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A PATH TO FREEDOM:
USING REBIRTHING & ASTROLOGY FOR EMOTIONAL & SPIRITUAL HEALING
KEN & RENÉE KIZER
Table of Contents Credits Forward: Bridging The Gap to Personal Freedom Introduction: Physical Immortality Now
Step 1: Being Human
Chapter 1: The Difference Between Thoughts, Feelings, and Awareness Chapter 2: Consciousness and Unconsciousness Chapter 3: Awareness, Acceptance, and Forgiveness Chapter 4: Physical Immortality, Life Urge and Death Urge Chapter 5: Suppression and Resistance: Denial of Self Chapter 6: There Are No Victims: Your Power Is Your Birthright Chapter 7: Patterns of Behavior Chapter 8: Change, Growth, and Safety Chapter 9: Affirmations Chapter 10: Negative Emotions and How to Heal Them Chapter 11: Purification Techniques Chapter 12: Relationships, Love, and Sex Chapter 13: Integrity Chapter 14: Money and Spiritual Integrity
Step 2: The Role of Rebirthing
Chapter 15: What is Rebirthing? Chapter 16:The Five Principles of Rebirthing Chapter 17: First Principle: Breathing Chapter 18: Second Principle: Awareness Chapter 19: Third Principle: Acceptance Chapter 20: Fourth Principle: Relaxation
2 Chapter 21: Fifth Principle: Integration, Enlightenment, and Bliss Chapter 22: Getting Rebirthed Chapter 23: Rebirthing Others
Step 3: Combining Rebirthing with Astrology
Chapter 24: The Value of Astrology Chapter 25: Astrological Symbolism Chapter 26: Astrological Signs: The Qualities of Being • Aries • Taurus • Gemini • Cancer • Leo • Virgo • Libra • Scorpio • Sagittarius • Capricorn • Aquarius • Pisces Chapter 27: Using Astrology in Rebirthing Sessions Glossary Bibliography About The Authors
Credits and Acknowledgments
We dedicate this book to Shri Haidakhani 1008 Baba, known as Babaji, and His Shakti, Haidakhandeshwari, the Universal Goddess, for being the perfect embodiment of the principles of Love and Life. First and most importantly, I thank my wife, best friend, and partner, Renée, for the unselfish love and support she has shared from the start. She inspires me to reach for my divinity and anchors me in making it all come true. We have the most fun together. Many others added energy to finishing this project. I acknowledge everyone who has encouraged, questioned, commented, read endless pages of manuscripts, or otherwise contributed to this work, including:
Leonard Orr, Sondra Ray, Jim Leonard, and Phil Laut (and the other Rebirthers who formed the beginning nucleus)– All were early inspiration. It is impossible to talk about Rebirthing without acknowledging their pioneering work– the most powerful and effective system of achieving enlightenment available to the western cultures, in our opinion. Tom and Joanne Kizer– For agreeing to bring me here, and for the love they expressed, in teaching me how to live and love, and in creating our family. It made all the difference. Beth Hill Johnson– For her inspiration and heart, and for reminding me to sustain the fun factor. Jim Worsley– For being my first Rebirther and Rebirthing Trainer, being so outrageously honest, and confirming our suspicions that all of this is funny. Ray Winder– For insisting we get it right. Iyanla Vanzant– For showing us and the world the power and love in her huge heart. The friends, loved ones, and acquaintances who have supported us, both in good times and past the speed bumps– they are the foundation and the proof of this book. All those drawn to us and the nature of our work– we honor their courage and responsibility in their own success.
THANK YOU– it makes a difference! Ken Kizer March 23, 1999 And, thanks to all those in the Rebirthing community who have taught and supported us. The Deva Iyanla Vanzant– who inspires both of us to always keep the faith. I thank my life partner, husband, and best friend Ken for his unconditional understanding, love, and patience with my passionate process in our life together. He is my soul mate, my inspiration, my love, and my guide in this life and book. To my children– Claiborne, my daughter, who is every Mother’s dream come true; Wink, the son whose very existence shines light in my life daily; and Ken, the son-inlaw, who’s really my third child. To my guy/girl friends, who know who they are– thanks for your love. To all the women involved in WomanPower seminars: thank you for believing in it.
