? The result was the book Help Me! with the strapline ‘One woman’s quest to find out if selfhelp really can change her life…’

24 | Hof fman Institute UK: +44 (0)1903 88 99 90


Hoffman caught up with Marianne for a quick Q&A. Q: In the course of your Help Me! reading adventure, you encounter a huge variety of approaches to self-help - some more helpful than others. Did any techniques or methods ‘stick’ in particular and do any still prove useful now?

At one point, when I was finding all the soul searching too much, my best friend said ‘I just want you to get to the end of this and realise that you don’t need to jump out of planes and run on burning coals [two things I did in the name of self-improvement] to be loved. We love you the way you are.’ At the time I didn’t understand why anyone would love me, all I could see were all my flaws. I now realise that people love you for your flaws and I am very lucky with my friends.

‘The Hoffman Process was one of the most important things I have done in my life’

A: The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle has stayed with me. In the book Tolle describes the voice in our head that is constantly criticising, judging, comparing and making our lives a misery. He describes it so well, it was as if he was reporting from the inside of my head.

Tolle says that this voice is constantly beating us up for things we’ve done wrong in the past, and worrying about stuff that might happen in the future, and as a result it stops us from enjoying the only thing that’s real - the NOW. He says that in any given moment, ask yourself, ‘Do I have a problem right now, this second?’ The answer is almost always ‘no’. So breathe. Look out of the window. Relax. Easier said than done, but it’s a good way to live life.   Q: Without giving too much away, not all of the approaches that you tried in your book were a hit with the people around you… Have you since restored a happy balance with family and friends? A: I became quite self-obsessed in my year of self-help. I was thinking about myself endlessly and analysing everything - it got to the point where every conversation became a therapy session and I think that was hard going for others. Fortunately all has been forgiven. I learned in my year that it’s really important to have a balance between looking inwards and outwards, between thinking of yourself and also thinking of others.

Q: We were very touched to be mentioned in Help Me! as an alternative to all the selfhelp books, although you describe having reservations yourself about coming on the Process. What would you say to any of our readers who are thinking of doing the Process but are nervous of approaching a group retreat? The Hoffman Process was one of the most important things I have done in my life. My project was born of this feeling of being lost and not good enough and not living the same life as my friends. I thought I was unloveable and that there was something wrong with me. I learned at Hoffman that we are all the same really and that true happiness comes from sharing our real selves with other people. I have done so much book-reading and so many daring deeds but nothing changed my understanding of my life and myself as much as Hoffman did. I would recommend it to anyone who is stuck and unhappy and doesn’t know why. Q: Are you still tempted by self-help books? A: Ha! Yes! Saddo that I am... I am doing more reading about money and love - two areas I still need to work on. Help Me! is published in the UK by Picador. You can read more about Marianne’s self-help quest at: www.helpmeblog.net

FROM HELP ME! “Before I’d started my self-help adventure, a friend had told me about this crazy therapy week her sister had gone on. There was a lot of secrecy around the whole thing but from what she could tell it seemed to involve telling her deepest secrets to a bunch of strangers and bashing cushions with a baseball bat. There was also talk of letting go of ‘baggage’ and getting in touch with your ‘inner child.’

The whole thing sounded hideous. ‘I mean, how desperate would you have to be to put yourself through something like that?’ I asked my friend at the time, while I filed the name in the back of my mind, half suspecting that one day I would be that desperate. And so it was I found myself on something called the Hoffman Process…”

w ww.hof fmaninstitute.co.uk | 25


PREPARING FOR How do I enrol? Once you’ve done your research, give us a call and our friendly enrolment team will have a chat with you to establish whether the Process is right for you at this time. If we feel that you may benefit from some therapy or other advice before coming, we will give you some recommendations and suggestions. Otherwise, we will explain the next stages of your journey: •Register and pay a £500 deposit, either online or by telephone • Complete an enrolment form •Receive a personalised enrolment call. If we feel that doing the Process might not be the best option right now, we will refund your deposit • Complete and submit the Pre-Course autobiographical work • We’ll confirm your place and send you the rest of the information that you need to plan your journey to the Process venue

The practical bits Our Process venues provide peaceful and comfortable surroundings, often in areas of outstanding natural beauty. The Process starts at 9.30am on a Saturday morning and finishes on Friday at 2.00pm. On the first morning, you’ll be asked to hand in your mobile phone, reading materials and any electronic devices; the Process is also a digital detox!

SE

Most mornings we start with breakfast at 7.30am and we finish our sessions at about 9.30pm. There are regular breaks throughout the day and the food is abundant and nutritious. O RI

US

AB

OUT CHANGE

26 | Hof fman Institute UK: +44 (0)1903 88 99 90

The Process is a mix of exercises that you do on your own and group sessions. You will be guided throughout the week by our experienced facilitators. When the Process ends on Friday we recommend that you keep the rest of the day and possibly the weekend as an extended time of retreat before you integrate back into your life.


THE PROCESS What happens when the Process ends? Included in your course fee are three follow-up meetings within three months of completing your Process. ‘Welcome Home’ is a support group held 1-2 weeks after the Process, the other dates will be given to you in advance. Once you have done the Process, you’ll be part of a worldwide support network and community to help you sustain the achievements you made on the course. Throughout the year, we also offer short top-up courses if you want to deepen or extend your Process journey. • Your personal post-Process support groups • Reconnection days – one-day tools refresher • The Mini-Process (Q2) – This is available three or four times a year • French Retreat – Our five day getaway in France held twice a year • Graduate Regional Support groups – monthly check-ins • Graduate workshops and social events – held throughout the year • Farewell/ Closure dinners – the last Thursday of every Process • Other Hoffman resources – our 365-day journal, Hoffman App, private Facebook group and Hoffman graduate newsletter

Contact us www.hoffmaninstitute.co.uk Call us: (+44) 01903 88 99 90 Email us: enrolment@hoffmaninstitute.co.uk

w ww.hof fmaninstitute.co.uk | 27


By Hoffman Managing Director Serena Gordon

NEW CORPORATE MENTAL FITNESS WORKSHOPS FROM HOFFMAN discuss diet with our family or invite friends to join a daily step challenge via the latest app. On the flipside, when somebody we know is physically ill, we acknowledge that too, sending ‘Get Well Soon’ cards if someone’s had an operation, or asking a neighbour how they’re getting along if we know they’ve had a cold. But when it comes to discussing mental wellbeing and challenges, all of those communications suddenly go a whole lot quieter - if they even happen at all. Serena with This Can Happen co-founder, Neil Laybourn.

W JONNY AND NEIL’S

JOURNEY

hen we’ve made an effort to improve our physical health by doing work on our bodies, we’re openly proud of it. We’ll happily chat about our gym routine with our work colleagues,

Traditionally, this silence is most prominent in the workplace. Mental health challenges are the leading cause of sickness absence in the UK, but conversations around mental wellbeing at work are often accompanied by embarrassment, fear and even shame. In a corporate environment, approaching your HR manager to ask for leave to visit the dentist

might be judged as acceptable, but a therapy session or counselling? One of Hoffman’s intentions for 2019 is to trial and launch a new series of accredited workshops that will challenge the stigma around mental wellbeing in the workplace by bringing our expertise and techniques to bear in a corporate setting. It’s something I’ve personally been working on for more than a year, connecting with leaders from a wide range of organisations who are committed to turning awareness into action. Among the people I’ve been hugely inspired by in my research is mental health campaigner Jonny Benjamin. Jonny is a tireless and inspirational advocate for mental health inclusivity, promoting empowerment for those affected by mental health challenges and furthering a muchneeded dialogue about suicide in the UK.

onny and Neil’s connection began a decade ago on Waterloo Bridge when Jonny was contemplating taking his life, and Neil, a stranger passing by, talked him down. After the story went viral on social media, the pair became a formidable team of mental health awareness advocates and their journey made headlines, a Channel 4 TV series and a bestselling book.

