(804) 928-3189 BethHedquist@gmail.com
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...
Fishing For Bliss

Fishing For Bliss

Sometimes, Life is a little like a fishing trip. We find ourselves hungry for something we are missing that will fill us, we get a craving for that one meal that will finally silence the longing in our belly and leave us satisfied, content, and fulfilled.    And we decide that we are going to make it happen. We pack up our fishing pole and tackle box and head down to the river.    We often have a favorite fishing hole, that place we return to again and again in search of the fulfillment of our endless hunger.  We may never have found it there, but this time will be different.   After we bait the hook and set the line, we sit back and tend to the distractions we have brought with us, like our favorite consciousness altering beverage, or the cell phone that will serve up an endless supply of empty data, devoid of true connection. And so we pass the time, sitting and waiting for the big one to finally bite the hook.   When we become frustrated that nothing is appearing on the other end of the line, we get restless, abandon that strategy, jump in and begin swimming upstream in search of our dinner.   If patient waiting around doesn’t produce results, expend more effort! Will it harder! Find that fish and capture it with your bare hands!     I know, it doesn’t sound like the smartest way to catch a fish, but have you ever found yourself engaged in this strategy in your life? Struggling frantically to catch the only thing you believe...
Welcoming New Life

Welcoming New Life

Hello my friends, While it is just the beginning of March, Spring feels like it’s right around the corner and I couldn’t be more ready to welcome in new Life! The Mid-Atlantic Pathwork Helper Community recently gathered for our quarterly retreat at Sevenoaks Retreat Center, where Louise Del Maestro shared her “Rest” work based on the Living Inquiry work of Scott Kiloby, and we spent the afternoon exploring how our commitment to the Pathwork is manifesting in our lives. Thank you, Louise, for introducing us to this beautiful teaching!   Old and new friends alike gathered this past weekend for an engaging variety of workshops at the Pathwork Community Weekend — a  celebration of our shared longing to deepen personally and spiritually. We will be offering another Pathwork Community Weekend at Sevenoaks July 29-30th, so stay tuned to hear the details on another exciting opportunity to come together to share the beauty of the land at Sevenoaks and the transformative power of Pathwork.   Tuesday night I launched the first meeting of my new Pathwork Group, “Bridging the Divide,” and it was an beautifully intimate beginning as these students each took steps to deepen in their individual soul’s journey.  We’ll be meeting every other week through the beginning of June, and I’m really excited to witness how Spirit will be moving in their lives.   Growth, transformation, and change is all around us at this time of year. The big question is, how will we meet it, how will we support Spirit’s longing to manifest in our lives and on our planet?    How about you, are you ready...
Is Boredom a Boring Blog Post?

Is Boredom a Boring Blog Post?

Summer brings back memories of childhood — times when the days were long and warm, the pace slower, and the world simpler. The structure and responsibility of school, homework, and extracurricular activities was temporarily replaced by the joy of chasing fireflies barefoot in the backyard, soaking in the sun at the neighborhood lake, and lying mesmerized on a blanket, counting shooting stars at midnight.   No, I didn’t have a picture perfect childhood by any means, but in those moments, regardless of family dynamics, I was in tune with the life force and I could feel my connection with everything. It was magic.   Periodically though, amidst the magnificence that is a childhood summer, something happened.   I got bored.   That restless, discontent, grumpy feeling arose from somewhere inside, and I would begin to pick fights with my siblings or friends, or complain to my parents, as if they were responsible. Suddenly the magic had evaporated.   As summer is in full swing here in Virginia, I have been reflecting on this year and how it mirrors my childhood. In the winter and early spring, I was quite busy with obligations, deadlines, responsibilities, and projects. Actually, I was more than busy — I was overwhelmed.   Eventually that gave way to a more relaxed schedule, and I managed to catch up on all the things that had been sitting on the back burner for several months. I found time to rededicate to my meditation practice, read some good books, and hang out and laugh with friends. I found myself resting in the Oneness of Life once again.  ...
Spiritual Practices for the “Meditationally Challenged”

Spiritual Practices for the “Meditationally Challenged”

I have long considered myself a very committed student of personal and spiritual development, placing my spiritual growth as the number one priority in my life. At the beginning of my spiritual journey, it didn’t take long to realize that everyone I spoke to and everything I read said you cannot grow spiritually unless you meditate. You have to meditate.   So of course, I didn’t meditate.   It was too hard. I didn’t have enough time. It just wasn’t my style. Really, do I have to meditate? The truth is, I don’t want to do anything that someone tells me I have to do.   I spent a fair amount of time beating myself up for not being the most accomplished meditator on the planet. You know, the one who faithfully sits twice a day for at least 30 minutes, and revels in ten day silent meditation retreats?   Then one day one of my teachers told me she considered herself “meditationally challenged.” I laughed out loud in relief. Maybe there was hope for me yet??? Now, I’m not knocking meditation. The classic sitting meditation is an excellent tool for spiritual development, but after years of battling perfectionism and stubborn rebellion, I’ve realized its not the only tool in the box. Some people take to sitting meditation like a duck takes to water, while others struggle for years with the practice, and in my humble opinion, it doesn’t mean the former is necessarily the more spiritually developed.   The goal of meditation (as I understand it) is to quiet the mind, become more present in the moment, more...
An Intensive Encounter with the Naked Beauty of Life

An Intensive Encounter with the Naked Beauty of Life

Life recently threw me a surprise party. Yup, it intentionally set things up so that I would experience a somewhat sustained period of circumstances that left me feeling overwhelmed, anxious, helpless and perplexed. It talked me in to traveling to Vermont for a week long personal Pathwork Intensive Retreat at just the right time, just as I was up to my eyeballs in difficult feelings. And then, once I gave myself fully to the silence and seclusion alternated by individual  sessions with my Pathwork Helper, Life surprised me beyond my wildest dreams.   Why would anyone choose to carve out a week to immerse themselves in seclusion and silence, alternated by intensive sessions that are challenging and exhausting?   A Pathwork Intensive Retreat is a hero’s journey of sorts, an inner pilgrimage to the center of your being. When you consciously leave your usual life for a period of time for the purpose of personal and spiritual growth, you are met with unexpected gifts as well as challenges.   So after arriving at the apartment that would be the chrysalis for my journey from caterpillar to butterfly, I spent a day and a half unplugging, unwinding, reading, reflecting and journaling. All alone and away from phone calls, television, Facebook, emails, text, and daily news reports, I was able to drop into a deeply contemplative space that is not easily accessed in the hustle and bustle of everyday life.     Little things became larger than life. The taste of delicious, farm to table Vermont food. The beautiful little hummingbird joyfully perched on the bush outside my balcony. The soothing...