1969 Bob Hoffman developed the principles of the process that bears
his name. In 1972 he put them into practice. Initially a thirteen week
program, in 1985 these principals became an intensive eight day residential
seminar known as the Hoffman Quadrinity Process.
The process explains why you behave the way you do and will help you
gain control of your own life. The four major components of the process
are as follows:
(1) awareness (2) expression (3) forgiveness and (4) new behavior.
Hoffman believed that the blocks in our lives (which stifle creativity
and success) could not be cast aside merely by talking out our problems
to a therapist, but must involve the four essentials of his process.
He realized that people must heal emotionally and that this involves
compassion for ourselves and our pasts. The Hoffman Process offers psychospiritual
transformation and helps a person build up a sense of self that does
not rely on others.
Most of our patterns of behavior originally occurred because of our
parents or caregivers. In fact, the majority of our patterns occurred
around the time we were eight. If old hurts are still limiting our lives,
it is because old reactions stick around unless we do something to rid
ourselves of them.
Emotionally going back and reliving these bad times can release blocked
energy that has been held in as fear, anger or depression.
Step 1 - Awareness - This initial step in the Hoffman Quadrinity
Process is about recognizing where we are now versus where we want to
be. We must uncover the patterns we are in - victim, manipulator, blamer,
These are strategies we've adopted in order to cope. These are the masks
we wear. If we act a role all the time, it becomes a prison.
We can become aware by identifying situations in which we give our power
to other people. We can learn to respond to situations rather than react
to them. We can decide how we'd really like our lives to be and how
we feel when we visualize our ideal.
Awareness can be helped along by writing these things down without censoring
yourself. You can also use visualization. Pretend it's that way now
and live as though it is. When people see only negatives in themselves
and their lives, this robs them of energy.
You cannot feel good about your life unless you feel good about yourself
from the inside out. Summon forth your spiritual side and begin spending
time every day with it, like a new friend.
Step 2 - Expression - To reclaim power, it is necessary to express
old hurts. What we repress emotionally for too long eventually shows
up in our bodies as disease. Go back to your early life and relive hurtful
parts of it. Even exaggerate these painful old negative feelings. You
weren't born with them; you learned them.
Vent your anger. Anger is healthy when properly released. Vocalize it,
stomp on it, dance it out, whatever it takes. You might even write a
letter to your parents or others telling them the ways they hurt you
and how angry it made you. After the feelings have poured themselves
out into the letter, you can burn it.
Trace the patterns learned from your parents and see how one of them
had the same patterns. Release these patterns. Build a boundary between
them and you. Now you have more freedom to be yourself.
3- Forgiveness - Move on. Realize your parents were probably
doing the best they knew how to do at the time. Even if not, forgive
yourself for permitting someone else to abuse you. Truly forgive them.
Make it an emotional investment. Truly forgiving will let you feel a
source of inner strength.
In order to clear resentment, you must first express it. Walk through
the pain again until it doesn't feel as strong. Then learn to feel love
where you felt anger or sadness before. At some point turn things around
to where instead of emotionally "accusing" your parents or
caregivers, you are defending them.
It might prove helpful to hold a conversation with your "child"
parent. Healing work that comes from this part of the Hoffman Process
occurs subtly. You connect more with your spiritual self.
Tears are another way of cleansing the heart. Tears help clear the blocked
emotions that have prevented love from entering our lives. Mourn for
the past you are putting to rest. Performing a ritual while bidding
farewell to the negative side of your parents helps the process.
Light a candle for each of them or in some other ritualistic way commemorate
this event. Doing ritual work is an excellent way of letting the seen
and unseen worlds come close. That is when miracles can occur.
Forgiving others is not enough, however. We must also forgive ourselves
for our own mistakes. Then we can start fresh, after facing the differences
between our emotional and intellectual selves, or our thinking side
and our feeling side. Now it is time to balance the needs of our emotional
side with those of our rational side.
They often cause us inner conflict. These old voices we're programmed
into give us doubts, insults, and messages of self-hate. The voice we
need to hear is the wise voice of our spiritual self. Bridging this
gap can be helped along by meditation and intuition.
Step 4 - New Behavior - To live life fully it is necessary to
feel. Changing our belief systems instead of repeating our same history
can let us do that. Our old fears can turn into courage and our shame
to self-respect. If we really feel, we are able to experience the "big
five" emotions - joy, anger, fear, grief and love.
Criticism has caused us to think we weren't good enough. We believe
we are a mistake. One of the strongest statements in the book is that
love "reminds us that we are spiritual beings having a human experience."
In healthy love, you aren't needy and you don't try to fill a void with
a relationship or an addiction.
The Quadrinity Process is about first changing yourself and how you
perceive things to be. Once you do that, it is possible for you to change
your life. Instead of rejecting present experiences as bad or unnecessary
(guilt, anxiety, anger), accept them and learn from them. Find kindred
spirits who will support you. Support them as well.
The ghost of childhood relationship enters into our present, and the
book tells us to avoid self-sabotage - don't be emotionally hijacked
by old patterns of behavior. Both intellect and emotions can warn us,
if we permit them to.
Let your spiritual self stay in touch with what you want in a relationship.
When it comes to love, we are most attracted to people who match our
parents in order to heal our childhood love wounds. If we are able to
heal old feelings of rejection, we won't look for the same kinds of
When you accept or reject people, do it because of who they are rather
than your perception of them. Your perception is clouded by your past.
Some of our old patterns, when examined, show us why we are approval
seekers, or why we reject before being rejected, etc.
We can enrich our relationships by using new behaviors. We can also
heal old friendships. Sometimes it helps to have a friend or two with
whom you can give and receive feedback.
The book also discusses jobs, because in today's society more time is
spent on the job that ever before. For too many, self-worth depends
on their work and the money they earn. Hoffman says that your work patterns
usually resemble those of your parents.
If you dislike the work you do, recognize and express how you feel about
it. Find out what's keeping you there and what you can do about it.
Note also your feelings about authority and money. People not only have
a fear of poverty; some people have a fear of abundance.
Suggestions are offered on building a stronger sense of spirituality.
One way is to never lose sight of the fact that you are a spiritual
being. Another is using the imagination to visualize yourself as a spirit
being in human form.
Other ways are paying special attention to your breath and setting aside
a physical space for yourself to practice.
Like spirit, the body too gives and receives energy. We should treat
our body as sacred, offering it the right nutrients and exercise.
Discern how, in growing up, you learned to love your body (or didn't).
Have a dialogue between your body and mind. Delight in your five senses.
Understanding why you are the way you are can help you become the way
you want to be. The Hoffman Process offers people a new emotional education
by teaching them to become the creative force in all areas of their
It engages all four dimensions of the self - intellect, emotions, physical
body and spirit. Its focus is on raising self-awareness and self-development
of the individual, thus raising the self-awareness of society.
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