J

Process, it was almost like I found the key to a treasure trove contained and hidden within me. A treasure trove of love, peace and new hope. The course was challenging, but more than anything, I remember the overwhelming feeling of liberation. And thanks to an unwavering passion, determination and self-conviction born from my week, life is very different for me today.

Extract from an article by Jonny Benjamin (You can read the full version on our website).

In the two years after I graduated from the Hoffman Process, I was awarded an MBE, I completed a marathon, travelled extensively, and am now working and campaigning full time. I’m incredibly proud of a mental health education programme I developed in secondary schools across the UK called

‘For years, a variety of therapists had been telling me I needed be kinder to myself. But that was always as far as it went. When I did the Hoffman

28 | Hof fman Institute UK: +44 (0)1903 88 99 90

ThinkWell. I’ve also been involved in founding This Can Happen. Synchronicity is at work too. As I switched on my phone after leaving the Process, I received an email from book publisher Pan Macmillan asking to meet me. I knew great things often happened after people graduated from Hoffman, but this was too surreal! Just a few weeks later, I had signed a contract with them to publish two books. Stranger on the Bridge was published in May 2018 and my second book, currently entitled The Book of Hope, is due out in 2019 - An achievement I’m not sure would have been possible had I not done the Process’


Jonny Benjamin receiving the MBE from HRH Prince William, Duke of Cambridge

In October 2018, along with co-founders Zoe Sinclair and Neil Laybourn, Jonny launched This Can Happen at London’s O2, the biggest corporate gathering devoted to mental wellbeing that has ever taken place in England. I was delighted to be one of more than 750 delegates from 120 companies in attendance. It was encouraging to see such a huge range of businesses gathering together and really making a commitment to challenge workplace stigma. It was also heartening to hear HRH The Duke of Cambridge join the discussion to share his experience of working under intense pressure in the air ambulance service. A more open, accepting and understanding working culture in the UK is long overdue, and I’m proud that in 2019 Hoffman will be stepping up and doing our bit to create a healthier and happier workforce.

For more about Jonny and his work, visit: jonnybenjamin.co.uk. To find out more about This Can Happen, visit www.tchevents.com If you or your company are interested in Hoffman corporate training and workshops, please call us, or email training@hoffmaninstitute.co.uk

w ww.hof fmaninstitute.co.uk | 29


“The Process is a great place to meet and nurture all of yourself, without fear of condemnation� 30 | Hof fman Institute UK: +44 (0)1903 88 99 90


Interview with Sarah Powers of the Insight Yoga Institute

Y

our husband Ty did the Process before you. Was that what brought you to Hoffman?

Ty and I had already been together for 18 years at that point, and I thought I’d seen everything

there was to see in his eyes. He’d shown me his strength and tenderness, his rage and fears. But as he walked up the drive to greet me that day, there was a depth of compassionate presence in his eyes that I felt could only come from deep healing at a very subtle level.

Ty had had ‘good enough’ parenting and had also been raised by his grandparents, whom he adored, but his best friend had been to the Process years before and had continued to encourage him to go. More to put the subject to rest than to uncover any hidden childhood wounding, he finally succumbed. I was pleased he decided to go, feeling his experience would affect us both positively and relieve me of the pressure to attend myself. At that time, I felt I had already done enough therapeutic processing. Interestingly, although Ty uncovered subtle family dynamics, he also worked on the issue of society as a damaging parental-like influence. Having grown up in the 60s as an African American in LA, he was familiar with being treated as ‘other’ in white society, even though his own family had many healthy interracial connections. He found it a profound addition to help him unpack the underlying message of inherent unworthiness that so many of us carry. This is what I saw had shifted in his eyes as he hugged me after completing the Process, prompting me simply to say, ‘Do you have the Hoffman schedule?’ I knew whatever he’d unlocked, I wanted some of that. You have an extensive background in personal development. What makes Hoffman stand out for you? When I went to the Process, my daughter was about seven years old. I‘d been through lots of personal therapy by then, including studying transpersonal psychology in graduate school, and was feeling fairly healthy in my relationship to myself, and those closest to me. But I still noticed something within me that would occasionally arise in the middle of w ww.hof fmaninstitute.co.uk | 31


the night, or in the early morning. A feeling or habitual thought had rooted in my psyche about not feeling entirely OK inside, even when everything was pretty OK on the outside. I had internalised a critical voice that at times left me feeling contemptuous of myself; I was prone to self-judgement, disappointment, and restlessness. I think all the psychological healing work I’d done beforehand helped ripen me for that week at Hoffman. I felt as if I finally got to the bottom of the lie of unworthiness, and could see it as a hollow habit with no substance except what I’d been feeding it. We hear your students are given course credits if they have done the Process. What do you think keeps it relevant? I often tell people it’s not a magic fix, nor the only therapy they’ll need or ought to do, but the intensive nature of spending an uninterrupted seven days on family-of-origin issues in such a loving and skilfully-sequenced setting propels your healing forward tremendously – whatever level you’re at. Do you feel that your background in yoga influenced how you experienced the Process and did it make a difference afterwards in how you were able to integrate it? I’m not sure, but having a body-centered practice and inner orientation certainly seems to help allow feelings to live and move inside. After the Process, I found I could more swiftly disidentify from disturbing emotions when they surfaced, especially when holding long yoga poses. Since the Process, my yin style yoga practice has become a soft, safe place to understand and unpack habitual distorted beliefs I‘ve carried in my body and mind.

After the course I no longer needed to use my practice to run from, or sweat out, the uncomfortable emotional territory. I could turn towards it with compassion. This is something I‘ve continued to nuance and develop through my yogic and Buddhist practices, and love to offer as a gateway out of suffering for others. You’ve spoken in the past about addiction recovery, compulsive behaviours and codependency, which are all issues people address on the Process. How do you think Hoffman addresses these subjects? I’m interested in bringing to light the habitual behaviour that we’ve developed in an attempt to get our needs met, but which actually causes us more suffering. In doing that we often find great learning. Growing up I saw people around me addicted to alcohol, sugar, exercising and food, as well as to the ideal of poverty on the one hand, and to money, power, and success on the other. These people influenced my choices in life, some of which are healthy, and others, not so much. I so appreciated that, instead of viewing addictive behaviour as a disease, Hoffman focusses on helping us to identify the underlying, unmet need that our actions stem from. The Hoffman Process does a beautiful job of healing entrenched harmful patterns by helping us see this as negative love: a way we emulate what we saw in those around us, even when that behaviour is distorted, in order to get the love we crave. Whenever we attempt a contemplative activity, any unintegrated material within us percolates into consciousness and rattles our energy body, distracting and destabilising our best intentions

of connecting to the present. Work we do to heal past wounds naturally quiets the inner terrain, allowing deeper levels of awareness to surface. Hoffman is a major leap in this area. But patterns live not only in our hearts and minds. They’re patiently stored in the tissues of our body moment by reactive moment. I find yoga exemplary in this area. The emphasis on reinhabiting our body, by consciously breathing into our depths, while honouring our limitations and exploring our somatic capacities, lifts and dissipates energetic heaviness from our system. Yoga is a great way to heal past trauma, while promoting healthy conscious embodiment at every stage, and every age. Do you have any advice for anyone considering the Process? I’d recommend that you bring yourself fully to the Process. Don’t hold anything back. If you surrender completely, there’s no way for it not to touch and unlock something within that needs release - even if you don’t feel every exercise speaks to you. The Process is a great place to meet and nurture all of yourself, without fear of condemnation. Allow all your parts to show up, even those aspects you consider shameful or hateful. The facilitators are skilfully attuned to meet everyone in a clear, non-judgemental way, helping these hidden parts to begin to heal. At the end of the week, you’ll leave feeling like you gave it your all. And lastly, trust the integration of the Process to unfold naturally. It takes far longer than the one week you’re there.

