Honey Friedman: Courage, Commitment & Chutzpah!

www.bluehorizons.us) where a couple spoke about the Option Institute in Sheffield, MA (See www.option.org) and their work as mentors, based on a model of human dynamics that helps people become happier and more empowered.

Something really clicked when Honey heard about it and she wanted to learn more, seeing it as a way to help her patients and herself. She then attended the Institute and decided to become a mentor. This meant, first of all, taking the personal development courses, which consisted of 10 weeks of pre-training before qualifying for the intensive one-month mentor certification program. The reason for the pre-training is to reorganize one’s thinking before mentoring and helping others, who are called explorers, with an emphasis on being a student of yourself. Once trained, tapes of dialogues are reviewed by the Institute every two years, in order to maintain certification. This insures the quality of the mentor’s ability on an ongoing basis.

Honey became a mentor while she was still practicing as a chiropractor. She then decided to sell her practice and go on the road, heading west, eventually to be with her son and daughter-in-law in Mexico, without any definite plan on the exact route she would take, or what adventures she might have on her way. She said that the training at The Option Institute made her more willing to let go of what wasn’t working for her and to take risks and go for, as she said, “my wants.” She experienced what Susan Jeffers wrote about in her book, Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway.

However, the very day before she embarked, she met a man, delayed her trip two months to know him better and, and then decided to stay, creating a totally new life in almost the same location. She claims that her new way of thinking led her to meet someone that she never would have met without the process, which emphasizes a mentoring attitude.

The mentor is:

  1. present, meaning in the moment,
    attentive and aware, totally there with the explorer
  2. non-directive – no suggestions, no
    analysis, no advice
  3. loving, defined as:
    1. totally accepting and non-judgmental
    2. wanting the best for the explorer
    3. taking useful action to help the explorer get the best for herself.

Concerning the explorer, here is a brief overview of some of the main principles the mentor holds in the dialogue process: (Since my blog is for women, I use the feminine pronouns.)

  1. You are your own best expert. In the dialogue process, the mentor asks the explorer questions that are designed to help the person find her own answers. No advice or interpretation will be offered.
  2. You are always doing the very best you can, based on your own beliefs.
  3. There are no right or wrong answers. The mentor has only questions and the explorer is helped to find the answers that are right for her.
  4. The core perspective of the process is: You can change your life by uncovering and eliminating self-defeating beliefs and then help yourself become happier, more confident, more self-empowered, and more successful.
  5. These are the steps to consider as a student of oneself:
    a) awareness, b) acknowledgment, c) acceptance of self,
    d) understanding how you got your beliefs and the reasons
    your holding them, and then e) choosing to drop, change, or
    adopt a new belief that works for you…or to keep the ones you
    have, if you wish.

Honey sees her role as helping the explorer discover her own self-limiting beliefs, which fuel our feelings and our behaviors. Dialogues may focus on health, relationships, work or career, unhappiness, confusion, indecision or can be used as a way to clarify our thinking on any topic of importance to us. Our “outdated” beliefs are brought on from old recordings or past experiences that may have worked once, but no longer do; yet the person doesn’t know how to change the belief system for the better. Honey’s sessions can be done in person and are also highly effective over the phone; with individuals, couples, or groups. Her fee is $100 per one hour session, but she never lets money stand in the way of her helping an explorer. She can be reached at www.chiroangel.com or at 845-348-0002.

Perhaps the most important question I had for Honey was: What advice do you want to give to midlife women who want to change careers and are afraid to make the change so late in life? Honey’s answer was perfect: “Trust yourself. You do have all your own answers.” If you are a little shaky about trusting yourself, Honey’s mentoring may be just the ticket, helping you to become a student of yourself!

P.S. A couple weeks after I interviewed Honey on the phone, we had a mentor/explorer dialogue that she had explained in the interview. We tackled two of my beliefs that were very close to my heart. Through a series of questions and answers, I felt as though I were going down an unfamiliar, yet comfortable trail. With the help of her respectful, yet probing questions, I came to an entirely different conclusion that blasted my old beliefs out of the water, like the frogs in the hilarious French Flick, The Triplets of Bellevue. (Worth renting!) After our conversation, I felt lighter and more refreshed, as though I had shed some unwanted pounds with ease. (Were it that easy!) I urge anyone to take a dip with Honey in the Option Institute pool of knowledge (of self) and come out feeling better than you have in a long time!

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