(804) 928-3189 BethHedquist@gmail.com
To Run Where The Brave Dare Not Go….

To Run Where The Brave Dare Not Go….

Deep personal and spiritual growth work requires that we be willing to venture beyond our comfort zone.   When we wallow in our anger, fear, pride, denial or self-pity, it can be familiar and even oddly comforting. We may think we are safer this way, deeply defended in our mighty castle, fortified by walls that keep everyone at a distance. But this separation and isolation doesn’t acknowledge our hidden pain that waits to be healed, our underlying need that longs to be fulfilled, and the call of our soul that is beckoning us to follow.    We may reject our negativity, our fragility, our imperfection, but when we do so we reject our humanity. If we spend all of our time grasping for perfection or for bliss while avoiding the acknowledgment of our pain and negativity, Spirit will remain the ever elusive “other” that we can occasionally grasp but never quite hold on to. Life will remain that utopian ideal we can never fully reach.   We may try harder to keep that pain and negativity at bay, but it will inevitably creep in, affecting our relationships and our sense of peace and integrity. If we reject part of ourselves in our quest for wholeness and unity, we become caught in the vicious circle of the duality we are trying to free ourselves from. In other words, it doesn’t work.   Seriously. Take that in. It doesn’t work.   Fortunately, every so often in any lifetime we come to a crossroads, and we are presented with a choice. We can stay with what we know, stay in the comfortable,...
Are You Lost in the World of Duality?

Are You Lost in the World of Duality?

Recently I assisted Senior Pathwork Helper Jac Conaway in the Sacred Dimensions weekend at Sevenoaks Retreat Center. We examined our beliefs about reality, and how we take for granted what we think we know is true. A simple exercise of putting a plastic bag over our heads demonstrated how we see everything through a certain lens, and assume what we are seeing is what everyone else is seeing, and that it is the final reality and truth of the matter.   Back home, I had a conversation with a friend over an opposing view of life….each of us held a different perspective that was near and dear to our hearts. Each of us deeply believed in the certainty and goodness and rightness of our perspective. Each of us felt the other was somehow well-intentioned but misguided.   Who is right? Who is wrong? Who is good? Who is bad? It was like both of us were talking to each other with bags over our heads, full of pain and hurt and anger and shock at the perceived reality of the other. I left saddened at the apparent impasse.   Both of us had been in emotional reaction. Both of us had moments where we spoke from judgment, anger, and assumption. Of course, I say this from my own limited perspective, and she may have had a different take on our interaction, but I think it would be safe to say we both had bags over our heads. And yet I still believe both of us were doing our best to see the other. We were both trying to listen...
Are You Chasing Pleasure or Running Away From Pain?

Are You Chasing Pleasure or Running Away From Pain?

At different points in my life I have bought into the idea that life could be the utopia I heard about in the storybooks.   Certainly when I was younger I believed that it was possible to find Prince Charming, settle down with two kids, a dog, and a white picket fence…..okay, my picture perfect life was a little more unconventional than the proverbial white picket fence, but the idea was the same. I would achieve my version of happily ever after with minor bumps in the road but nothing that would challenge me to the core. If I worked hard and did the opposite of everything my mother had done, I would become the one that pulled myself up by my bootstraps and overcame a difficult childhood. It didn’t happen.    The fantasy that I can find overnight success, fall effortlessly into romantic bliss without risk or vulnerability, navigate the parenting years with confidence and ease, and sail gracefully into the twilight years without regret, heartbreak, failure, and a health issue here and there….well, it’s just that, a fantasy. And it leaves me wallowing in a puddle of self-pity, wondering, “Why me?”   Life is hard. Fumbling through Dark nights, trekking across arid deserts, and falling into the deep abyss of the unknown are required terrain. Required. Which doesn’t mean “inevitable but try to stay away from it as much as possible.” It also doesn’t mean, “it’s inevitable and hopeless so just resign yourself to a life of despair.”   It means the mountaintop moments are just as much a part of the journey as the valleys, and...