To Liz Clickner and Rich Warden– Thanks for the printing support and ensuing process!
Renée Kizer February 25, 1999
Forward: Bridging the Gap to Personal Freedom
“Down the hall, second door on the left” is how Ken describes Jim Worsley’s humor (he’s a teacher and good friend). Jim has an off-beat and sophisticated view of life– partly as a result of a truly wide range of experiences, including high school band teacher, seminar leader, trips to India, Russia, Israel, etc. Consequently, we have to pay close attention to catch his jokes and have a good laugh. We’ve noticed that success at life, like Jim’s jokes, demands a similar level of attention– the ability to juggle a wide variety of “input”. Confusion and resultant bad choices are common when we don’t know how to balance the importance and relevance of thoughts, feelings, and emotions. Another part of the freedom to laugh– and enjoy life fully– comes from the ability to take apparent failure in stride. Nature overcomes this obstacle in its desire to keep trying– reflected in what could be called infinite life urge. In human terms, unwavering self confidence and self worth are the basis for reaching through our challenges to achieve our dreams. Feeling the personal freedom to reach that high– to be that happy and successful– is the message of this book. In it, we describe simple, yet powerful, techniques that anyone can use as a guide on the path to conscious, enlightened freedom of thought and action. We do this by identifying various troublesome issues and by offering effective ways to address common challenges. Some of the techniques can be self-administered, a vital part of establishing personal freedom. Our intention is for this information to be as widely accessible and understood as possible. To assist in terminology, we include a glossary of most-used terms. Helen Keller once said “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.” Join us on a daring adventure of life, love, and enlightenment. We consider these principles a from of individual emotional ecology– which is a starting point for creating world peace. When we remember we are each divine, loving, whole, and creative human beings inspired by God, then we express kindness and understanding to ourselves and others. Could this indeed be considered a path to our limitless freedom of self-awareness and love? And is not this planet earth truly a Garden of Eden?
Introduction: Physical Immortality Now
Is life worth living forever? Some people feel that life is a form of hell; others obviously have a more pleasant time. The notion of unlimited time on earth is still pretty radical, regardless the fact that most world religions teach a version of immortality. Most of us never thought we could also keep our bodies. This concept naturally extends from the notion of ideal health. If we address the reasons for aging at the source, the ultimate result of that would be to stop aging, or to even start youthing. Science is even beginning to open up the secrets of our genes and DNA– the physical phenomena of aging is being addressed now. Regardless the overall goal, it becomes apparent, after some exploration, that the best techniques are the ones involving both the mental and physical/emotional parts of us. Rebirthing is one such process, designed to integrate both the logical and feeling levels. It is so useful partly because it may be the least intellectually-oriented technique available to us. This is important, as our reliance on just science and technology has often taught us to look outside of self for answers instead of within. In other words, we have lost a significant awareness of a vital part of our nature. The ideal is a balance of both innate and external wisdom, not an over-reliance on either. Rebirthing addresses a basic concept of life that is seldom considered elsewhere– the conventional wisdom that death is inevitable. This outdated belief causes people to eventually give up living, simply because others have done the same thing for thousands of years. We now know it is not mandatory to give up life. Physical immortality, or at least greatly extending life expectancy, is a real possibility, with the right attitudes and practices (both “traditional” medical and so-called alternative approaches). Physical immortality is caused by having so much pleasure and fun that our reasons for dying no longer seem relevant. The way to have this much fun is to use purification processes that clear tension, fear, anger, guilt, and other negative energies from the body. Because the body does not naturally hold tensions (though we make it do so through force of will and suppression), it begins to break down unless we practice some form of conscious purification. Once we include these practices in daily life, it takes less and less effort to live, with progressively more satisfying results. We all have a natural urge to aliveness. Rebirthing is one of the best techniques available to us for increasing this aliveness, fun, and satisfaction. In addition, it is one of the few tools of this magnitude that can be learned and safely self-administered whenever desired. This is a significant step in creating a self-directed life, and is available to anyone who can breathe on his or her own. 1999 Revision With ten years’ perspective on things, we are starting to understand what we said in the first version of Rebirthing for Life , and we’ve had time to expand and clarify the context. Rebirthing continues to be the single most effective, powerful, gentle and easy-to-learn technique we’ve encountered– even if there are more widely-known tools.
