When and where did you do your Process?
I completed my Process in July 1990 in Ontario.
What drew you to take the Process?
I found out about the Process, while I was attending another workshop related to the pursuit of my personal growth and development. During that workshop, we did an exercise where we needed to confront a parent for something, that as a child, we were angry with them about. I chose my father, with a very clear childhood memory of where I had been very angry with him. Midway through the exercise I tapped into anger that I had buried around the incident and I guess I went a little crazy in the room expressing that anger. In fact, I shocked myself with what came out of me towards my father from such a repressed childhood thought about an incident that no longer existed. It had only existed as a thought in my mind, and yet it still had control of an aspect of myself. At the end of the exercise I was approached by Peter Kolassa who shared with me about the Hoffman Process. It took me mere seconds to sign up to do the Process. I truly believe the Process finds you, when you are ready to do the work.
What was the greatest gift you received from doing the Process?
There were many greatest gifts!
My mother had passed away a few years before I did the Process and through the work I was able to forgive her and let her go in peace. That moment during compassion was such an incredible moment of inner peace.
My father was still alive and I was able to be with him from a place of just being and loving him for who he was.
The Process gave me the tools and practices that I needed to live the rest of my life for me. I was also able to find my truths through the various stages of the Process, and that has and continues to play out in so many areas of my life.
I found my authentic self and self-love.
When did you decide to become a Hoffman teacher ? Why did you pursue this work ?
The Tuesday of my Process, after compassion and finding the freedom that I wrote about above with my mother and father. I knew in my heart that I wanted to do this type of healing work. I had no idea how I would be able to do it. I was married at the time with a child and a full time teaching job. Like so many others, I was tied into a life that I had followed based on the “rules” and to change that seemed overwhelming.
I used the tools of the Process and took it one step at a time. I knew that the first step I needed to do was to apply to the Hoffman Institute to see if I was a candidate to become a teacher. Just a step at a time, with an inner commitment to live my life from the place I found myself after my Process. Following this commitment I was accepted into the training program. Over the next few years I became the first Canadian Teacher of the Process and soon after this, the first Canadian Supervising Teacher.
I also wrote myself a mission statement shortly after my Process based on my experiences in the Process and the truths that I found for myself. It reads - “My mission is to be of service and make a difference in the world, through my acts of compassion and contribution.” This mission statement guides me daily with the choices that I make towards the vision that I desire for my life.
You are a life time learner and have studied under a number of teachers such as Byron Katie, why do you always come back to this work?
I always come back to Hoffman because I know that it has provided me with the ability to live a full and complete life. As I stated earlier I found my “truths” through the Process. That was so powerful for me!
The many teachers that I have had in my life, have allowed me to gain such incredible gems of wisdom from their teachings and writings. I knew what they were saying intellectually. Emotionally it was their experiences that created their wisdom, and thus their truths that they shared through their teachings, would never be my emotional experiences or my truths. I know that I am not able to live from their experiences and their truth. I am able to live from my experiences and my truths and I can be supported by the teachings of others.
There is the messenger and the message from all teachers in one’s life. Sometimes the two do not seem to belong together and yet, if I can find support for my truth from their message and adapt it into my life, then that is powerful.
Your background includes 41 of years teaching in the private school system.During that time you developed a strong connection to a sister school in South Africa. Tell us more about that.
In 2001 I was chosen to travel to South Africa, by my school, to visit a school on the Eastern Cape with the intention of starting an outreach program between the two schools. Upon my arrival in South Africa, it felt as if I had come home.
The first day I met a young boy in grade one who stayed around me quite a bit. HIs name was Anathi. Over the two week period that I was there, I found out more about him and his single mother who had lost her husband through death. I came back home to Canada and could not get Anathi out of my mind.
The Outreach program was established between the two schools and the following year I returned to South Africa. I had made the decision during the interim, that I would pay for Anathi’s education through to grade twelve. This would relieve his mother of the burden of paying his school fees, uniform and book costs. I also realized while there, that there was a great need for sponsors of children at this school.
A few years later I took a leave of absence from my teaching for four months and rode my bicycle in the Tour D’Afrique in 2008. This trip would take me from Cairo, Egypt to Cape Town, South Africa. I used it as a fundraiser and I was able to raise $50,000 for a sponsorship fund at the school for more children to be able to attend the school.
The boy I originally sponsored, Anathi, is now a young man and in his third year of University in South Africa, attending through scholarships and different forms of assistance.
As a teacher I know the value of an education, especially for children in developing countries and the powerful freeing effect it can have on the individual and the country.
And yes, I still travel back to South Africa regularly to visit Anathi and his mother and the other wonderful people I have become friends with through this journey.
After retiring you have pursued your second career as a visual artist . You have been quite successful . Where did interest in creativity come from? Where is your work shown?
As far back as I can remember, I have been creative. My school teaching career saw me as the Head of Art and thus, I was able to live a very creative, fulfilling career. I use to tell people that I actually get paid to play and be creative all day! When I retired I made the commitment to myself to fully embrace my creative side and find a studio space to work out of in the city of Toronto. I was able to locate a space that I share with 45 other artists and I show up almost every day and immerse myself into the creative process.
My work is presently carried at three Toronto Art Galleries. They are Art Interiors, Blue Crow Gallery and E-Gallery.
You could live a life of leisure at this point in your life but you are still involved in both facilitating the Process and supporting our grads - why?
What the Hoffman Process gave me has been so rewarding and this has changed my life in unbelievable ways. It guides me daily as I move through the journey of this lifetime. Continuing to facilitate the Process and support the grads is just a natural fit. I know what the Process provided for me and I work towards guiding others to find their truths for themselves, so that they too can love and live an authentic life. This then spreads to those around them. What could be more powerful!
What is your vision for Hoffman Canada in the next decade?
I really believe the Hoffman Process is one of the world’s best kept secrets! I envision the Process becoming a household name, where people are drawn to the transformative power of the work in order to provide them with the tools and practices to live their lives fully and authentically.
Ultimately I would love to see the Process become a common aspect of all levels of our lives. Be it education, business, government, professional etc. I truly believe that our country and our world would be a more loving place as a result.
I truly see the leaders of our world, having done the Process, guide the world through the challenges that are faced by us all, through the lens of the Process. Imagine the world we would live in!
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“What will Hoffman do for me?”
I was intrigued...intrigued and hooked...the moment Peter (the former Director of Hoffman Canada) responded with a confident ... “It will teach you to love yourself.” And that it has truly done. I have grown, my relationships have changed, and my life has improved – all so positively! Realising that I am worthy of love, accepting love from others, and loving myself, has given me strength and courage to overcome many ‘life experiences’ that would have surely broken me pre-Hoffman. Hoffman was my giant leap of faith into further developing my Spiritual Self, expanding my Intellectual Self, loving my Physical Self and giving me heightened awareness of my Emotional Self. I am now complete, I am healed...and I excitingly anticipate the amazing journey – with all the accomplishments and challenges – that life has in store for me.
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