By Phoebe Harding
I was standing in the middle of the empty road at White Sulphur Springs, appreciating sunlight filtering through redwoods. Suddenly, the foreground came into focus. A single spider web thread ran vertically from a branch above. At eye level, this shining thread held a starseed pod, round, pointy as a metal jack, even finer than the spider’s web. I’d nearly walked into and through this quiet installation of web and fluff, just holding each other and winking with late sun at me. I paused in wonder.
“Show up, trust, you’ll be lifted” Sprang to Mind
Through the practices I had been doing that week at the Process, short sentences of encouragement like these kept burping up from within me. I was feeling marvelously calmer, and starting to suspect that instead of being chronically, grotesquely toxic, I might just be adorably quirky and fallibly human. My gaze, normally down and private, was starting to come up to the level where my eyes actually were. My body was waking up to life here, now, instead of frozen in an imagined past. My intellect had the instinct to let go of that which no longer served. My feelings felt the inclination to value all my experiences. My spirit offered kindness, confidence, and capability. My harmonized Quadrinity was tuning up like an orchestra, and this call was coming from inside the house.
This was a great relief. It meant I didn’t have to wait for a teacher, or be yoked to a place. I could take it with me wherever I went. It is within my abilities to govern myself, and my job to teach me, so if I show up (practice), trust (let go), I’ll be lifted (a benefit will reveal itself). I am the love of my life, the one I’ve been waiting for.
Time to Meditate!
Like all relationships, the one with myself must be constantly refreshed. Since mid-March 2020 and COVID, I have been showing up twice a day to Hoffman’s Instagram Lives*. To do this, I set two alarms on my phone, and twice a day when the alarm chimes, I sing out to my dog, “Time to meditate!” It’s not traditional meditation; it’s guided, live practice, but he doesn’t know that. In the mornings, I take 10-15 minutes to remember I have a body, a mind, feelings, and a spirit. In the evenings, I’m reminded that I’m not so bad, after all (that’s the self-appreciation), and I’m literally surrounded by support and blessings (that’s gratitude).
I’m also reminded twice a day that my pet fits perfectly in my lap when I sit crossed-legged (that’s luck).
Sometimes I’ve enjoyed these moments of calm focus and imagination so much, I’ve done them twice, or texted the link to a friend with the words, “Really good tonight!” because I love to share what I love. I still do these IG Lives even if I’m tired or in a hurry (and even if I miss it live, they save for 24 hours). Something within the practice will always reach and uplift me, and I liken it to brushing another layer of shellac on my commitment to healing.
I so appreciate Hoffman, for both their in-person Process and for programming myriad virtual offerings when we cannot be together. I’m just one of many students who are showing up, trusting, and being lifted as a result, and I am seriously changed and grateful.
*Check out Instagram Lives @hoffmaninstitute. Morning Quadrinity Checks at 8 a.m. Pacific, and Gratitude & Self-Appreciations at 6 p.m. Pacific.
Phoebe Harding is the Programs Registrar at the Hoffman Institute, and has done the weeklong Process twice at White Sulphur Springs, in 2009 and 2017. She just signed up for her first Q2: Beyond Mom & Dad this May at EarthRise. Single and child-free, Phoebe enjoys doing whatever she wants, whenever she wants, with no one else’s say so. Her canine companion, Artie Deerfox, is a constant source of joy, as is their wild and windy home in Sausalito, CA.