6 This revision includes:
stories from our years of personal experience using Rebirthing as our primary profession and primary personal sanity process; others also share their stories of love and healing; an expanded section of Rebirthing– refinements we’ve learned; an expanded section on astrology– to more tightly integrate it with the breath process; stories of our experience of Babaji, and the expansion that “promotes”; expanded, added, and/or revised sections throughout the whole book, especially the chapters about Rebirthing itself; and stories of our relationship, and how the use of Rebirthing has helped us strengthen and improve it.
We trust it serves you better than ever. Ken and Renée
Step 1: Being Human
The first step toward self-actualization and freedom is to accept our human nature. Someone once gave us a button that said “I am a spiritual being having a human experience.” If we are living and breathing today, then we have chosen to express ourselves as human bodies. Our guru Babaji says that to create a body is a very high purpose for a soul’s experience. He has even gone so far as to say that souls without human experience are jealous of the souls who have been in human form. It is difficult to get here and we should honor and enjoy this experience. Our humanness is divine and we are all a part of God’s creative plan. God’s energy of love is within and without every person and every thing on this magnificent planet called earth. We are all connected to each other. The confusion comes only when, in using our free will, we feel separate from God. In fact, thinking that we could be separate is the original sin. As humans, we have a physical body, thoughts, feelings, and awarenesses. We are both conscious and unconscious of all that we are. We believe our negative thoughts and egodriven beliefs are the truth about us. We forget our connection to the limitless and unconditional intelligence, power, freedom, and love of God. It is our birthright. This section explores how we get confused and what we can do about it. We walk you, the reader, through the sources of our negative beliefs about ourselves. We introduce a variety of techniques that can help in getting clear about the real truth of our being and our purpose in this life. Take this first step and celebrate with us our choice to become human.
Chapter 1: The Difference Between Thoughts, Feelings, & Awareness
A fundamental concept important to the best quality of life possible is knowing how to distinguish between thoughts, feelings, and awareness.
7 Thoughts (Intellect) Intellect, or rational thought, is part of the masculine side in each of us. This is the part inside that knows about past, present, and future. It gets us to work on time, organizes our lives, and analyzes the experiences we have for their individual value. Being rational also corresponds to the ego. (Note that this objectivity is always a step away from the actual experiences and feelings about those experiences. Intellect gives us some distance from things, necessary at times to keep from being overwhelmed by life.) There are some very valuable functions our ego performs for us. This is the part of self that filters out the extraneous signals and input from around us that are deemed unnecessary for our purposes at any given moment. Ego filtering prevents being confused by too many choices. We respond to stimuli according to what we consider important, which contributes to the unique qualities of each individual. The ego is the part of us that gives us objectivity. It is the ability to make distinctions between self and other, and allows us to clearly define personal boundaries. There is value in taking time away from deep emotional involvement. When carried to the extreme, however, it cuts us off from intimacy with others. Feelings (Emotions) Emotions, which are feelings in action, are part of the feminine side of self. Feelings are our state of being inside, and help us distinguish between what is important to us and what is not. In a time sense, there is no past or future when we are consciously feeling something. There is only now, the present time, which is actually the experience of life, not our thoughts about it. The feeling side of self is also the part inside that holds our value systems. We have thoughts about our values, and we think certain things are more important than others. However, the truth of our values is how we actually behave in situations where the outcome is very important to us, like romantic involvement. In other words, we may think it is unhealthy to be jealous and that we are not the jealous type, and then experience jealousy in situations where our security feels threatened. This is an example of how our thoughts about self don’t match the truth of our feelings. This is an important principle, because much of this book concerns integration of thoughts and feelings. Awareness (Consciousness) Awareness is the part of us that can know our thoughts or can know our feelings. It is neither thoughts nor feelings but can distinguish between them. In this sense, awareness is separate from them. Awareness is the “is-ness” of self. Thoughts are how we describe the experience of life to ourselves. Feelings, which exist in the physical body, are the actual experience. Frequently there is a gap between the richness of experience on the feeling, emotional, physical side of our being and the thoughts we have about those experiences. When there are conscious images of self that don’t match how we feel, compulsive behavior is the result. Denying that we are angry, when we really are, usually results in unconscious angry acts.
