It’s been approximately 7 days since my return from the residential Hoffman Process retreat in Connecticut, and I think its finally time for me to write about my experience there.
To start things off, I was a little bit apprehensive going into the retreat. Was the Hoffman Process for me? Am I going to be surrounded by whack-o’s? I always felt that my relationship with my parents wasn’t really all that much to complain about. I felt loved by them as a kid and had great relationships with them. There was something about the Hoffman Process that drew me to it though, and I was intrigued from the moment I read about it.
The Hoffman Process is a residential retreat, meaning your workshops and housing are in the same location. The Process in Connecticut was actually a newer 6-day version of the retreat (normally The Process is 7 or 8 days long, depending on the location). I packed my bags and got ready to give up my phone for a week while I underwent some serious psychological exploration.
My experience during the 6 days there was absolutely life-transforming. We did so much, and even after the first two days I felt I had made tremendous shifts in the way I looked at the world. Each day that went by, my fellow classmates and I kept repeating the same thing: “I already feel I’ve had such crazy shifts, what could possibly come next?” I’m not even joking when I say this, and part of the whole Hoffman experience is not really knowing whats coming next.
I tried to do some research online before going to the process to see what exercises we might be doing at The Process. The only thing I could really glean in advance was that we’d be using yellow wiffle ball bats to beat out our anger into pillows. While that sounded silly before The Process, after having done it I could not believe how much anger I had suppressed inside my body. It became clear to my why there is nothing available online about the events that proceed later on in the week- the element of surprise is crucial, and the effect of these events on you are incredibly powerful.
I will say this to would-be information seekers trying to plan their process- just let it go. The events after the first two days are so incredible, and so powerful, I truly feel that the entire experience was well worth the price I paid for it. I went into trying to intellectualize everything, and when I let that go and just let The Process be The Process, I gained so much more insight into myself and how I function.
Upon returning home I wasn’t sure how I would take to adjusting back to normal life. As mentioned earlier, they do request that you voluntarily turn in your cellphones during the process and refrain from accessing the internet or checking any emails. While every gripes about this aspect of the process, I would say it was just another one of the many liberating aspects of the retreat. When else can you actually escape from looking at a computer screen for a week? Or from not seeing a phone or even caring about whats happening on Facebook? Seriously.
I took handing over my phone as a commitment and dedication to changing myself during this process, and by the time the week was over I almost didn’t even want it returned to me.
After coming home, I could tell things had shifted in me in an immense way. I’m still currently “transitioning” and noticing the effects that The Process has had on me. First off, during the process, you undergo visualizations almost every day, and they leave you feeling absolutely incredible and empowered. You truly feel like you can accomplish anything and they open you up to exploring parts of yourself that you never would have explored otherwise. Upon returning home, I still hold many aspects of those visualizations clearly in my mind and I use these images to help guide me throughout my life.
Another thing I would suggest to would-be Process attendees, is to bring several easy flowing pens. You will be doing a lot of writing, which is incredibly liberating. I brought several Uni-ball vision needle pens, which are my favorite pen for journaling and writing because the ink just flows so smoothly out of those things. I think I honestly went through four of those pens while at The Process. If you don’t feel like bringing your own pens in advance, don’t fear, there were ample amounts of Hoffman pens available in baskets throughout the process.
In trying to describe how I feel after the process, a few key words come to mind: Liberated, more open, better able to handle things, less stressed, more in control- while at the same time more flexible. I approached life from a completely intellectual point of view going into the process, and while undergoing the process I gained my emotional side back. I became truly balanced, which is something I could have never anticipated the process would do for me.
Music sounds better to me now, I no longer feel the nagging urge to be doing something at all times. I am much more content in being myself. I am happier in knowing I am on the right path and doing the right things. I doubt myself less and have much more faith and backing in my decision-making. I connect with people more and feel I have regained a ton of trapped energy that was stored away on patterns that belonged to my parents. I honestly feel like I am more of my true self.
Need I say more? I was not attending therapy or anything of the sort before going to The Process, I was just a guy looking to live more from his authentic self, and The Hoffman Process was 100% in alignment with this goal.
In fact, I would say that The Hoffman Process is 100% in alignment with this website, and the goals I set forth in producing this content for you guys. It has had a substantial effect on my outlook of life, the filters I view the world through, and the way I handle my everyday interactions.
To anyone that stumbles across this website trying to decide if The Hoffman Process will benefit you- just give yourself the gift of The Process and do it. There were some students during my process who came in looking like hell and left looking like angels. Everyone in my class left with a feeling that they had truly gained back a portion of themselves that would’ve otherwise been lost- probably for the rest of their lives if they hadn’t done the process.
Because of my great experience with The Process, I’m planning to attend their Q² graduate-only intensive in about seven months from now. I fully expect to have breakthrough after breakthrough during the 3-day weekend intensive, look out for my review of Q2 in 2015!
Recommended Books For Preparing For The Hoffman Process:
-Anthony from AuthenicGrowth.com