If you ever find yourself dwelling on negative thoughts or stuck in feelings of regret or blame, an upcoming workshop featuring life coach and author Lynne Forrest might be just what the doctor ordered. Forrest, who wrote Guiding Principles for Life Beyond Victim Consciousness, developed what she calls The Reality Formula to describe the way individuals perceive their own experiences. The formula, she says, goes like this: “Our beliefs + the emotions that come from those beliefs + our reaction to them = our reality.”
Forrest, who lives in St. Petersburg, Fla., maintains that each of us creates stories about the people and situations we encounter, and that our reaction to each person or situation is based on those stories. The person in question then picks up on our energy and responds accordingly, essentially verifying the story we’ve created.
“We are all doing this from the day we are born,” says Forrest. “We think it is the world doing it to us, but we don’t understand our part in it. Learning The Reality Formula puts us in our ability to co-create the reality we want to be creating,” she explains.
If Forrest’s philosophy sounds a lot like The Secret, she says that’s not surprising. Based on what it calls the “Law of Attraction,” the best-selling book claims that thoughts can change a person’s life. “When The Secret came out, I watched the movie and recognized they were using some of the same principles that I do. The thing that was missing was the recognition that it has to do with our connection to a source greater than us.
“It reminds me of something I say to clients about how affirmations work,” she continues. Affirmations that lack such a connection, she believes, “are like putting chocolate icing on a moldy cake: It might look great, but it’s still moldy.” Nonetheless, says Forrest, the success of The Secret “was a turning point in my own work with others because, suddenly, it became mainstream.”
Stories and core beliefs
The three-hour workshop that Forrest will present Sunday, March 10, at Jubilee! Community in downtown Asheville will serve as an introduction to her work. The goal, she explains, will be to help participants “get in touch with the limited story they are believing about themselves in the world, and then I will give them tools to see it in a different light.”
Forrest has been leading core-belief workshops all over the United States and Europe since 1985. These days, however, she conducts most of her presentations in St. Petersburg, though she’ll still venture farther afield when an opportunity arises. “There’s nothing retired about me,” she observes.
The tools Forrest teaches include: identifying core beliefs; discovering the defense strategies we use to prove us right; practicing mature responses that bring us better results; and using these techniques to restore sanity and make peace with reality. Applying these methods, she says, can make an immediate difference. “You don’t have to wait for weeks, months or years to see the results. As soon as we shift the way we see something, the way we feel about it changes, the way we react to it changes, and the outcomes change.”
Participants will also learn about the metaphysical principles Forrest outlines in her 2010 book, which will be available for purchase at the workshop.
“The first one is that there are no coincidences; there are no accidents. Every single thing and every person we encounter is a vibrational match, because the second guiding principle says that we are vibrational beings and that vibrations are created mentally,” Forrest explains. When we think a thought, the author maintains, it’s projected out into the world, and what it attracts back to us has the same vibration. Understanding our thoughts and the core beliefs they reflect, then, is a vehicle for awakening. “It’s not about getting rid of certain thoughts,” says Forrest. “It’s about recognizing them as the teachers they are.”
The Asheville workshop is a fundraiser for Woman to Woman WNC, the local chapter of an international nonprofit called Woman Within. The umbrella organization aims to create a supportive community that promotes women’s self-empowerment.
Years ago, Sharon Bigger, who is Woman to Woman WNC’s events coordinator, attended one of Forrest’s workshops. “What she was saying really resonated with me, and I had a feeling it would resonate with a lot of people in the Asheville area,” Bigger explains. “Instead of focusing on the negative and what not to do, she offers very specific and helpful tools about how to stay in healthy relationship.”
Forrest advises participants to dress comfortably and bring something to take notes with. The Asheville event, she stresses, is for everyone, regardless of age or gender. “If they feel drawn to be there, that’s a pretty good sign it’s for them.”
WHAT: Lynne Forrest workshop
WHEN: Sunday, March 10, 3-6 p.m.
WHERE: Jubilee! Community, 46 Wall St., Asheville
COST: Tickets ($20 through March 3, $25 thereafter) can be purchased at lynneforrest.brownpapertickets.com.