8 Balance Part of emotional balance and spiritual/personal growth is learning how to be aware of thoughts and feelings, and to understand the differences in them. There are times when a logical approach works best, for instance when repairing an automobile. There are times when allowing our feelings precedence is more important, as in personal relationships. Men are commonly thought of as being too logical, and women as too emotional. We all have masculine and feminine parts, each needing appropriate expression for good health. The more conscious we become of the difference in our logical and emotional perceptions, the easier it is to balance those sides of self internally and externally.
Chapter 2: Consciousness and Unconsciousness
There are two states of awareness: consciousness and unconsciousness. Conscious thoughts and feelings are the ones of which we are aware. Unconscious thoughts are those of which we are not aware. The unconscious contains our attitudes and values about life; feelings, emotions, and memories, suppressed and otherwise; past-life memories; ancestral connections; and many different skills and thoughts that are no longer necessary in day to day affairs. For example, after learning to ride a bicycle, it is not necessary to keep thinking about riding it. Once learned, the specific details of riding a bike tend to go into the subconscious mind. The following is a graphic representation of the mind:
All our thoughts and beliefs, conscious and unconscious, produce results, and it is not necessary that we be conscious of everything we know about life. Problems do arise, however, when our conscious thoughts about who we are do not match our behavior. This shows that we have suppressed or hidden parts of our personality and belief systems from ourselves. Anger is a prime example of this principle. Feeling anger is always a reflection that we feel like a victim of a person or situation, probably because we did not get what we expected. If we were clear about our beliefs, we would realize that we had an attitude of not deserving a
9 large bank balance, for instance, instead of being angry that money is so hard to make and keep. One client struggled mightily to make enough money to pay her bills. However, as hard as she might work, there was never quite enough. In one particular Rebirthing session, she suddenly remembered hearing her father say it was not a woman’s place to make the money in a household. She also remembered feeling confused, and believing him anyway. Once the old thoughts surfaced, she was able to change the beliefs and started making more money with less work. Another example is difficulty in relationships. If we think we want healthy involvements, and we experience a series of unsatisfying relationships, then the truth of our unconscious beliefs may be that we don’t deserve them. Fortunately, changing the old beliefs does not require we know everything about them. Rebirthing, affirmation techniques, and other tools can help us grow even if they do not bring up consciously what the old attitudes are or were in the past. In practice, many of the old beliefs do not surface, although the most challenging issues, the ones we struggle with the most, do tend to be conscious. Intuition The subconscious contains the intuitive awarenesses we all have at our disposal. Intuition is a non-physical sense allowing us to know things without physical, verbal, aural or visual cues. Intuition is being psychic. It is the experience of knowing a truth, without going through a mental thought process to arrive at an answer. Intuition happens instantaneously, as opposed to some time lag for rational thought. We are all sensitive to others, and indeed, our earliest training and conditioning was a largely telepathic process. At birth and during the first months of life, we are not capable of communicating verbally, yet we are fully aware of the feelings and emotions of all the people around us. Consciously developing our subconscious is a different training process than the way we were taught in school. Our culture offers little in the way of constructive or clear training. Consequently, we may be surprised by our own (often destructive) behavior, or we simply don’t hear and see much of what happens around us (because we have gone unconscious). We are taking it in but suppressing it. Developing intuition is not a thinking process. It is enhanced by knowing how to be still inside and not think. Then we become aware of some of the deeper and subtler aspects inside. This is one goal of meditation, although many people find it difficult to get past being aware of just their thoughts. Intuition is being aware of our feelings and emotions. Sometimes we block our intuition because we think if we have an uncomfortable feeling arise in a situation, we’re required to do something about it (such as change it or make it better). Often, clients will say in a session they fear knowing the truth of their feelings. When we explore their fear, we often find the fear is not of the feeling itself. They often feel wrong for having emotions, or worry there will be more to do (to fix problems), as a result of becoming more aware.
