I first came across the Hoffman when my husband Rupert attended the Process in 2008. He returned so much calmer, I couldn’t believe how much happier he was in his own skin. I’d been aware of pain from my past that kept surfacing and, having seen the change in my husband, I thought this might be the opportunity I’d been waiting for to deal with it.
I’d never done any form of therapy so I was still unsure about going on a week-long residential course and I remember trying to get my husband to share details of his experience with me, but he explained that to get the full benefit it was best to arrive with an open mind and experience the Process first-hand. Looking back I’m so grateful that I trusted him enough to follow his advice.
A few months later I signed up and headed down to Oxon Hoath, a large Process venue in Kent, to start the course. As a natural introvert, I was surprised how the facilitators managed to create such a safe, non-judgmental and compassionate space where 30 complete strangers could come together to delve into their innermost thoughts and feelings.
I learnt so much in such a short time. When I arrived I found it impossible to describe my feelings in words other than ‘I’m fine’, but with the help of the facilitators who provided us with an extensive list of adjectives we were encouraged to use this vocabulary to pinpoint what was going on for us. This lesson in being able to recognise and describe how I feel is one of the most powerful skills I took away from the course. It’s helped me communicate better in my relationships with my family as well as in my work.
The course was the catalyst for huge changes in both mine and my husband’s life and was really the start of the great adventure which we’re still on today. Rupert resigned from his job as a broker and left the City and his daily commute to the financial heart of London. I’d always seen him as a creative, kind, outdoorsy, adventurous person and I felt that all these things were being stifled in his previous work.
We didn’t have a fixed plan but, in the words of Hoffman, we were ‘serious about change’ and in 2012 opportunity knocked. We invested in a boutique hotel called Why House just outside Galle in Sri Lanka. As we packed our bags and left for this beautiful island to become hoteliers, I reflected that this was so far out of my comfort zone that pre-Hoffman, it just would never have happened.
The venture had its highs and lows that really tested us and, probably because of this, Rupert and I became a stronger team. We’d been trying for a child for a number of years so, after a major setback in Sri Lanka, we decided to return to England for IVF fertility treatment. I was lucky enough to fall pregnant first time round. Although the pregnancy brought many health challenges, sadness and pain, our wonderful daughter Isabella was born in April 2014 and our journey as new parents began.
In the meantime we’d been looking for another project that we could work on together after Sri Lanka. Rupert had developed an interest in the potential of hemp and its numerous uses especially when it comes to health, so we launched Healing Alternatives at the end of 2019.
We’re now happily working together again, promoting the belief that we all have an inherent ability to bring ourselves back to health and producing plant-based remedies to aid this process. Our cornerstone ingredient is CBD extracted from the hemp plant which is organically grown in Switzerland. We now produce oils, skincare products and bath salts. We help people with a myriad of problems such as pain management, anxiety and insomnia and it feels as if we’ve found our calling.
The Process enabled me to really get to know myself, confront trauma from my past and give me the confidence to attempt things I’d never have considered before. My relationship with Rupert has grown and we share a new common language. This didn’t happen overnight but for both of us the Hoffman Process was the start of a journey to get to know ourselves and one another. I’m now more adventurous and I love to try new things, stepping out of my comfort zone whenever I can.
My Five Top Wellbeing Tips
- Being in Nature is a perfect way to reconnect with yourself and others. I love forest bathing, grounding barefoot on the grass and walking on the beach.
- Instead of repressing anger or frustration – I let it out! My trusted Hoffman wiffle bat sits in the corner of my bedroom and, whenever I feel overwhelmed, I use it to bash pillows the way I did on the Process.
- On the Process I connected with a sense of myself as a spiritual being. I continue to do this with a daily practice which connects me to the divine. I light a candle, pull inspirational cards, say prayers, burn palo santo and do a guided visualisation.
- Being of service to others has brought me incredible joy and I’m lucky enough to experience this in my work every day.
- Most days I empty my mind as a stream of consciousness onto three pages. This practice is called ‘morning pages’ as described by Julia Cameron in The Artist’s Way. As you purge your thoughts onto paper, you get in touch with your true feelings and make way for creativity.
For more about wellbeing products and gifts, visit Veronica and Rupert’s website: https://linktr.ee/healingalternatives
For Veronica’s story in pictures, visit her Instagram account: https://instagram.com/veronicamasters25