the Hoffman yoga connection

Sarah and Ty are co-founders of the Insight Yoga Institute, and run international retreats and Yoga Alliance certified yoga training in the USA, UK and internationally: https://sarahpowers.com

‘Only when we experience loving guidance from people such as the Hoffman team, while exploring the roots of our individual suffering and limitations, can we overcome our own ego. And only then can we support others in their journey from darkness to the light, from a place of deep connection and compassion.’ Mirjam Wagner Osteopath & Yoga Instructor yogatherapymallorca.com

32 | Hof fman Institute UK: +44 (0)1903 88 99 90

‘Being an element in the Hoffman Process is a wonderful way of finding our self. I know well from my own experience the discomfort and anxieties of conditioned patterns. On the Process, I felt release and a great appreciation of precious gifts; the gifts of life and of being my good self.’ Norman Blair Yoga, Mindful Meditation Instructor & Author yogawithnorman.co.uk

‘The Hoffman Process for me was like a poetic furnace of change and possibility. Surrendering to the intensity that came up on all levels of heart and mind was made possible by the safety, elegance and professionalism of the journey we were guided through over the week... I am deeply grateful to the passionate teachers who held the space for me to dive deep.’ Ayala Gill Yoga, Mindfulness & Meditation Instructor ayalagill.com

‘Personal growth is a never-ending journey and no matter how deeply we’ve explored our inner worlds, there are always new perspectives that can support our evolution.’ David Lurey Transformational Yoga Instructor findbalance.net


‘Hoffman, the first group work I ever did, was my first experience of just how powerful it is when we gather together to heal’.

by Tiana Jacout,  Hoffman graduate & founder of Woman Fest

W

1

 now that personal growth isn’t an K easy path. It can be terrifying and rocky and sometimes you’ll find yourself right back at the beginning. Stay the course, keep the faith.

2

 his isn’t about learning, it’s about T remembering. There you are, underneath all that other stuff you’ve picked up along the way. Don’t add. Subtract, let go.

4

3

 ance! As often as you can. Move, D feel, breathe. Look after your body, be able to express yourself with it. Let it teach you things.

oman Fest was founded in 2018 as ‘a reimagining of an ancient women’s gathering where we come together, we step up for ourselves and each other, we learn, we share, we dance. We reconnect to and celebrate the Earth. We reimagine the world a little brighter and we heal. We burst out of our conditioning into our power; free, wild and mysterious – and a greater force for good than we could ever imagine.’

 e as kind and gentle to yourself as B you would beto others. There are going to be plenty of people who won’t be good to you; don’t be one of them!

5

 verything boils down to a simple E choice eventually, fear or love. Choose love, every time.

For more about Woman Fest, which will take place from 8-12 August 2019, visit: www.womanfest.co.uk w ww.hof fmaninstitute.co.uk | 33


34 | Hof fman Institute UK: +44 (0)1903 88 99 90


by pilot Bruce Crawford

I

left the Hoffman Process full of optimism, hope, and a new sense of vigour. I’d spent a week coming to understand more about why I am the way I am, why I feel the ways I do, and how to read and harness the power of my feelings. I’d come on the course because I’d reached a stage in my life where I realised that change was necessary. Now I had ideas and tools that would help me make those changes the trouble was that I didn’t know what I wanted to change. I wasn’t sure about the vision for the future that I‘d created on the course, but I knew I had to start somewhere. So where to start?

My new relationships at work were certainly good. I’m working with a new group of people who are much more my sort of people anyway, in a company bursting with energy, optimism and innovation. It’s a great place to be able to set my cynicism aside, and be swept along on the surf of new, successful connections. I’m allowed - even encouraged - to be a leader, and am respected for suggesting innovations. I’ve permission to try new things, even if some of them don’t work out. It’s a company that realises, and understands the power of vulnerability.

‘I’d reached a stage in my life where I realised that change was necessary.’

My job? That was changed for me, as I was laid off a month after the Process. My relationship? That was changed for me as well; it ended about two months after the Process. I continued to do daily check-ins with each aspect of myself: my body, intellect, emotions and spiritual side. Each night as I put the light out, I practised appreciations and gratitudes. I went to Hoffman events, listened to meditations on my Hoffman app, and spent time most days with the Hoffman journal. Slowly, I rebuilt my hope and optimism. I got a new job which is way better than the last one and, as winter turned to spring, my energy grew, as surely as the sun returned and the days lengthened. But there was still something missing.

O N G O I N G REPAIRS My broken relationships with my family were gradually repairing, and my relationships with friends became stronger. I realised it was time to let go of other relationships that I was hanging on to out of fear, not love.

Life was really working out. I was sure the Process had played a part; it taught me how to be the best version of me.

But to paraphrase the classic U2 anthem, I still hadn’t found what I was looking for. I was missing passion, a fire in my soul, although at this point I hadn’t quite understood that. I was searching for the missing ingredient, and it was wearing me out. I needed a holiday.

S U RV EYING MY OP T IONS You know how sometimes you can’t find something you’ve lost when you go searching for it, and as soon as you give up looking, it turns up right under your nose? Or how you come out of a shop with something you didn’t know you wanted, but it’s the perfect answer to a problem you didn’t know you had? I’m not much of a one for a beach holiday or an all-inclusive resort, so I decided to spend two weeks on a yacht survey off the west coast of Scotland. Twice a month through the spring, summer and autumn, a group of six volunteers supervised by a skipper, a mate, and two research scientists sets sail from Tobermory on the Isle of Mull to survey the inner and outer Hebridean islands for cetaceans (whales and dolphins). I was excited to be part of the crew. In my work as a pilot, I used to fly around the west coast of Scotland, so it was also a way w ww.hof fmaninstitute.co.uk | 35


to see it from a different perspective, and to become immersed in part of the life there. The group were about half my age, and from all sorts of backgrounds. We came together as an effective team and a close social group in no time - I think Hoffman helped me to relax into the group in ways I don’t think I would have done in the past. As a teenager I’d loved sailing, but somewhere along the line life had taken over. Me and sailing had drifted apart, becalmed in a sea of grown-up responsibilities. I chose this holiday because it wasn’t a Mediterranean beach or an Italian tour. I chose it because of what it wasn’t, as much for what it was - more of a working trip, an adventure, a marine safari.

BAC K IN M Y E L E M E N T Unintentionally, over the two weeks, I was able to take myself back to the (much)

younger me; me in the age of innocence when the world really was my oyster, and the horizons of possibility were limitless.

‘I left the Hoffman Process full of optimism, hope and a new sense of vigour.’ On the yacht I could feel and taste the elements; the warm sun on my cheek, even through a chill breeze; the tide tugging at the anchor; the deck beneath my feet rolling and pitching on the swell; the rain dribbling down my neck (it was summer in Scotland after all). My soul started to stir again. My heart began to sing again. My intellect piped down, and my emotions began to engage. The salt I tasted on my lips was not just the salt from the Hebridean sea, but also from tears of joy and relief.

I T ’ S A L L PART OF T HE P ROCES S I still love my job, but I‘d lost connection with the things that fire me up. I re-found my

connection to the power of the elements, the big skies, the rolling seas, and the humility of knowing that I have little control over them, but that given the right respect, they can be enjoyed and used to my advantage. The Process doesn’t claim to be the last word in fixing yourself. For me, it has been the start, the turning point, a chance to redraw the map and make new choices. Maybe I was looking for answers in the wrong places, or maybe I was searching too hard. Either way, I think that now I have found the next step. On my Process week, I spent a lot of time outside of myself looking in. On the yacht, I had the opportunity to look out from within. As my inner and outer worlds meet, my evolution continues. I’ll continue to trim my sails, and learn to work with the tides and the winds at sea, and in my life, so that I can enjoy the journey. Where might it take me next? I am not sure exactly, but I am going to do more sailing, and a day skipper course which will allow me to sail small yachts around coastal waters, to take me back to my place of connection.

