(Updated Feb. 2013)
Let me ask you something, if you’ll indulge me.
Let me ask you something, if you’ll indulge me.
Do you think you can change the world?
No, really! I’m serious.
I’ve been wanting to really write about Pathways for a long time now, but it seems anytime I talk about something that can truly change lives for the better… change the world for the better—no one really believes me, or else, no one wants to listen, because change is scary.
I’ve decided I’m going to write this anyway, and if you believe me, then great. If not, then at the very least, perhaps I’ve given you something to think about.
What exactly do you DO in Pathways?
That’s the question I hear most often. Well, here are the basics: you work individually, with a partner, with a small group, and within the whole class, intermittently.
Here’s a wee bit more information…
- You take a hard look at what’s holding you back in your world and how it happened.
- You learn to take accountability for your reactions to what has happened to you, as well as the bad habits you put in place that perhaps at one time protected you, but are now holding you back.
- Through a pretty intense process, you have the opportunity to let go of a lot of baggage that’s holding you back from living the life you want.
- You learn to identify negative habits that you once created as coping mechanisms. After identifying those habits, you learn how to replace them with positive habits.
- You put all the tools you’ve learned into practice in the “real world”, including creating a plan for your life.
How long does it take?
The training takes place across a four month span. The first three training sessions are pretty close together. Here’s an example schedule with the name of the training first, followed by the date:
- The Weekend – Jan. 8-10 (Fri-Sun)
- The Walk – Jan. 20-24 (Wed-Sun)
- P1 – Feb. 5-7 (Fri-Sun)
- P2 – Mar. 5-7 (Fri-Sun)
- P3 – Apr. 9-11 (Fri-Sun)
It’s an investment that works out to about $10 an hour. And now that the price of the first training (The Weekend) has been reduced to $199, it’s an absolute steal.
For most of my life, I struggled with such intense depression. It turned me into a needy person. I kind of wore out the people who loved me, because I constantly needed to know that they accepted me. I had high anxiety and lots of anger. I was shy and withdrawn.
I’d tried therapy, I’d read tons of self-help books and psychology books, and I’d tried support groups.
Nothing worked because all of the changes felt too superficial. Nothing felt like it went deep enough to really “stick,” so to speak.
I was looking for something truly different.
I entered the Pathways training. At first, I really knew nothing about it. All I knew was, I’d seen my boss go through it and make a huge change in the way he behaved. He was nicer. He was more responsible. He was more focused. He was happier. He was peaceful. He finally married his best friend—a woman he had loved for 19 years, but he’d kept her at arm’s length because of fear.
Seeing these major changes in my boss, I was not only intrigued, I was downright hungry.
In August 2004, I began my journey to change my world.
The training was hard. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done for myself, outside of graduating from college. But, it’s also the most meaningful thing I’ve ever done for myself. Today I am a healthy, strong woman from the inside out. My emotional intelligence and maturity are considerably higher than it ever could have been, had I not had the blessing of going through this training.
The biggest, most major thing I dealt with in the first part of the training was my mom, and all the issues I had with her. She was so toxic to me in so many ways… and at one point, I had very seriously considered cutting her out of my life. I couldn’t do it, though, because I knew that would mean cutting my dad out, too, and that was out of the question.
I am even more thankful for my Pathways journey now, because of the healing that took place between my mom and me.
She passed away in November 2012. I am so thankful that we didn’t really leave anything on the table—no unresolved issues or anger. I am so grateful for that—more grateful than words can ever say.
I owe that to Pathways.
Pathways was the beginning for me. It was the start of a new way of life, a new attitude. I felt joy for the first time, ever. Since going through the training, I’ve grown exponentially. I learned how to accept myself for who I am, and in doing so, I’ve taught people (including my mom) a better way to treat me.
I am so far removed from the sad, angry shell of a woman I was back in 2004. Thank God!
I’ve continued my journey with Pathways as a training assistant or TA, where I have the opportunity to help others on their journey. In turn, I continue my own growth, and let me tell you—it’s a process that continues to give and give, over and over again.
Now? Now I am confident, laid-back, and happy.
I have deeper, more intimate, and more meaningful relationships than I ever thought possible.
I'm more productive at work, too. I'm confident yet humble, and I've learned to accept criticism without taking it personally.
I'm proud of where I am. I recognize that I'm a work in progress, but instead of dreading the process of growth, I actually enjoy it!
In a nutshell, I never could have gotten where I am today without Pathways.
I’m passionate about this organization because I’ve seen the results, over and over again. It worked for me, and through volunteering and helping other trainees change, I’ve seen it work for hundreds.
In truth, Pathways has been around for nearly 30 years, and it’s been the catalyst for literally thousands of people to change their lives. Thousands!
It’s not an end-all be-all solution for everyone. While my heart longs for everyone in my world to go through the training, I recognize that it isn’t right for every person. That’s why there are so many options out there, after all.
Our society is in so much pain, collectively… hard-working folks are losing jobs, committed relationships are falling apart, kids are bearing the brunt of poor decisions made by their parents, and individuals are experiencing more pain and hardship than ever.
Pathways is one way. It’s one way to heal—to face fears and let go of pain that’s held you down for many years. It’s one way to gain awareness of how you’re “getting in your own way” and learning what else is in your way that’s keeping you from living the life you want to live—a life by design, rather than by default.