Watch Dr. Holt’s Youtube Video about the Namaste Dialogues group process!
THE TRANSFORMATIONAL POWER OF CREATING PEACE THROUGH FORGIVING
When we forgive on a deep level, astounding transformations can occur. Research has proven that greater physical health and psychological well-being are results of forgiveness. Letting go of our resentment creates greater personal freedom, emotional relief, happiness, even breakthroughs into states of ecstasy and clarity.
A mysterious thing begins to happen when we choose to release bitterness and victimization about another. We feel happier inside. We have a deeper sense of inner peace. We find ourselves smiling at the world; we embrace ourselves and our neighbors. Life is richer, fuller. We have more energy, self-esteem, and trust in our abilities. In short, when we truly forgive and drop our rocks of resentment–sometimes decades’ worth–the doors to our authentic selves, to our abundance, to our happiness, are able to open.
So why is it that forgiving seems so difficult to actually accomplish? Most of us on a spiritual path acknowledge the importance of forgiving, of ‘turning the other cheek,’ of assuming the best in others even when they let us down. But then it gets personal—someone really pounds us to the ground—via a messy divorce, a protracted family dispute with a sibling or other family member, or even finding ourselves the victim of a car accident, robbery, or violence. As a result, the concept of forgiveness becomes less easy to swallow. Striving to be conscious, we may say, ‘I am a good person; I want to forgive. I know it’s stupid to carry around this carcass of resentment that weighs me down and does nothing but poison my life.’
So we ‘try.’ We read about it; we may talk about it with spiritual teachers or counselors. We may even say the words. But, despite such attempts, truly opening the heart to the state of forgiveness can be daunting and the results negligible. The resentment is still there; we had good intentions but find ourselves back at square one.
Dr. Holt has found an answer. She has been interested in how to create peace and inner transformation for many years, as researcher in the field of peace and conflict resolution. Her doctoral research about intercultural conflict resolution received critical acclaim, being called “seminal research in the field” when it was published in The International Journal of Intercultural Relations. As a trauma coach and peace psychologist, Dr. Holt has found that old resentments and pain are almost always the main culprits holding back her clients from healing, and thereby achieving happiness and contentment in their lives.
As a result, she created a unique psychological process based on recent discoveries of brain mechanisms. She embedded this ‘secret ingredient’ within a forgiveness visualization she calls the ‘Namaste Dialogues,’ because the Hindu term ‘namaste’ means, ‘The divine spirit within me acknowledges the divine spirit within you.” In addition to working with individual clients, Dr. Holt offers a group process in the Namaste Dialogues. During a group presentation, Dr. Holt begins the Namaste Dialogues with a multimedia performance of music and images to open participants’ hearts and facilitate inner stillness. She then takes participants through a guided visualization to a place of deep inner love and divinity, where they are given the opportunity to honor their own experience as well as that of their ‘enemy,’ choose to release the resentment, and ultimately, even surrender into total forgiveness.
The Namaste Dialogues process is not complicated. Anyone can learn to do this; children, teens, and adults have all benefited from it. Dr. Holt has used the process extensively with therapy clients, hospice patients, with individuals, couples and groups both large and small. Dr. Holt has also had the privilege of bringing the Namaste Dialogues into the U.S. prison system as a volunteer leader of grief and loss groups for female prisoners, which she wrote about in her first book, Sacred Gateway of Grief and Loss: Freeing the Imprisoned Soul (Indigo Heart, 2009). She is currently negotiating with the California prison authorities to teach the process to incarcerated individuals in prisons across the state, as a means of encouraging spiritual and emotional well-being and preventing recidivism. It is her experience as an energetic healer (Masters of Ministry, University of Spiritual Healing and Sufism), that each time someone is able to forgive, light enters the unified field of awareness and freedom transforms our inner states of imprisonment.
“I am so passionate about this, about what happens when people choose to forgive and acknowledge the divinity of their ‘enemy,’” Dr. Holt says. “It is a portal to global unity. When we are able to truly let go of our separation, judgment and resentment, we begin to realize we are all part of the same pulsating awareness of the universe. Simply, when we forgive, we become one.” Dr. Holt is currently working on a book and CD of the Namaste Dialogues. She is available for therapeutic counseling in the state of California (LPC #213), spiritual coaching online around the world, and workshop presentations.