To find out more about supporting and volunteering with the Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust visit: https://hwdt.org 36 | Hof fman Institute UK: +44 (0)1903 88 99 90


WHAT ARE ‘GRATITUDES AND APPRECIATIONS?’ Sam’s mum says;

By Sam Wood

W

hen my mum first said she was thinking about doing the Hoffman Process, I wasn’t sure if it was a good idea. She suggested I should do some research about it online and then we could talk it through. My mum has always been someone who is selfless and attempts to put other people first, and it was wearing her out. My dad left a few years ago, and after that she seemed stressed. She hardly ever took time off work, we’d stopped doing things together that were fun and she quite often seemed sad and angry with the world. I could see that after years of working hard, worrying and feeling unable to stop, she was really in need of a break, but I was worried that she might come back different; she’s the only mum I’ve got!

And what a difference! It’s been six months now since my mum came back, and she’s a much calmer person. She no longer seems to worry as much. She has also become more assertive and confident, she goes out to places much more than she used to, and is always offering to do things with me when she has time. This is a huge change from when she was stressed previously, as that just caused arguments, confrontation and overall upset throughout the house. Now it’s a much more settled and calm environment for everyone. In my experience, Hoffman is a very effective way of getting help with emotional support. There has been a definite change in our relationship, and in my mum’s overall mood. It has helped us as a family to understand what we should value most, with us doing gratitudes and appreciations, allowing us to share what we are grateful for. I’m incredibly happy she was able to do Hoffman as it was something she definitely needed. All I can say is thank you to the Hoffman team and to the others who supported her throughout the Process.

The Hoffman website had stories from all sorts of people who talked about the course helping them with things like anger management, worry and aggression and overworking. It also talked about helping people to focus on their positive qualities in order to feel happier. Some of it sounded a little bit crazy, but after we’d talked, I felt reassured, and mum started to make plans for the course.

Sam (pictured aged 4) is now 15 and studying for his GCSEs.

We hadn’t really spent time away from each other before, and it was strange knowing that I wouldn’t be able to text or ring for a whole week, but it actually went by really quickly.

Hoffman regularly runs one-day parenting workshops in London, led by members of the Hoffman facilitating team. For details, visit www.hoffmaninstitute.co.uk/parenting

‘Doing our gratitudes’ is a really simple way of adapting some of the Hoffman tools that has now become a daily ritual. Sam and I do the following three things every morning, usually on the school run or over breakfast. It takes about five minutes (max), but really helps us each keep in touch with where the other is at. I didn’t think it would last beyond a week or so, but now if I forget, Sam will remind me. I definitely think it helps us to communicate.

1

 We each think about how we’re feeling that day and find three adjectives to describe it. ‘Fine’ or ‘a bit rubbish’ doesn’t cut it; we want properly descriptive words, even if they’re not always positive. It’s a good vocabulary booster at the very least, and gets beneath the default teenage ‘grunting’.

2

 We identify one thing we did the day before that we can feel proud of ourselves for; a self-appreciation. This has been a real eye-opener for me, giving me an ever-increasing list of things that Sam’s done that I can take pride in. I can see that it also boosts his confidence and self-esteem.

3

 We each think of three things we’re grateful for that day. Sometimes this could just be, ‘I’m grateful for my cereal’, but more often it leads to a discussion about things that have happened in the news, people who we know who are having a hard time, or having gratitude for our friendships. And of course, we’re both pretty grateful to Hoffman for bringing us closer together. w ww.hof fmaninstitute.co.uk | 37


by Hoffman Enrolment Supervisor Zoe Flint

‘I

f you don’t tell me what you’re upset about, I’m never going to know.’ This is what a boyfriend said to me years ago and it really struck a chord, despite being perfectly obvious. Our plans to share a home had been foiled by his taking a job a long way away. I totally understood and supported this decision – he is an academic and only a few universities offer his speciality – but, unlike him, I felt insecure enough in the relationship to consider it a fatal blow. We stopped making the effort to connect and a wall between us emerged which we never managed to breach. The feelings I was grappling with (clearly less discreetly than I thought) seem entirely understandable to me now, but at the time I was unable to accept them myself, let alone voice them to him. I am an incredibly chatty woman with a tendency to overshare, so it’s hard to believe I would have such difficulty communicating my feelings. I figure it’s an unconscious bluff; keep talking and I won’t have to say how I actually feel. It was the breakdown of this relationship that led me to Hoffman, for which I am grateful. I have since wondered whether it was particularly torturous for me because of a similarly long-distance relationship I had with my parents as a child. I went to a boarding school for girls which has long since closed. The fees were means-tested so my conscientious parents, doing what they thought best for me, could afford to educate me at an independent school for a fraction of the usual price. I was put in house 2 and allocated a number, 11. My housemistress was kind and quiet and drank a lot. If we ever needed to talk to her, we did so in a cloud of cigarette smoke while she sat in her chair, smiling and coughing, never really engaged. Contact with parents was forbidden in the

first month and thereafter discouraged other than by letter. There were two payphones for 300 of us which were often monopolised by the same tearful, homesick girls. Nick Duffell, psychotherapist, author and founder of Boarding School Survivors (www.boardingschoolsurvivors.co.uk) talks of the ‘strategic survival personality’ boarders construct. We repress our feelings and build strong defences. ‘In the security of these institutions we learned to do without our parents, but also to disown our fears and our needs.’

‘On the Process, I really knew that I was fundamentally OK’ I was hungry. I remember going to sleep in my dormitory of 18 girls with my stomach rumbling, and walking up and down the long trestle tables at which we ate asking for leftovers. I know – it all sounds a bit Dickensian, but it’s true. In the first year I ate my breakfast cereal with a fish knife, there being a shortage of spoons and me being the youngest in the house. Later I took matters into my own hands and decided to eat just one thing a day for a whole term, losing about three stone in as many months. This went unchallenged (it was the 80s) and I somehow muddled through. I continued to turn my emotions in on myself and not speak up – a pattern learned early in childhood but certainly further embedded at boarding school. I did the Hoffman Process in my 40s and saw for the first time that I was entitled to all my emotions, whatever they were, and that what I did with them was important. I learnt how to welcome my feelings, to give myself time to process them and, if helpful,

express them in a healthy way. There are times now when I consciously and unashamedly parent myself; the childlike part of me feels comforted so my adult self can get about its adult business in a clean and unfettered way. At boarding school I was told I was complacent and cavalier, and once that I had a hole in my head where my brain should be – quite a statement! On the Process I really knew that I was fundamentally OK, and this is the assumption under which I now operate. It feels different and wonderful. I am now better able to focus on the positives: I loved the camaraderie of boarding and enjoyed some incredible friendships that continue to this day; I took refuge in the music practice rooms and became a competent classical musician which has given me much pleasure ever since. Sometimes I imagine the thoughts supplying the non-stop narrative in my mind as instruments in an orchestra. Yes, the bassoon may be parping away, reminding me that once again I’ve said or done the wrong thing, the solo violin pitiful when I’m playing the martyr, but since doing the Process, I now have soft flutes and warm cellos, a harp and a marimba (my favourite), and occasionally an entire brass section to champion me when needed. Post Process I am much less anxious, and this is measurable in concrete ways: I can now take in everything I read rather than drift off in thought; I make straightforward decisions without deliberating for hours; I am able to enjoy stillness and silence where before I would maintain constant activity. As Nick Duffell puts it, ex-boarders may ‘retreat into workaholism, unaware of the suffering that this masks’. I am a work in progress, still disassembling some habits and attitudes that have given me the illusion of safety for decades, but taking more and more time just to do nothing, feel how I feel, and know that it is OK.

