(804) 928-3189 BethHedquist@gmail.com
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...
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! ******************************   Sucheta Jain, Helper Trainee Chapel Hill, North Carolina                                            Sucheta’s Advanced Pathwork Studies graduating class at Sevenoaks Retreat Center. She is in the center of the first row. I have always been very curious about various spiritual paths. Growing up in India spirituality and religion was everywhere. I learned to be connected to a God or higher power at an early age. That way of connecting was through rituals and reading religious scriptures. I was too young to understand but I was very curious. There was an aspect of devotion to my reading these books at that young age. I felt really good when...
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...
Navigating the Collective Dark Night of the Soul

Navigating the Collective Dark Night of the Soul

Our world is experiencing a collective dark night of the soul.   I feel angry. I feel afraid. I feel hurt. Not just for myself, but for all those who are being marginalized, oppressed, discarded, discriminated. For all those who will do without so others can have more than they need. For all those who are blind to the truth that we are not separate, and that the harm we do to others we do to ourselves.   I feel deeply called to action these days.    I also feel the urge to hate, judge, condemn, retaliate. I feel it so strongly sometimes that I act on that impulse, and I revel in the negative pleasure and power and temporary pride I feel as a result. For a moment, I have escaped feeling the pain of what is happening in the world. But my response has added to it.   Then comes the guilt, the shame, the frustration and the self-criticism of not being an effective change agent. What kind of Pathwork Helper am I that I am so reactive? And a voice whispers that I should not answer that call to action, that I should keep quiet unless and until I can only speak from a pure heart. Only when I am perfect should I speak out. Instead, I should retreat and hide so no one will see there still resides a well of negativity in me.   The Pathwork, however, reminds us that it is not our lower self that is the major problem, but our denial of our lower self. When we justify our attempts to defend...
Shining in the Shadows: Mining the Treasure of Your Inner Landscape

Shining in the Shadows: Mining the Treasure of Your Inner Landscape

Love.   Courage.  Wisdom.   This is your divine essence, who you really are beneath all the layers of mask, pretense, and defense.   Easy to say, but can you feel the truth of that? Or somewhere along the bumpy, twisting road of Life have you lost connection with your Real Self?   Instead, does your journey feel filled with dead ends, wrong turns, painful mishaps? Do you long for more purpose and meaning in your days? Would you like to share that most sacred and precious journey with kindred spirits?   I believe we are all continuously being called back home to our original brilliance. We are called to live life aligned with our integrity and our true power. We are here to discover and transform whatever stands in the way, and to offer our gifts to the world.    To do this we must embark on a journey below the surface of our consciousness, into the shadows of our psyche where the treasure that we are lies buried and waiting for re-discovery.   This is the place inside you that has never been wounded, broken, or tainted regardless of your life circumstances.   It’s there, shining in the shadows. Waiting for you to embrace what – on some level – you have known all along.   And for all those adventurous souls who would dare to say “Yes!” to that calling, I’m excited to announce that beginning June 25th, 2017 I am forming an online Pathwork group, together with Sucheta Jain, where we can navigate this inner landscape in the company of kindred spirits.     We’ll create...