(804) 928-3189 BethHedquist@gmail.com
Befriending Your Inner Terrorist

Befriending Your Inner Terrorist

The domestic terrorist attack that recently occurred in Charlottesville, Va. by persons motivated by hate, fear, and intolerance has offered me an opportunity to reflect on the teaching Jesus called us to live – The call to love your enemy.   I’ll be honest. Loving those folks has been very difficult for me.   While I know it to be a worthwhile teaching, when it comes to implementing it in my life and in my heart I can feel the place that rails against love and acceptance. It feels too much like spiritual bypass. And while I don’t want to bypass anything, I do want to arrive at authentic compassion.   In Pathwork Lecture 133, The Guide says: “All religions, philosophies, and psychologies agree that love is the key to fulfillment, to security, to creative growth. And yet love cannot be commanded, nor can it be a commandment. It is a free, spontaneous soul movement. The more people try to love as if it were a duty demanded by conscience and obedience, the less does it truly manifest.”     We cant will ourselves to love our enemy. We can’t put a pretty mask on top of a volcano of emotion and expect it to remain dormant. So how do we move from the destructive place of hate to a genuine place of love and compassion?     No matter how many times I spin around in circles trying to wrap my brain around the presence of evil and how to respond to these monsters and the horrible acts they commit, it always comes back to a simple statement....
Pathwork Profiles: Sharing Our Stories

Pathwork Profiles: Sharing Our Stories

Over the years I have marveled at how Pathwork attracts seekers from a diverse group of cultures, spiritual backgrounds, experiences, and worldviews. As an international community we are truly a melting pot that expresses both our individuality and our common humanity. Our stories weave us together like threads in a magnificent tapestry, and speak to the core longing we all share as we navigate our unique path on the journey back to union with all of Life. In times of such deep division, I find the International Pathwork Community an oasis of inclusion, tolerance, and rich celebration of differences. I have decided to feature the stories of various Pathworkers so that we might come together as a community to enrich each other through our shared experience. I hope you enjoy getting to know others in the International Pathwork Community through this online sharing!   ************************   Cibele Salviatto Pathwork Helper in Miami, Florida Creating Sustainability From Within       I started Pathwork exactly 20 years ago when I was 29. It would be much more accurate to say that Pathwork found me, indeed. And it found me as a career driven person, successfully working for a large corporation as a strategic planning manager, married with no kids and sensing that life should be more than making money and being perceived as successful.   I needed to give back the gifts I had received from life, to contribute to something larger.   I was first triggered by a colleague with whom I was able to have profound conversations. He never mentioned the word Pathwork, but I noticed that some...
Are you Looking for Safety, or Adventure?

Are you Looking for Safety, or Adventure?

Yes, that is me on a wild whitewater rafting trip on the Snake River in Wyoming!   I absolutely love travel. It’s a deep dive into adventure, discovery, wonder… and sometimes, discomfort, disappointment, frustration, and fear. In spite of occasional uncomfortable experiences, it is the call to adventure and discovery that ignites my passion time and again.   As I reflect on my spiritual journey, I realize it’s much the same. While more of an internal rather than external journey, it is still an experience of stepping into the unknown with the intent to grow from each new experience, especially the ones I can’t anticipate.   So I have been thinking lately about safety. We talk a lot about safety in personal and spiritual growth circles. Creating a safe space, hanging out with safe people, and engaging in safe practices.   All that is true and necessary in creating a solid foundation from which to explore areas of the psyche that can feel vulnerable and frightening.   But safety isn’t the whole story, and if we are not careful, it can be a trap.   If we become overly focused on maintaining our safety, we lose sight of the fact that our safety does not lie somewhere outside ourselves, but inside. When we know ourselves intimately we can trust ourselves to handle whatever and whoever comes our way, and so we feel safe from within. We will set appropriate boundaries, pace ourselves appropriately, and not give our power away to someone else who is telling us what we should think/do/feel.   We can’t control every outcome, but we can...
Commitment: Prison or Prayer?

Commitment: Prison or Prayer?

I recently taught in the Pathwork Transformation Program at Sevenoaks Retreat Center, and we concluded the year with a Community Commitment Ceremony. This is a tradition based on the Guide’s descriptions of four stages of commitment in the Pathwork. I find it to be a beautiful, moving ceremony, and yet I am aware that just the word “commitment” can bring up a lot of reactions.    What is it about the word commitment that spooks us? Here are some of the reactions this word can trigger in me:   What if I change my mind? What if I fail to live up to my Idealized Self Image’s version of this commitment? Will I end up acting from a “should” instead of from my heart? No one tells me what to do! Will I be required to do something I don’t want to do? What will I have to give up?   If I am honest, I know these questions originate from my Lower Self, convincing me that it is not safe or desirable to commit to anything or anyone. Always leave a backdoor open for escape.   So what does commitment really mean?   In Pathwork Lecure 196, the Guide says commitment “means, above all, a one-pointedness of attention; giving the self in a wholehearted way to whatever the commitment may be. If you are committed to give your best to whatever you do, you will focus on all aspects of the subject. You will not shy away from investing all your energies, all your attention. You will use your faculties of thinking, of intuition, of meditation. In other...
Help Me Know What I Know

Help Me Know What I Know

These past few months have been difficult for me. I feel like Spirit has directed me down a path that I hadn’t counted on, and I have no other choice but to follow.   I can’t see clearly where I am going, how long it’s going to take to get there, or what the next step will look like. So far it has involved a lot of fear, sadness, grief, anger, and shame. Not exactly a walk in the park!   I have enough previous experience with this sort of thing to know I can trust the uncomfortable and the unknown, that whatever lies on the other side will be more magnificent than anything I can conjure up — but in the meantime I have been feeling lonely, full of doubt, and not completely up to the task.   I don’t need some new teaching, some shiny new technique, or some incredibly wise guru to gift me with something I’ve been lacking.   I need Community. I need others to help me know what I know.   I need support to dive deeper into the profound wisdom of the Pathwork, letting go of everything I think I have learned so that I can discover it again on a deeper level.   Fortunately, the feeling that I am alone is an illusion. If I am telling the truth, I find community in many ways.   I find it with my Pathwork Helper, who beautifully witnesses and receives me right where I am. I find community with my students and workers, who courageously and faithfully take each step on their spiritual...