Transformational work is an individual matter from beginning to end. Though there may be similarities between people, each person comes to the work with a unique situation, with specific wishes for increased well-being, and with his/her own (yet to be discovered) natural healing process.
Sometimes a person will want to know what can be expected from Heartwork; that is, where can it take one? What are its potentials for personal growth? What is the “full course” of Heartwork?
An overview of the process might look something like this:
- Acknowledging that one has a problem, or that something is missing in one’s life, and getting clear on what that is.
- Taking responsibility for changing one’s life. Becoming willing and committed to doing whatever it takes to free oneself from suffering.
- With the issues of one’s life as a focus, learning and putting into practice one’s inner working process.
- Going through the “swamp” and glimpsing freedom.
- Developing, through experience, determination, patience, and confidence in one’s own process.
- Opening to new awarenesses of who one is and what life is all about.
- Integrating insights into one’s everyday life.
In the course of one’s work, there are a number of deep issues that may need resolution:
- Taking life in feeling: opening fully to love, joy, sorrow, fear and anger.
- Reclaiming/healing (loving, embracing, accepting) one’s inner child: making contact with all parts of the inner child, seeing the predicaments clearly, allowing the heretofore unfelt or unacknowledged feelings to surface, and allowing the child – finally — to get what s/he needs (from oneself, primarily; from others, secondarily).
- Making peace with one’s parents: Seeing/feeling one’s parents as they are/were, and experiencing one’s own related feelings; forgiving one’s parents and oneself for all the mutual creation of pain; mourning the loss of the perfect, unconditionally loving parents one never had; and, ultimately, becoming one’s own wished-for parents – reparenting oneself.
- Recognizing and balancing within oneself the masculine and feminine principles.
- Opening to the animal and elemental aspects of humanness and reconnecting with the natural world.
- Claiming one’s deepest resources (one’s gifts to the world) and accepting, with lightness, one’s “foolishness”.
- In relationship, being capable of loving and being loved and being open to seeing, feeling and communicating clearly with both self and other.
- Transpersonal work: Seeing that one is more than bodily sensations, thoughts and feelings. Opening to one’s innate qualities of Awareness, Curiosity and Openness, Love and Compassion, Wisdom and Discrimination, Intuition, Inspiration and Vision, Will/Power, Courage, Determination, Vulnerability, Willingness to Risk, Authenticity, Spontaneity and Creativity, Passion and Aliveness, Forgiveness, Joy, Peace, and Faith (in oneself and God/the Universe).
- Work of a spiritual nature: Learning to live in questioning/not-knowing/being. Experiencing one’s fundamental separation (aloneness, emptiness, nothingness), and opening to and moving through despair, into a state of Oneness (undivided and interconnected with all life). Facing death (of the ego-l, the known), and coming to know one’s True Self.
- Living responsibly from a place of openness, honesty, integrity, and commitment to creating wholeness in oneself, others, and the world.
Along the way, one sees clearly that suffering is created by resistance to pain and that the way “out” is “in.” By opening into and moving through one’s blocks, layer after layer, one enters into increasingly open, and decreasingly painful, states of being. Seeing this, one naturally moves towards, rather than away from difficulty, and gradually comes to trust one’s ability to work through any problem that may arise. Life then becomes an adventure to be lived and learned from.
While one ultimately has to do the work for oneself, it is often helpful to work with someone who has “gone before,” who can provide guidance, support and encouragement on one’s Journey. At some point, one outgrows the need to work with a Heartwork facilitator. Although there may be times when one needs assistance in looking into a particularly difficult issue, for the most part one has truly “graduated” and is on his/her own.