If you’ve been affected by your experience at boarding school and are wondering whether the Process is for you, Zoe would be happy to speak with you. Email enrolment@hoffmaninstitute.co.uk and we’ll book you an appointment. 38 | Hof fman Institute UK: +44 (0)1903 88 99 90


w ww.hof fmaninstitute.co.uk | 39


with entrepreneur Steef Versprille 40 | Hof fman Institute UK: +44 (0)1903 88 99 90


I

was born and raised in Holland and now spend my time between Fuerteventura in the Canary Islands and the Netherlands, where I run my bungy jump, zipwire and extreme sports business.

must have been planted. About two years later, when the same ticklish feelings came back, I suddenly found myself trying to track down the same estate agent - who by this time had completely forgotten who I was - to find out more about the course he’d mentioned.

I’m happily divorced and in a second marriage. My relationship with my ex-wife is very good; we work together and both have strong relationships with our two sons, aged 18 and 21. I also have a baby son with my current partner, who I can’t get enough of. We all get along very well. That didn’t happen all at once, but we each worked hard at it – and all three of us have done the Hoffman Process! I didn’t have a very happy childhood, but who did? Having an aggressive and violent father made my childhood road a bit bumpy. Growing up in an unsafe environment led (in my case) to my being aggressive and very suspicious. I remember having spells of what I now recognise as unprocessed anger. At the time I just felt this as a hollowness, an emptiness - not always present, but nagging - that I carried around with me. A feeling of ‘something missing’ that I couldn’t understand, from a really early age and especially around the ages of 11 or 12. As a young man, I went to college and then on to National Service, as was usual in Holland. Because of my anger, I was violent. Playing rugby and boxing helped me to an extent, but it wasn’t enough to dissipate the anger completely. I tried various jobs and ended up in all different levels of society, high and low, having to deal with all kinds of people. The one constant was that I’ve always loved being outside in nature. I was a catamaran sailing instructor on the North sea, then a commercial deep sea diver, which I thought would be a macho job with a really cool costume until I realised I was basically a well paid underwater construction worker. I became Jack-of-alltrades and master of none for a while. I spent so much time, particularly as a businessman I think, behaving like The Very Hungry Caterpillar from the children’s book by Eric Carle. Whatever I actually had each day was never enough - as soon as I had ‘eaten through’ one successful experience, I immediately moved on to the next one, that I wanted to be bigger, more fulfilling, more impressive. I got into the trap of defining success in terms of things and money, possessions, praise and power, and couldn’t get enough of them. Measuring up in those ways is

When it came to the Process, I thought I was mentally prepared; I figured I was approaching the course with a completely open and ready mind, ready to leap right in. When I eventually found myself in Florence House faced with my facilitators, Matthew & Mairi, I had this almost unstoppable urge to run out of the door and never come back. I am very glad I didn’t!

a mindset mainly encouraged by society, which made it even harder to realise the emptiness of it. The Hoffman Process really helped me find my way through that way of thinking. Then my youngest son (11 at the time) was diagnosed with a fatal kind of cancer. Luckily, after 3 months of screening, the diagnosis turned out to be wrong, but only after he was operated on to remove a big tumour. During this episode I got to appreciate what was really important. I also learned a lesson that I like to share: When we are healthy, we have a thousand wishes; when we, or one of our loved ones are not, we have only one wish. My life had been tipped upside down, and I still had this nagging, angry hollowness – but now also combined with fear. As we all know, fear and anger are like Siamese twins. I searched many roads and tried many therapies, mentally and physically psychotherapy, behaviour therapy, circular breathing sessions, craniosacral therapy, ayahuasca rituals, meditational healings, etc. But despite all the self-examination, all of the learning and ability to rationalise the workings of the mind that I gained from my work in Transactional Analysis, despite all the therapy and God-knows-what-else sessions I did to get rid of these feelings, the nagging, angry, scared hollowness was still there. It was an estate agent, of all people, who brought me to Hoffman. We were making chitchat during a real estate purchase, as one does, and he told me about this training that he’d done called the Hoffman Process and how it had changed his view of life drastically. He was very brief, but very clear! It went over my head at the time, but somewhere a seed

The main gift of the Process for me was that it allowed me to reconcile my relationship with my father. Before the Process, I felt that I hated him every day. I didn’t know the Process would change that. I also didn’t know that my feelings towards him were hurting me so much. I didn’t realise that there was any work to be done on this. I just thought that this was the way it was. In allowing me to work through those feelings, the Process led me to finally understand what was at the root of the rage I was carrying around with me. I can now think of my father with compassion and love. When I think of him now, I think happy thoughts, no longer with the hurt that used to go with the thought. Of course I remember the things he did, but I see them now as events that have passed. The biggest difference now is that it doesn’t hurt me anymore. I am proud of what I achieved during and after the Process. I’m so incredibly happy to be calmer and to be coming from a place of love instead of rage. And I’m even prouder that I had the guts to go to the Process in the first place! Of course shit happens in life, that’s what we’re here for. Every time I think ‘now I know it all’, or ‘now I have everything under control’ or any of those sorts of platitudes, then more shit happens. It’s almost like a test. Of course I still get angry sometimes, but the big difference now is that when I find myself thinking ‘I am angry,’ I can push back against that thought and not let it define me. I might be feeling anger, but that feeling can just pass on by. It’s no longer what I am. It’s a few years now since I did the Process. It was an irreversible experience, and one that finally made me feel worthy and good enough after years of fighting fear and shame. I’d happily recommend it to anyone – and frequently do! w ww.hof fmaninstitute.co.uk | 41


Trinity by Ramona Galardi

by artist & Reiki master Ramona Galardi

W

hen I came across the Process, I was an expat in Singapore, living an (apparently) ideal life. My husband had a fulfilling career trading commodities, I had my own interior design business and we had two lovely young children.

my birth parents at the tender age of 4 and sent to London, away from my birth family in India. I was brought up by my extended family and grandparents in the UK and although I didn’t know it then, I would never return to my parents in India.

realise the importance of creating a similar sacred space at home; a sanctuary where I could go to unwind, resource, meditate and centre myself. This led me to create a series of artworks entitled Meditative Calligraphy, which take you into that space.

I became aware of other levels of consciousness which I had accessed through dance therapy and Reiki energy healing, combined with the subtle power of crystal and colour healing which I had practised for over 20 years. I knew there was more to life.

The Process changed my life. It cracked me open like a walnut and allowed me to be more in touch with myself. I was aware of having patterns of abandonment and rejection, but Hoffman was a real eye-opener. It allowed me to bring down my wall of protection within a safe space. A warm, nurturing and supportive team meant I felt held, acknowledged, understood and deeply loved. I began to notice my own needs more and left the course feeling that I’d found out who I was. I’d connected with my core essence and embarked on a memorable journey to myself.

As the effects of the Process settled and integrated, my husband (who’s quite leftbrained) noticed the positive changes in me. He’d already done Reiki - ‘just for himself’, as he would say - but once he’d also done Hoffman, it gave us a greater understanding of each other and our respective journeys.

It was at this point that my friend invited me to a Hoffman information evening. I’m a great believer in timing. Things happen when you’re ready for them - and before I knew it, I was on my way to Byron Bay in Australia to do the Process. It proved to be a life-changer. The course allowed me to look at my rather difficult childhood. I’d been separated from

The guided meditations with lovely music that we did on the Process took us on amazing journeys to a calm inner space. They made me

Portrait of Ramona Galardi by Martin Sean. www.martinsean.co.uk. Taken for the Dwelling exhibition at Fitzrovia Chapel, 2018

42 | Hof fman Institute UK: +44 (0)1903 88 99 90

We have both recommended the Process to many friends and family who are now on their own paths to self-discovery and wholeness.

