I want to share a few things I learned from the Hoffman process. Hoffman is an eight-day, in-house experience where you are taught effective tools to reprogram your nervous system. I feel like the process accomplishes about five years of reprogramming in about eight days. I feel though that it is best utilized in the chronic pain world in the context of a structured care pathway that you have taken charge of.
Climbing the Mountain
Picture a very high snow-capped mountain with a ten-foot smooth block wall running up the center of it. I am climbing up this mountain on the left side of the wall. There is no path and I have to fight through thick brush as I work my way up. After the process, I feel like I opened a door in the wall and walked through to the right side. I am still climbing the same difficult mountain but the brush is gone. The process gives you awareness and also clears the “noise” that we all have in our heads.
A Laser Beam
The Center of Public Leadership at Harvard offered the Hoffman process to its graduates. A significant number of these students have learned the tools. The process allows you to be much more creative and focused, both of which are important for leadership. I took the post-Hoffman leadership pathway and I have accomplished more in a leadership role in the last three years than I did the first 22 years of my career. I came out of there like a laser beam and I have not deviated a millimeter.
Hoffman also gave me the insight to put words to what I had inadvertently done for myself through writing. I did not realize that I had reprogrammed myself. I also thought that I was “done.” I was doing well before Hoffman. The tools I now possess have allowed me to take it all to a much higher level. It was through Hoffman that I gained the clarity of the reprogramming sequence: awareness, detachment, and reprogramming.
On the seventh evening of the process, there is ceremony that concludes the week. Many Hoffman graduates will come up to the ceremony and support friends and family that have just completed the process. They will stand up and share some of their post-Hoffman life experiences.
After my ceremony, three different businessmen stood up and gave glowing testimonials on how Hoffman had influenced their lives. Then a woman stood up who was not a very good public speaker. She seemed awkward and it was initially uncomfortable for me watching her stumble through her initial sentences. She had just finished the process a month earlier. She had been in chronic pain for over ten years. She had traveled all over the world and spent over $400,000 looking for a cure for her pain. As she continued her testimonial she started warming up and demeanor transformed into that of a very well educated, competent person. She said, “I spent all this money, traveled the world, underwent endless tests and treatments, and all I needed to have done was to come to Hoffman to discover that I was just fine.” She was almost pain-free for the first time in many years.
If every human being could learn and practice the tools learned during the Hoffman process, patterns of behavior being passed from generation to generation would be broken. The world would change.
My Son’s Experience
My son did the process at age 25. He had a much easier experience than I did. He did not have 56 years of patterns etched into his brain. The word he used after the process was “cleansed.” It was a little disconcerting knowing I was the one who had imprinted some difficult patterns on my son. It was incredibly rewarding seeing him go through the process and begin his own journey.
Not every one of you is going to be able to access the Hoffman process. But the reprogramming tools that have been presented in this book are powerful. Used on a regular basis they will change your life. I urge you to pursue a regular practice of reprogramming that works for you.
For more, you can check out, “A Surgeon’s Perspective on the Hoffman Process”, Staying Connected, March 2102. It’s an interview I did about the impact Hoffman had on my personal and professional life.
I also did a radio interview with Hoffman in November of 2012. I describe the relationship between the Mind Body Syndrome and Chronic pain. Hoffman essentially looks at your entire life in terms of the Mind Body Syndrome.