Archive for September, 2015

Been a long time

September 8, 2015

I think about the process every day. I don’t know why, it’s just always… there.


I try, in vain, to remember the person I was; I try and remember the thought processes and mind-set of the person who existed before July 2008, and even the person who started writing this blog over 7(!) years ago, and I simply have no recollection of who they are. I think I may have said something similar in this blog before.


A few members of my group are meeting in two weeks, and thoughts have once again turned to those crazy, insane 8 days all those years ago – and to this blog. (Some of which is just abysmally written, apologies!)


So much has happened in 7 years, but I guess that’s to be expected.


A member of our group tragically passed away – what an absolutely wonderful, kind soul Lucy was. I didn’t know her that well, but yet I knew her more intimately than most. I hope the process helped her find peace in the world in those last months of her life.


Other members of our group moved away. Relationships drifted.


Me, I fell in love with someone. I got married. I changed in ways I could never have even imagined. I had a career, I lost a career. I took charge of my life and am now working towards becoming a Counsellor. I grew what is generously considered to be an excellent beard.


My (real) father’s wife got in touch over Facebook for some reason, and I had an argument with him by email.


I don’t get much of an opportunity to speak about the process anymore, though occasionally I am asked the odd question here and there. Most common, by far (and this includes the many comments I get on this blog, thank you and my sincere apologies for not checking more often) is “X years on, do you still recommend the process?”


I was asked this most recently, and my answer is always a resounding “yes”. However, trying to define it for someone who hasn’t experienced it has been a much harder proposition.


In the end, I came up with this. I hope it makes sense. Obviously it doesn’t apply to everyone.


In life, you learn to walk, and, as you grow and learn and experience, you begin to carry bricks. Some people carry these bricks until there’s so many, you have to carry them on your back. The weight becomes greater, and eventually, you’re no longer walking, you’re just a guy carrying some bricks and struggling to keep moving.


What the Hoffman Process did for me, and for a great number of people I have spoken to about it, is take those bricks away, stand me up straight and say “now you can walk again. And if someone gives you some bricks, you’ll know how not to carry them.”


I had something else with an Etch-A-Sketch and shaking, but I think I prefer the bricks thing.


In more straightforward terms, I credit the Hoffman Process with saving my life. I don’t know where or who I’d be today if I hadn’t have blindly signed up for ‘some course’ all those years ago, but I can guarantee I wouldn’t be where I am now.


I’d reached a point in my life where I’d had a realisation that the problems I thought I was managing were actually managing me. And I knew I couldn’t change them single-handedly.


I’ve heard the Hoffman Process called a ‘cult’ more times than I can count and all I can say is that in my personal experience, I’ve no idea where the notion even comes from. The process does give you some ‘tools’ to take away with you, but they’re a bit like study notes. They’re not required reading, there’s no test years down the line, and how much you refer to them is totally your call.


Ultimately, most people are coming to the process with decades of problems, and the course lasts 8 days. You’d have to be really out of your mind – and not in the way the process aims to help – if you think it’s going to cure you of everything. It’s not. That’s why the tools exist. I haven’t touched my study notes in years.


Every so often I come back to this blog and have a browse. In between wincing at quite how self-involved some of it sounds, it’s really interesting to follow my journey to a place where it no longer became the focus of my life.


It seems a lot of people come to this blog because they’re doing research on whether or not they should themselves do the process. I can’t answer that question for you but I can tell you just what an extraordinary experience it was for me.


I’ll never, ever forget it. Even if I can’t remember it.