by Béatrice Garoche
At home, at work, when driving and even in social settings we feel sometimes tense without even realising. We rush, we hardly breathe, we are stressed. We forget what matters, we forget we have a body to live in. Rarely is our attention where our body is: rather it is in the past or the future, feeling guilty or worried about something or someone, about what we should or shouldn’t have said or done. The quality of our communication and our relationships suffers. We don’t even take the time to listen to ourselves, to see the small warning signs asking us to stop and to replenish ourselves. Sometimes an accident or a crisis wakes us up. By this time our breath is definitely minimal. Being here and now is simple but we have forgotten how.
WHAT HAS BEEN LOST?
This work is the disentangling of the thoughts at the root of our attitudes – our way of breathing provides key information.
The intention is to reconnect with our inner wisdom, our own authority, to feel at peace in our heart, to be here in our body now, ultimately to accept ourselves and our situation just as they are. Acceptance transforms. A new way of breathing
appears. New attitudes create new situations. Are we still able to imagine that everything is possible the way we did when we were young? If not, it is because over the years, we have been shrinking ourselves!
HOW DID WE SHRINK?
One day something happened and we could not cope with it. It was too painful, it did not feel safe, we went into survival, (the survival breath was invented). Unconsciously we made it mean something was wrong about ourselves, others or life, then we kept looking for evidence - it became a self fulfilling prophecy. We might suffer with our self-imposed view of life, but at least we get to be right. My understanding is that everyone gets some kind of a buzz out of receiving confirmation for being right. You know when we stop breathing, our lips tighten and the top of our chest lifts itself ever so slightly, it feels like victory. In fact it feels very familiar, and we might even get some physical energy from the whole process. We are being self righteous. The victory is only an illusion, as somebody else is automatically perceived to be wrong. Subsequently there are no ossibilities of communication, of finding solutions. We keep repeating the same patterns, and we forget that we have any choices. We feel helpless, upset or angry – blaming somebody or circumstances -, forgetting that we made a decision and that we are looking for the evidence. When we come across the concept that we may have something to do with it, we feel guilty rather than feeling responsible, with the ability to discover new choices. Of course it takes courage and commitment to face the patterns we have fallen into, to admit our feelings about them, to be willing to give up our familiar attitudes and the pay-offs they seem to have provided (usually being right about something or someone).
WHAT IS THE POINT OF OUR PATTERNS?
When we take these self-imposed decisions, at any stage of our lives, we go “clunk” into our bodies. By this I mean, one day something happened and we felt something but somehow, for whatever reason we chose to ignore this feeling. We held our breath and we pretended everything was ok. Spontaneously and unconsciously, we designed a new belief or agreement: “I can’t”, “I am not good enough”, “ I am not lovable”. The new belief is physically, emotionally and mentally stored and with it the feeling associated with the situation. The feeling which just wants to be felt, (it is its job after all) is going to be dormant until a similar situation to the one we attempted to escape from occurs again, so that it has a chance to get out of our body and to move on. We will keep the pattern in our life until we recognise and accept it for what it is: a feeling. Taking a breath rather than holding our breath will enable us to feel this feeling, allowing us to let go of our patterns.
WHAT'S BREATHING GOT TO DO WITH IT?
