Hal Stone flips hamburers; I find a path
I signed up for my first Summer Intensive with my group studying with Hal Stone. It's 1982 and I am still trying to acclimate from living in Europe and experiencing my dad's death. I am seeing Sidra at this time for my personal process work but am studying the model of consciousness and Voice Dialogue with Hal at their Sherman Oaks home, mostly under a very old, large Oak tree. I love the classes and look forward to attending mostly twice or three times a week. I had fallen in love but that is another story which kept interferring with my ability to concentrate on the classes. Hard as I tried to use the experience of being “in love” within the framework of what I was learning, I failed miserably. The object of my affections didn't feel the same way and some part of me was determined to fix it. In later years I had an insight as to how deeply committed the part of us that needs control, needs control! I wanted that experience explained in a way that would make me feel OK about it and that was impossible at the time.
We are taking a lunch break during the Intensive in the back yard and Hal is fliping hambergers. As I watch him I realize that I am getting angrier and angrier. I am not nescessarily angry at him, I am just experiencing anger and plenty of it. Everyone seems to be having a great time and I am disturbed that I can't do this. Hal walks to the kitchen to get something and he notices me standing there. He gently asks if there is something wrong. I blurt out, “I don't know what the hell I am doing here”. I was surprised at my own honesty and bluntness which was not my usual style. If I had something to say that was not “nice” I usually would beat around the bush until I could find an 'acceptable' way to say it. Hal's response was another kind comment. “Well, you are learning how to teach, aren't you?” Now that was a novel idea for me and one I could get behind. I had always admired teachers but never thought of being one. How I managed to be in those classes for months without knowing my motives was a mystery to me but some force was behind me, guiding me to continue and this just nailed it for me. I was, afterall, in the right place. I belonged there. I was becoming a teacher.