10 Knowing what we know is just that– it does not necessarily require any further action, beyond acknowledging the truth. This brings it into the light and opens us up to other possibilities and perspectives. Ideally, intuition is as natural as taking a breath and can be as easy. It is okay to know the truth without any judgements.
Chapter 3: Awareness, Acceptance, & Forgiveness: A Path to Freedom
One way to describe the emotional healing process is The Three Steps of Personal Growth . Everyone goes through a similar inner process whenever emotional tensions are resolved, whether or not we are conscious of that shift or how we accomplished it. These are the steps: 1– Awareness: First we have to know there is something we would like to change about ourselves so that we have a goal. 2– Acceptance: Accept ourselves and our behavior as it is. 3– Forgiveness: Once we feel acceptance, forgiveness is possible. Awareness Awareness is an important goal of growth work. With enough awareness, we are able to resolve every conflict as soon as it becomes known. With enough awareness, there would never be any conflict, and there is no limit to how much awareness we can develop. In addition to the five physical senses, we can utilize a variety of non-physical cues. For instance, even when it is not acted out, most people can tell when someone else is sad or depressed. With growing awareness we begin to see those moments when we lose faith in God or ourselves and shut down.Catching those moments faster is the process of maturity– learning to take a breath before getting into a childish demand or argument. Seeing and changing the demanding behavior is the point, not the argument. It is important to note here that judging ourselves because we still exhibit immaturity is not useful and slows down overall growth. Awareness means getting conscious about life and noticing what ways of living work and what ways don’t for us. It means sustaining humility and a sense of humor while uncovering parts of our lives that reveal where we lost faith. Acceptance Acceptance is a term we often confuse with submission or giving up. As used here it means allowing something to be what it is. Acceptance of others means allowing them to be who they are in that moment. This is an honorable and sensible concept, though one that can be hard to live up to. There is sometimes a fear of being affected by those we don’t like, as if some of their bad traits might be contagious. We often shut out and/or judge those whose behavior upsets us. The difficulty with this approach is that this usually means we also have the same judgments about ourselves. The way to tell if this is true is to notice that there are also people around us– whose behavior may in some way be destructive, selfish, or manipulative– with whom we
11 aren’t angry or judgmental. Why then do we have this double standard? It can only be that those who do make us mad remind us that we have the same potential for this behavior inside. Accepting the less than healthy parts of self, and loving them, is the quickest way to change the behavior. Learning to love anger is the fastest way to stop being angry. Getting angry at being angry only compounds the problem and is a definition of being stuck. Being willing to accept responsibility for everything in our lives gives us the power to change what we don’t like. We may not know how or why certain people or situations show up, but it isn’t possible to change any of it until we accept our own power (and often, our lack of consciousness). A man who claims to be a victim of his wife and marriage is just that! This is partly because he will not take steps to resolve his complaints, either by letting go of the relationship or by working out the tensions so everyone is happy. It is possible to be a victim, but only by choice, even if it is not conscious. Often, there are deep feelings that come up while discovering and accepting previously hidden aspects of ourselves. Realizing how we closed ourselves off to our parents is likely to provoke sadness and disappointment. If we suppress these deep feelings, we only delay dealing with this issue. The acceptance stage of personal growth is probably the most difficult to handle. There are widely varying ways to guide others and be guided through this step. What seems to work the best are the techniques and tools that directly address the feelings in us. For most people, when they are stuck in resolving difficult