A rebirthing session is made up of two main parts: first a conversation to identify an issue, second: the breathing cycle. Both parts last approximately 50 minutes. During the breathing cycle of the session we practice a conscious connected breath. We focus on the inhalation, pulling the breath in as a source of oxygen, energy, chi. We relax the exhalation allowing the gravity to do the work for us, allowing the letting go of the breath, rather than pushing it. We keep the inhalation and exhalation connected at the top and at the bottom, creating the conscious connected breath. It is also an opportunity to re-link with the universe, as an affirmation of our willingness to be fully alive, to belong, to be here and now, fully present deserving all we desire (Inhalation), and the willingness to let go with ease (Exhalation) This breath has many effects. One of them is to oxygenate the cells that have carried some of our selfimposed limiting decisions. When the oxygen meets these areas they are perceived as obstacles – it creates physical reactions: new rhythm of pulsation, difference of temperature, tightness, numbness or tingling. I understand it to be a request for attention from the body: I ask my client to imagine breathing into the specific area, asking “what it is about?” and to listen to the answer from their cells, from their inner wisdom. The answer to this question gives access to the relevant unresolved issue from the past. I invite my client to feel any present feelings, and to imagine speaking to whoever is involved, encouraging him/her to be brave (the client may feel very young, possibly vulnerable) and to say all that is needed to be said to be complete. The situation becomes then an opportunity to fully comprehend how the limiting belief came about – how the client had made up the decision or the agreement as a way to cope, but that it is not the truth. The oxygen is then able
to make its way through this area and restore peace and space. A layer has been shed. The client is reminded of his/her ability to choose his/her thoughts. The state of anaesthesia has been replaced by a sense of aliveness, an ability to be in one’s body, here and now. The rebirthing breath allows us to integrate and speed up the process of letting go of the illusions we carry around keeping us in a space of fear, guilt, anxiety, depression, struggle. Rebirthing gives us the opportunity to reconnect with our aliveness, our
inspiration, finding our way to trusting that our heart’s desires are achievable. I have been a rebirther since 1989, and in the last six years I have developed an approach which focuses on simplicity and effectiveness: whatever stands in our way is the result of our attitudes. Our attitudes come from the beliefs we carry with us (consciously or un-consciously). Beliefs come from thoughts. We are the thinker. Our attitudes also have an impact on our way of breathing and vice versa. We always have the ability to choose our attitude. I asked some of my current clients a few words for this article and would like to include the following extracts (the full testimonials are on my website) please read on the extracts:
LC: “I have just had the seventh of ten weekly sessions. There is a great deal happening both in the sessions and between them. It is as if the insights and experiences in the sessions and the explorations that come about from reflecting on the questions and affirmations that Beatrice asks me to consider between the sessions, become a lens through which I see my reactions and my behaviour in a new way. What is also different is the freeing up of my breathing.”
PH: “What rebirthing did for me is that it made me realise I had a choice. I may not be able to change the past, but I can change the way I feel about it. Beatrice’s kindness, patience and understanding really helped me to modify my attitude towards myself and to sort out some of my long-standing personal problems.”
SS: “My experience of breathwork has been that it gave me space around my thoughts to see how I was creating patterns and situations in my life, whereas before I was too lost in identification with them to see it. It enabled me to be able to step back and see things from a different perspective, a kind of space behind it all. Beatrice was a very valuable mirror to me and my processes, for bringing to
awareness thoughts and limiting speech patterns that I wouldn’t have been aware of before.”
HC: “Beatrice has left me with the ability to fully embrace my life. With my arms, eyes and mind now wide open, all the choices in my life have finally become visible. Within one week of working with Beatrice, I found out I was pregnant. Although I was already a happily married mother, the news brought with it great anxiety and fear. A feeling of entrapment ‘ took hold’ of me and I could no longer cope with my day to day life.Over the weeks that followed, Beatrice’s commitment and support, guided me simply and safely to look at where these negative feelings stemmed from. With the help of the breath work, it became very clear to me that my fears were due to ‘mind sets’ or ‘thought
processes’ that I had picked up and owned since childhood. Mind sets such as ‘I’m not good enough’ and ‘I don’t belong’ followed me everywhere, everyday, gradually making my life miserable and fearful. I had mentally locked myself into my own prison and it was now time to set myself free. I learnt that every day, at every moment there were always fresh choices to be made. Choices between laughing and crying, shouting and whispering, feeling lonely or feeling loved the list was endless however, every choice I made would shape my moment, day, future and reality.“
To my clients: I am grateful for your testimonials but also for your trust, your willingness to truly reconnect with your breath, allowing the flow in your life to lift years off your shoulders. It has been my privilege to facilitate your journeys; to see the lightheartedness coming back into your eyes gives me joy?
Béatrice Garoche is from Brittany. She has a successful practice in South London. She is passionate about dancing and she recently became a Buddhist.
Published in the 'London and South East Connection' -
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