Ramona Galardi is a London-based artist and therapist. To view her art, transformational jewellery and healing interiors, visit: www.ramonagalardi.com


w ww.hof fmaninstitute.co.uk | 43


Photo credit British GQ/CondĂŠ Nast

44 | Hof fman Institute UK: +44 (0)1903 88 99 90

by journalist and author Dylan Jones


I

had no intention of ever writing about the Hoffman Process. My wife had been encouraging me to try it for years - apparently my behaviour was becoming so impossible (I was emotionally detached, never ‘present’ and unable to empathise or emote) that the family were walking on eggshells - and when I finally relented, I vowed to keep it a secret. Like many people I know, I had been seeing a therapist on and off for years, but had never seen the need to shout about it or indeed discuss it with anyone. The older you get though, the more the past starts to catch up with you. Mine had probably never left me. I spent most of my childhood being hit by my father - when he wasn’t hitting my mother, that is. I was beaten relentlessly and repeatedly (daily, in fact), hit so hard that for years it was difficult for me to speak without stammering, finding it impossible to repeat my own name. For most of my life, all I could remember about the violence came in abstract, fuzzy images and I think I managed to pretty much blank most of it out. When I became a teenager, I began treating it almost as badge of honour, like having a criminal for a father, advertising what a tough time I’d had, an excuse for delinquent behaviour and appalling results at school. And then I just buried it, for years, just put it into another box, one I rarely even looked at. The Hoffman Process is a personal development course with a difference, one that involves a variety of therapeutic techniques, including Eastern mysticism, deep meditation, a form of group therapy and a lot of physically expressive work. The Process has a unique recipe, drawing ingredients from various well-worn modalities, including Gestalt therapy, neuro-linguistic programming, cognitive behavioural therapy, bioenergetics and some fairly extreme psychodynamic work. Examples include journalling, meditation and guided visualisation. It has become, for many, a life-changing experience that can clinically remove negative habits. Many who finish the Process become evangelical and it has been compared to a form of rehab. The practitioners tear you down then build you back up again, teaching you tools and techniques to help change old behavioural patterns that may be preventing you from feeling fully alive and freeing you to make conscious choices that will improve your relationships with the people around you. It is intensive and often transformational. The salient belief of the Process is the importance of childhood or, more precisely,

the emotional discovery of the truth about the unique history of our childhood. Its aims? ‘To help you become conscious of and disconnected from negative patterns of thought and behaviours on an emotional, intellectual, physical and spiritual level in order to make significant positive changes in your life. You will learn to remove habitual ways of thinking and behaving, align with your authentic self and respond to situations in your life from a place of conscious choice.’

some of the group work, and out of courtesy to the other people on the course I’m not going to tell. Suffice it to say that you are encouraged to go back into your childhood - deeply into your childhood - in a way that I didn’t think was possible. Yes, there is a fair amount of expressive work, but there are also techniques for delving into your memories so precisely that the trauma of childhood is scooped out of you - where it is examined, recontextualised and eventually sent on its way. Even though it is a process driven by emotion, intellectually it is fascinating.

‘The Hoffman Process is one of those once-in-alifetime experiences that will leave you changed forever...’

On the final day, I came back to London something of a different person. A crowded motorway was perhaps not the best way to re-enter civilisation (in fact, it is recommended that you actually squirrel yourself away for a couple of days by yourself in a hotel, advice I stupidly ignored), but it helped contextualise the extraordinary journey I’d been on. This wasn’t an X-Factor journey, though. This was real, a genuine sensation. That sensation is still with me; the pulse is weaker now, but it’s definitely there, reminding me forever that the Hoffman Process is real too, a psychic tattoo that you can’t easily remove.

At the end of 2017 I went along to an introduction evening at Regent’s University, in Regent’s Park in London, to see what all the fuss was about. I sat at the back of the room looking for all the world like a broadly drawn secret agent from the Fifties, with my collar turned up and my hat pulled down, adamant that no one should notice me. And as I listened to half a dozen Hoffman graduates get up and discuss the course, telling us all how good it had been for them - and they were nothing if not passionate in their espousal we heard time and time again that it’s best if you don’t know too much about it before you go, principally in case it scares you off. How right they were. Six months later, I turned up at a small country house hotel on the south coast along with 23 other nervous inductees. To say that we were all wary is a massive understatement and while a few kind souls went out of their way to be nice to each other, most of us were grunting and staring at our shoes. We were then encouraged to walk into a room and take our seats, ready to embark on a metaphorical journey that I imagine none of us on the course will ever forget. And why would we want to? After all, the Hoffman Process is one of those once- in-a-lifetime experiences that will leave you changed forever. I should know, because I myself have changed.

I loved my week by the sea. And you know what? I want to go back.

This article is an edited extract from Dylan’s original in GQ magazine, and is reproduced with kind permission of British GQ: gq-magazine.co.uk

As I say, if you knew what the course involves you probably wouldn’t want to have anything to do with it, but rarely have I found a week so fulfilling as the one I spent at Hoffman. It is difficult to describe the intensity of w ww.hof fmaninstitute.co.uk | 45


Wilfred Emmanuel-Jones

Elizabeth Shassere

Hayden Eastwood

Jeopardy

Becoming a Fearless Leader

Like Sodium in Water

Wilfred EmmanuelJones may best be known as the firebrand entrepreneur behind food brand The Black Farmer but success definitely wasn’t handed to him on a plate. In Jeopardy, Wilfred draws on his huge range of life experience, from ‘poor, dyslexic, black youngster’ in the Midlands, via the army, the BBC and an untold number of ‘kitchen nightmare’ catering jobs to award-winning farmer in Devon. He argues that in order to reach our dreams, we must abandon our natural instinct for caution.

Elizabeth Shassere worked for 20 years in the public sector as a senior manager and executive director. A registered consultant with a masters degree in public health, she successfully led several multi-million pound departments through major programmes of change in both the UK and overseas. Her help guide for business leaders suggests practical ways to navigate the stresses and responsibilities of leading teams.

‘I wrote down Like Sodium in Water almost ten years ago, as a catharsis of a time and place that seemed so distant from my adult life, I sometimes wondered whether it actually happened. It’s a love drama and a family tragedy set against the backdrop of Zimbabwe’s gathering storm clouds during the 1980s and 1990s. It’s a story about love, despair and hope, and about how people only abandon the lies they’ve told themselves when they’ve exhausted all other options. Writing the book led me, in the years that followed, to be drawn to the Hoffman course, and to continue the necessary self-improvement that the process of writing had initiated.

‘My greatest learning is the power of vulnerability. I tried to spend my life hiding my vulnerability, but Hoffman taught me that you can’t get creativity and innovation without it. My creativity has gone up a gear and I have already won a big piece of business by coming up with a concept that I would never have thought of before.’

‘(Hoffman) set me up for the change that took me from working in an environment and role that was not suited to me to creating a life on my own terms that feels like my ‘right life’… The Hoffman Process became my saving grace on a difficult journey. It interrupted my unproductive thinking, introduced new ways of looking at my life, and perhaps best of all, it helped me take the blinkers off and shine a big, bright light into my blind spots.’

www.theblackfarmer.com

www.elizabethshassere.com

46 | Hof fman Institute UK: +44 (0)1903 88 99 90

The Hoffman Process, for me, catalysed some crucial realisations. From the moment I stepped out of it, I felt as though the rudder of my life journey had been irretrievably reset. Seven months later, I still have that sense.’


A selection of books by Hoffman graduates that are currently on our reading list.

