A few weeks ago, I went through an abbreviated version of the Hoffman Process. It was an online version of what is typically in-person intensive. This post provides a review of what happened and what I got from it.
What is the Hoffman Process? Is it a cult?
No, not a cult. Or if it is, they didn’t ask me to join.
That said, the Hoffman Process does go deep into the “woo”. If the idea of healing your inner child or stomping out your fears and beliefs (literally) makes you want to cringe, then maybe this isn’t for you. Or maybe it is absolutely for you!
I'm someone who’s not comfortable with woo-woo-ness, but I do see the value in self-development and spiritual exploration, which is why I signed up. Plus my inner child has been triggered a lot this year (who’s hasn’t?), so I thought it was prudent to give her a chance to grow up.
Hoffman Process Online vs In Person
In “normal’ times (2020 has been anything but normal), this process is done over a week-long, in-person workshop. I can’t tell you how happy I am that I didn’t do that. It would have been too much people-ing for my introverted self.
Instead, the 2-day, Zoom-based weekend workshop was the perfect amount of time to get a taste of the Hoffman techniques and still enjoy sleeping in my own bed at night. It’s also a lot cheaper ($500 for the online process vs $5000 in person).
How it works
After you sign up, you’re asked to write a few paragraphs about your childhood experience, and any limiting beliefs that you want to focus on over the course of the experience. Then you read a short essay on the Hoffman Process and the theory that it works from.
The premise of the Hoffman Process, is to break the negative habits, behaviors and beliefs we have based on a “negative love syndrome”.
In a nutshell, we create negative patterns based on our experience relating to our parents. Everything we do as children is to obtain our parent's love and approval. It shapes who we are and how we operate in the world. The Hoffman process provides the tools and experiences we need to look at who we are objectively and stop destructive patterns.
What kind of things do you do during the Hoffman Process?
Well, again, I only did the online version, which is an abbreviation of the full monty, but there was a lot of journaling, meditating, body movement and sharing. Oh yes, you will be asked to share and its every bit as awkward as it sounds. Again, thank God for the anonymity of Zoom.
Here's a few things we were taught that I found helpful.
Quadrinity: The Four Aspects of Self
One of the most profound things we went through in the process was learning and connecting to the quadrinty - the four essential parts of the self. This includes the body, the intellect, the emotional self and the spiritual self.
Part of the work is identifying feelings in the body, which was truly profound for me. So much of our personal trauma is stored in the body, and when you’re guided to tap into it and express it, you can achieve immediate healing. This is something I experienced first hand and it’s the primary reason why I would recommend this program to anyone.
We all have traumas, big and small, stored in our bodies from a very young age that we carry throughout our lives. The more we can accept and release these traumas, the lighter we’ll be.
Growing up your Emotional Self
Another practice I found really interesting was the process of going inward to find your emotional self, and clearly seeing how old he or she is. Even though we age and mature, every often our emotional self gets stunted from growth in our childhood.
I clearly saw my emotional self as a seven-year-old and I was able to bring her up to my age. While I still see an inner child in myself, she no longer represents my emotional maturity, which is a beautiful thing.
Stomping out out old beliefs
One of the most interesting exercises was listing out our limiting beliefs (they call them “patterns”, putting that list in front of you, going into a meditation, then standing up and stomping on them for a solid 10 minutes.
I’m not going to lie, I thought it was super cheesy, but once I got into it, the tears started flowing and low and behold, my energy shifted.
My Thoughts & Review of the Hoffman Process
Overall, I found the weekend to be very beneficial. It was cathartic, I learned a lot about myself and how I hold myself back. As many others have said, I did feel “lighter” after the experience, because I felt like I had offloaded some emotional baggage.
Specifically, I don’t take things people say to me quite so personally as I used to, and I’m less triggered by the behavior of others. It hasn’t changed my reality, just the way I interpret the actions of others, which is a big deal.
Who is the Hoffman Process for?
I think it’s for anyone who has the desire to change. I feel like this is a very specific person, because not all of us are ready to look honestly at ourselves and see where we’re holding ourselves back.
Personally, I feel like you need to get to a point where you’re so sick of your own BS, that you’re willing to do awkward things and throw some money at your own recovery. Not everyone is there yet, and that’s okay.
I also think you have to be willing to get personal and vulnerable around people you don’t really know. Granted, they are strangers so there is some comfort in that, but sharing your personal weaknesses is part of the healing process. Ironically, it’s when you speak them out loud, you notice others nodding with familiarity. When you realize that we all share similar fears, the shame associated with them disappears.
Was this review helpful?
If you have specific questions about the Hoffman Process, feel free to drop a comment below. I am not in anyway affiliated with them, but I just felt it was a super helpful practice.
You can also learn more about the Hoffman Process from this Tim Ferris podcast with Blake Mycoskie, The founder of Toms Shoes. He goes through his experience, which is what drove me to try it.
More Resources on the Hoffman Process
If you're curious about the process and you want to learn more about it before investing in a workshop, I recommend the following resources:
- Follow the Hoffman Process on Instagram
- Listen to their Podcast
- Check out their blog
- Check out their Youtube Channel
Question for you - Would you ever drop $500 on a personal development program? I know that’s a significant amount of money, but it’s hard to put a price on your personal wellbeing.
Caren is a certified yoga teacher, fitness instructor and author of The Fit Habit. Here she shares simple, low carb recipes, quick home workout ideas and practical ways to foster mind + body wellness.