(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,...
What Does Your Bridge Look Like?

What Does Your Bridge Look Like?

While I believe the longing for connection to something greater than our limited selves is universal, and has always existed throughout the ages and across cultures, it appears we are at a time when we are collectively suffering from the walls we have built inside ourselves, walls that separate us from our deepest nature, from our brothers and sisters, from the natural world, and from God.   As we increasingly experience the pain and frustration of these walls, it is easy to feel hopeless.   Overwhelmed with despair, it is easy to turn our backs on God, certain that religion and spirituality have lost their relevance. Or maybe we turn our backs on politics, certain that we cannot possibly make a difference in such a corrupt system. We may turn our backs on our ourselves and our own responsibility to examine how the pain we may have experienced in our childhood is affecting the life we are creating today. We may also turn our backs on each other, certain that we are facing an enemy intent on destroying us.   These voices of hopelessness and despair are not telling the truth.   They are the voices of our Lower Selves seducing us into submission and enticing us to collude with evil. They are encouraging us to betray the best in ourselves and build our walls taller and stronger. They are trying to manipulate us into justifying our defenses and our pseudo-solutions.    We don’t have to listen to these voices. They are not commands we have to follow like lemmings careening over a cliff.   There may be great...
I’m Traveling to Standing Rock. Won’t You Stand With Me?

I’m Traveling to Standing Rock. Won’t You Stand With Me?

The past couple of weeks have been a roller coaster of emotions.   As I shared in my last blog, I began by fully feeling my grief…. grief for all those in fear and pain over the election results, for those who would potentially be hurt through new laws that discriminate and reject. And for those who are currently being hurt by human rights violations.   I could feel that part of me that identifies with the victim. The one who has been subject to the cruelty and indifference of others, and hurts for those experiencing that today. The Pathwork teaches me that although I have access to the part of me that identifies with victimization, there is also another part of me that identifies with the perpetrator.   This is the part of me that defends by inflicting pain and cruelty on myself and others. So after feeling a good deal of grief, I tapped into my rage, my judgment, and my desire to attack those who are inflicting cruelty on others, and for those who hold different political views than I do.   Being honest that this lives in me is a challenging stance to take, as I have to face how I hurt others in the same way I have been hurt, and the remorse I feel for that. I know both the victim and the perpetrator in response to this political election and in my life in general.   While this kind of self-responsibility is challenging, it is also freeing. When I am willing to own both these parts in myself, I find my connection...
The Fear Beneath the Fun

The Fear Beneath the Fun

Halloween dates back some 2,000 years to the Celts who celebrated the New Year on Nov. 1st. So Halloween began as a New Years Eve, so to speak!   With summer having come to a close and the harvest for the year collected, they prepared to enter the time of year marked by darkness, death, and bitter cold. They believed that on this night the boundary between the earthly plane and the spirit world was thinner, and they could encounter spirits and ghosts returning to Earth.   It’s interesting to note that their new year BEGAN with darkness, death, and cold.   We tend to view times of darkness and death as times to be feared, dreaded, and avoided at all costs. Yet these people were so connected with nature and its cycles, and knew that you must enter the darkness before a new cycle of life can be born.   Today we dress up like ghosts and demons and various other frightening characters, and we run around collecting candy and enjoying the pseudo-comfort of laughing at and making fun of our fears and our darkness.   As if they didn’t really exist.   Underneath the fun and celebration, what we most deeply fear is that we are these skeletons, these demons, these ghosts. We fear that we are just an empty shell of bones, the overwhelming cruelty and evil of our hidden demons, or a collection of thoughts that are dissociated and disconnected from our bodies.   Because we have hidden behind masks and pretenses of who we’d like to believe we are, and who we’d like others...
Returning to the Peace That Underlies All Fear

Returning to the Peace That Underlies All Fear

  “When despair for the world grows in me and I wake in the night at the least sound in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be, I go and lie down where the wood drake rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds. I come into the peace of wild things who do not tax their lives with forethought of grief. I come into the presence of still water. And I feel above me the day-blind stars waiting with their light. For a time I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.” Wendell Berry   Fear. Anxiety. Despair. Have you been feeling any of these recently? I’ve seen and heard enough in everyday life and in the news encouraging and exacerbating these emotions lately. And it’s all too easy for me to numb these feelings out by getting busy and staying busy.   So I went on a much anticipated two week vacation to California, where I could slow down and immerse myself in nature and spend time with loved ones. A time to get away from doing and enjoy being.   And it was amazing how I could exchange busy-at-work with busy-at-vacationing.   Driving from one place to another, hiking this trail and that, photographing this fantastic scene and then the next, and then the next. Loving every minute of it, and exhausted at the end of every day.   Still, in the background it was there. Fear. Anxiety. Despair. Would I make my plane? Would my daughter get lost on her way to meet us?...
What Does It Mean to You to Live in Integrity?

What Does It Mean to You to Live in Integrity?

Integrity.  It’s not a word we use all that often when describing someone, and when we do it’s often associated with someone who is “good,” whatever our definition of “good” might be. So what does it really mean to be in Integrity?   For me it means just to simply live my truth. Not just to tell my truth, but to live my truth. When we look around at everything that we think is wrong with this country, this society, and this world, it is easy to find fault and to preach what others “should” do, think, feel, or how they should act.   But how willing are we to practice what we preach?   When our thoughts, beliefs, and behavior are all in alignment, then we are living our truth, and the natural outcome will be a sense of integrity. Not pride or superiority, but a deep sense of “good enough” that is grounded in humility and serenity.   In order to reach this place we have to take an honest look inside and find the places that are not in integrity, and don’t want to change.   Am I steeped in judgment of another, and unwilling to look at how that character trait lives in me?  Can I honestly acknowledge to myself and another when I have caused someone pain? Am I willing to examine my lifestyle choices, and make changes to habits and behaviors that are opposed to values I hold dear? If I strive to live a spiritual life, am I willing to face the ways in which I choose separation over surrender to the...