Rachel Kelly

Erica Garza

Tim Laurence

Singing in the Rain

Getting Off

You Can Change Your Life

Rachel Kelly is a bestselling writer, public speaker and mental health campaigner. She writes regularly for the press and is an ambassador for several mental health charities. She is also the author of five books covering he experience of depression and recovery and her steps to wellbeing, from poetry to nutrition.

Erica Garza struggled with the loneliness and shame of sex and porn addiction for two decades, during which she tried many self-help routes, including Hoffman. Now happily married, Erica is determined to help others to understand the link between addiction and ‘ordinary trauma’ with her new book, Getting Off.

You Can Change Your Life was written by Tim Laurence in 2003. Tim trained with Bob Hoffman in California in the early 90’s and has taught the Process to thousands of people from many different cultures in half a dozen countries and in a handful of languages. In 1995 he started Hoffman UK and he continues to teach around the world.

‘Singing in the Rain is all about stuff you can do to feel calm and content. Self-reflection has its place, but the awareness it brings needs to move us into positive mindful action. That was one of the things I loved about Hoffman: being shown how that cycle works so we moved through feelings and into ‘doing’ with awareness and without getting stuck.’

‘What’s unfortunate is that most of us feel like our ordinary pain isn’t valid. We shut down and keep our stories to ourselves. We pretend we‘re happy and grateful and yet still live in pain or numbness. What’s amazing about the Process is that I was able to face these kinds of problems without judgement or criticism. My pain was just as valid as anybody else’s. My patterns were worth working on. The Process is beautifully inclusive.’

www.rachel-kelly.net

‘I have done this work of connecting powerful energies for more than twenty-eight years now. It’s has challenged me and rewarded me far more than anything I have ever done before that. It is my true Life’s Work’. www.hoffmaninstitute.co.uk

www.ericagarza.com

w ww.hof fmaninstitute.co.uk | 47


with campaigning ecocide lawyer Polly Higgins

B

arrister Polly Higgins gave up a lucrative career in law to campaign on behalf of the Earth. In 2010 she presented her proposal for ecocide to become an international crime to the United Nations. Polly’s charity Earth Community Trust is Hoffman’s charitable partner in running the Hoffman Scholarship Fund. Here she explains why a fundraising meeting became the catalyst for her coming to the Process and how that’s now informing the legacy she wants to leave.

You hadn’t done a lot of therapy before you did the Process, so what made you decide to spend seven days on an intense course? What attracted me to Hoffman was the participatory and experiential nature of the course; it’s not just a matter of sitting and talking. I liked the fact that it would be very interactive, physical and I’d learn tools to take away. I didn’t know it then but I had reached a critical moment in my life. I felt very unsupported in my work (a pattern!) I had set up a charity and couldn’t get funding – I was burned out. At a meeting, I crashed in a big way (self-sabotage – another pattern!) and a friend of mine took me for a drink and gently mentioned the Hoffman Process. This was my turning point. It was like a feather in the air, I caught it, and decided to fly with it. After looking at the website that night, I got back to my friend and said, ‘I want to do this.’ What he did next changed my life. He funded me to take the course; that was an incredible gift.

gift time for our own self-development. That takes courage, and I’m proud to have done it. My facilitator was incredibly insightful; he showed me a mirror into my soul. I realised I’d felt unsupported since I was a child, and that was affecting my ability to achieve what I wanted. On the Process, thanks to the work we did, I completely shifted how I saw myself and my world. It provided me with some amazing tools to embrace and release my shadows and gave me great takeaways. I still use some of the visualisations and other techniques that I learned on the course to this day. Plus it sharpened my vision of what I wanted to do with my life and the legacy I wanted to create. My creativity started to flow.

It’s a commitment, undertaking the Hoffman Process, and it’s a commitment to ourselves to

Earth Community Trust allows organisations like Hoffman to accept charitable donations – what inspired you set it up? When I first received £50,000 funding from a wonderful individual who really believed in what I was doing advocating ecocide law, I had either to find a charity that would allow me to operate under their remit or set up my own. Not many charities operate as conduit charities, so after being unable to find one, I set up my own, explicitly to be a conduit charity for other individuals and organisations who are aligned with our values and purpose. It can be expensive and time-consuming to set up a charity, so to be able to offer that to others who are doing great work in my field was a way of gifting it forward. As I am someone who operates in the gift economy, I was very keen to reciprocate in some form. Can you explain a little more about the gift economy? How does that differ from the concept of donation?

What did you get from the Process personally? It helped me to face what I call my own ‘inner ecocides’ (those patterns of serious harm that were preventing me from participating in my life). This was profound for me. At first I remember thinking, ‘I have nothing in common with anyone here.’ But of course, by the end of the week, we were all bonded by our commonalities. Remarkably, I felt I’d become more humane and capable of loving others. That was an incredible insight to me – letting go of my own baggage freed me up to enjoy the greatness of others around me.

comprehend the intrinsic value of our non-human world. That has knock-on consequences; it becomes unconscionable to destroy it, so we consciously shift from destructive behaviour to constructive and protective action. That has huge implications for future generations.

Hoffman is all about helping people to stop passing unhealthy patterns down generations. Do you think this can include patterns of how we treat our environment? Absolutely. For me, the two are intimately intertwined. If we harm ourselves, we harm the world around us; not just our friends and family, but our Earth community too. There is a direct correlation between self-harm and environmental harm. By that I mean if we learn how to treat ourselves with compassion and kindness and we value ourselves, we also

48 | Hof fman Institute UK: +44 (0)1903 88 99 90

The gift economy is gifting without attachment, freely from the heart. I call it ‘heart-to-heart funding’. I’m consciously calling in funds that come from a place of deep care and altruism, something that the word ‘donate’ seems to have lost over time. For me, it’s also about passing it forward, gifting something into the future, so that others can also benefit. Gifting back into a system (in the case of Hoffman, the Process) means that others coming up behind you who don’t have enough funds can also benefit. How do you see Hoffman helping people to live more holistically? I was very struck when I heard that Bob


Photo credit Fran Monks

Hoffman’s vision was to spread peace in the world, one person at a time. I really got that – when we seek inner peace it becomes untenable to go to war, internally and externally, personally and globally. With each one of us that takes up the challenge, like drops in an ocean, the tide can change. It’s also about conscious relationships – how we interact with each other. The Hoffman Process basically strapped me into a flying jet, showed me how to use it and set the course! Ultimately I‘ve become far more conscious of my own behaviour and my impact on myself and other. This has shaped my work as a lawyer advocating for a law to protect the Earth, and it continues to inform me. This is a lifelong process. We all leave our mark on this Earth and we all have an effect. So, once we embrace that, how we choose to live our lives becomes a conscious decision. Once I’d experienced that, and started to take responsibility for my baggage, it became much harder to blame others (another pattern!), because I could see the part I played in my own life and in that of my community. My experience of Hoffman enabled me to take responsibility and to see the bigger picture of my life and the legacy I choose to leave. It opened me up to becoming a full-time participant in our world. Do you have any advice for anyone considering the Process? The same advice that was given to me: it’s not about feeling better, it’s about getting better at feeling.

To read more about Polly, visit: pollyhiggins.com. To read about her charity Earth Community Trust and the Hoffman Scholarship Fund, visit: earthcommunitytrust.org or hoffmaninstitute.co.uk/scholarship

‘It’s a commitment to ourselves to gift time for our own self-development.’ w ww.hof fmaninstitute.co.uk | 49


I

was once at a celebratory meal in Oman where a poet gave a reading in front of the 50 people present. He kept repeating a line in Arabic which described us as ‘prisoners’ of ourselves, of our religion, of our lives and of the circumstances around us. It was so powerful that it produced a deep silence in the room. As he said, we were all guilty of creating prisons within ourselves.

by Roger Tempest of Broughton Hall

50 | Hof fman Institute UK: +44 (0)1903 88 99 90

This idea really resonated with me, as my own awakening began quite late in life. Along the way I’d had the good fortune to experience some remarkable people and places including Mother Meera, John of God in Brazil, Eckhart Tolle at the Omega Institute, Amma in India, and Mother Teresa’s nuns in service for the homeless.


