(804) 928-3189 BethHedquist@gmail.com
My Secret to Happiness: Unhappiness

My Secret to Happiness: Unhappiness

I recently went to see a woman speak on the Science of Happiness. She was an engaging, informative, entertaining speaker and I really enjoyed myself. I even patted myself on the back because I do so many of the things she recommended to be happy:   Eat right Get plenty of rest Choose work you love Create meaningful, supportive relationships Spend your money on experiences not things Put away your cell phone when you are with others And meditate.   Guess what? I woke up the next morning feeling very depressed.   And for a moment I was mad at that speaker, because I had done all the right things and I didn’t have the prize. You see, my long term intimate relationship ended not so long ago, so I am in a period of loss and grief. Which is appropriate, and healthy even. But it highlighted for me the frantic search in this culture to be happy.   We spend so much energy in search of the right relationship, the right job, the right body, the right friends, the right therapist, the right answer, the right moral code, all so that we will  finally win the prize of being happy. Like Happy is that Garden of Eden we are enroute to, and once we reach our destination, we will reside there forever.   Then one day we meander through the valley of the shadow of death and we think we have lost our way. Failed. Lost the prize. Or maybe we have been in that valley much of our lives, and we wonder what is inherently wrong with...
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...
I Will Grieve

I Will Grieve

How do I write a blog post on the morning of Wednesday, November 9th, 2016? How can I comment on an election that feels like a dream?   My heart is broken. I am devastated.    I do not have any words of hope at this time. I do not have any words of pride at this time. I do not have any flowery, inspirational, spiritual words to reassure you with.   I am grieving.   I will not spiritually bypass this emotion. I will not go too quickly to what we need to do next. I will not sugar coat this. I will not defend against this emotion.   I will grieve.   I will allow myself to deeply feel this grief, because the Pathwork teaches me to be fully present to whatever arises. I will allow myself to deeply feel this grief, because if I don’t it will turn to hatred, judgment, hostility–or worse, indifference and despair. If you are feeling celebratory, or like this isn’t that big of a deal, thats fine. But understand I am not fine. Many Americans and others around the world are not fine.   I am grieving.   I need space to grieve. Don’t tell me to get over it. Please understand there are many people today who feel grief, who feel afraid today. Please be compassionate with them even if you cannot understand or agree with them.   I will rebound.   I always do. But I will not skip over this grief. It’s too important. My grief will honor all those who are disillusioned and afraid they will be...