However, as I eventually discovered on the Hoffman Process, the addition of formal tools and frameworks can allow you to take a giant leap along the path of self-development. Whether they’re aimed at integrating traumas, learning the value of ceremony, acknowledging fully what we experienced as a child or in our parenting or learning how to live in a more loving and caring way – the Process structures and techniques proved incredibly valuable. A friend who experienced transformative change through the Process kept suggesting that I put the time aside to do it. This went on for nearly 10 years while work continued to distract me. The tipping point came when my partner encouraged me to do it. Finding the time and opportunity for Hoffman led me in the right direction and helped me overcome a range of issues which began to liberate me, setting me on a course for life which is bringing ever greater rewards. Once I started on this journey of discovery there was no going back without enduring an unsatisfactory and half-lived life. On my quest to release myself from the shackles of the past, inappropriate social conditioning and beyond, Hoffman was a seminal moment which created some key breakthroughs. One of these was finally coming to reasonable terms with my father’s life and his death in 2017 at the age of 93. Already the product of a peculiar upbringing, this was a man who was shot in the head in 1944 and who had traumatic World War two experiences of concentration camps. I was finally able to empathise with how these events had shaped him and why he was who he was – an understanding I had been searching for much of my life. The course led me to explore new corners of life and the physical world. It opened up my heart and mind to a whole range of new experiences and gave me a framework for life which continues to serve me well.

Hoffman made me realise that my selfcare and personal development in fact benefit everyone in my life, whether family or friends or the community I live in.

‘My advice if you’re unsure whether or not to do the Process? Just go for it. I can’t understand how anybody could not benefit from it... it’s the most wonderful present you can give yourself and it benefits so many others.’

When I recently asked one of Mother Teresa’s nuns for a tip in life, she reminded me of the prayer by Hans Urs: ‘What you are is God’s gift to you, and what you become is your gift to God.’ It beautifully sums up the journey we have to go on, whether you believe in God, a creator, or the force of life itself. The Process gave me a beautiful sense of inner sanctuary – one of the many Hoffman gifts that I took away with me – and now my partner and I have created that same environment in a centre called Avalon, a safe haven in which people can explore and transform their own lives.

Hoffman also taught me that creating transformative experiences needs the right environment and tools delivered in an exceptionally well-thought-out manner for the full potential of healing and change to occur – and personal responsibility is at the heart of it.

Avalon nestles in the Yorkshire countryside offering nurture, nourishment and support for the mind, body and spirit. We hope to become the leading centre in the UK for this type of work. That means, with amazing synchronicity, that we’re very honoured to host the Hoffman Process in this picturesque and unique location.

I’m deeply grateful for the remarkable dedication of the course leaders to guide us through the troubled waters of life in a safe and trustworthy place, as well as the chance to meet so many fellow travellers, with whom I’ve formed deep bonds.

My advice if you’re unsure whether or not to do the Process? Just go for it. I can’t understand how anybody could not benefit from it, however difficult parts of it are – it is the most wonderful present you can give yourself and it benefits so many others.

The legacy it has left with me is to make me very aware of the work I need to do on myself whether it involves my relationships, my work, my health, self-care or overall life vision.

The Process, in one way or another, is a soul journey. On reflection, it seems so obvious that it’s up to us to awaken and leave the prison that the Omani poet so astutely referred to that day.

It’s the shifts that we make on the inside that lead to external change. When we’re no longer afraid to look within, we can look without much more confidently and courageously. Our fears so often hide our greatest gifts which, once uncovered, we can then use in service to the wider community – as Saint Francis says; ‘in giving, we receive’.

Avalon was launched in 2018 in Roger’s family estate, Broughton Hall in Skipton. Find out more at www.avalonwellbeing.com or visit www. broughtonhall.co.uk For upcoming Hoffman events at Broughton: www.hoffmaninstitute.co.uk w ww.hof fmaninstitute.co.uk | 51


1

2

Information

PHONE-IN

Information

EVENING

3

Introduction

DAY

What is it?

What is it?

What is it?

An open phone-in (a bit like a conference call).

An evening event that’s open to the public, lasting around one and a half hours. Although the evening is structured, it’s informal - you can drop in at any point or leave early if you’d prefer to.

A one-day workshop, where you get a chance to ‘try out some Hoffman tools and techniques.

What happens?

Introduction days are led by two members of the Hoffman team, usually facilitators or members of our enrolment team. They’re standalone workshops that provide an introduction to Hoffman concepts and methods and allow you to try out some of the things you might learn on the Process.

What happens? The number to dial and the call PIN are on our website (there are different numbers if you’re using a landline, a mobile, or calling from overseas). Calls are led by a member of the Hoffman team, supported by a volunteer from our graduate community who has offered to share their experience. We’ll start at 7.30pm (GMT). You’ll be asked to give a name, and then be welcomed on to the call. There’s a quick introduction and then you’re welcome to ask questions or just listen in. The call finishes around 8.30pm.

Do I need to book? No, you can just call in from anywhere in the world, although you’ll need the phone number and call PIN in advance.

Information evenings are led by a member of the Hoffman team, supported by Hoffman facilitators. There will be a brief welcome and introduction, then a chance to hear from people who have done the Process in their own words. Following this is a Q&A session, where you are welcome to ask any questions you might have, or you’re welcome to speak one-to-one with any of the team at the end of the evening. Information evenings are a good opportunity for family and friends of people who’ve done the Process (or are about to do it) to find out more too.

Do I need to book? No, just turn up. You won’t be singled out or made to feel uncomfortable in any way, and you’re not obliged to give a name.

What happens?

If you know somebody who’s already done the Process, they’re welcome to come along with you for free - just let the office know in advance.

Do I need to book? Yes. Places are limited, so you do need to book in advance. You can do this on our website, or by calling the office. There is a fee for an Introduction Day, which is refunded if you then go on to do the Process within twelve months.

Dates and times for all of the events above can be found on www.hoffmaninstitute.co.uk, or our monthly e-newsletter provides a round-up of all upcoming events. We look forward to meeting you!

52 | Hof fman Institute UK: +44 (0)1903 88 99 90


Retreats to nurture your body, inner child, intellect & spirit

Emma Pruen and Hoffman Teacher Matthew Pruen’s beautiful holistic centre near Bordeaux. Intensive Couple Coaching with Matthew Pruen All Year

Relationship Courses for Couples

28-31 March & 29 August-1 September

Hoffman Graduate Retreats 7-12 April & 6-11 October

Introduction to the Enneagram

20-23 June Run by the French Hoffman Institute

Relationship Skills for Individuals 18-21 July

Plus a variety of Yoga, Pilates, Meditation, Art and Music retreats

Want to find out more or looking for a venue for your own course? Please get in touch: 07508 920583

emma@retreat.fr

retreatincharente

@french_retreat

www.retreat.fr

w ww.hof fmaninstitute.co.uk | iii


Welcome to Florence House A MAGICAL PLACE WHERE EXTRAORDINARY THINGS HAPPEN On the brow of Seaford Head, Sussex, sits Florence House; a much-loved venue for life-enhancing workshops and retreats, weddings, corporate off-site training events, Bed & Breakfast and more…

RETREATS & WORKSHOPS CONFERENCES WEDDINGS 3 HHH BED & BREAKFAST 10% Discount to Hoffman Graduates booking events or workshops. For further information, contact Mairin or Steve on t: 01323 873 700 or e: info@florencehouse.co.uk www.florencehouse.co.uk

Profile for Hoffman Institute

Hoffman UK Magazine 2019