issues, relationships, or situations, a logical, rational, or intellectual approach is ineffective past a certain point. Because compulsive behavior is a direct result of suppressed feelings, and because most rational thinking or reasoning doesn’t take these suppressed, unconscious feelings into account, the purely conscious growth tools often fail to address deeper issues or agendas. That whole-body techniques do take feelings into account is one advantage. Another is the fact that the resolution of an uncomfortable feeling demands no action. It only requires surrendering to it. Forgiveness Until a conscious decision is made to stop holding on to feeling wronged or guilty, uncomfortable feelings will continue to come up. Insisting on being a victim or being guilty is all that sustains the discomfort. Forgiving means that our past experiences don’t matter anymore. It means knowing that we did the best we could in a situation, and letting it go at that point. Another way to describe forgiveness is that it’s what happens when we realize all our deepest secrets, fears, jealousies, anger, disappointments, pains, and heartbreaks, and keep loving ourselves anyway. Recovering from a broken heart, for instance, happens in one of two ways. Either we choose to never be that open again, or we feel the pain for a while and notice that (1) it does go away, and (2) we are more relaxed, compassionate, confident, and satisfied. Staying closed means it’s not possible to love again. Until we forgive, we only continue experiencing the pain of separation.
12 We are constantly being upset and surprised by our life experiences. When we forget momentarily how to love unconditionally, we act selfishly, and we act in fear. This is common, and it isn’t fatal. We immediately get centered and balanced when we forgive ourselves for the momentary lapse. This is what frees us to start enjoying life again. Everyone reacts in fear to some degree. However, we get stuck when we get angry that we reacted in fear. Forgiveness is the only thing that allows us to get unstuck. No amount of internal pressure, or anger, or sadness restores the balance. There are questions that can be asked if forgiveness seems slow in coming. Would we be upset if a three-year old exhibited the same behavior? Could we forgive our best friend for it? Would we forgive a stranger, someone for whom we had no expectations? Be willing to extend ourselves the same compassion. Gratitude Gratitude is the experience that happens after forgiveness. Forgiveness is the experience of ceasing to be angry or upset with ourselves or other people, because parts of our lives didn’t turn out the way we expected. Gratitude is feeling good that these experiences did happen. Often, situations that create stress, tension, or anger for us are the only ones that prod us to make positive changes in our lives.Because our parental figures, regardless who actually played those roles in our lives, are so central to our self-image and approach to living, it is of utmost importance to come to a place of gratitude for all the experiences we’ve had with them. These male and female images are the basis for our personalities, and until we make peace with them, we carry the same tensions, frustrations, and judgements about ourselves. In other words, everything we feel about our parents is exactly what we feel about ourselves. If a man is angry that his father was too passive, then he will either be passive just like his father, or he will react in exactly the opposite way and be a domineering or overbearing person. For a female with this experience of her father, until she comes to terms with feelings of anger or judgment about him, she will probably attract either a passive or dominant male as a romantic partner. This pattern works similarly with our mothers. Until the point of gratitude is reached, we act like, or exactly opposite from, her. It is not possible to be free of negative parental influence and express our true inner being until we stop being upset with our parents. In some ways we never do completely free ourselves from their influence, because they are one of our major life imprints. They have taught us many positive life skills. Old father and mother issues can be resolved, and we can start seeing ourselves as living more consciously, fully, and creatively. We also become more conscious and grateful for the positive influences and experiences we had, rather than dwelling on what was missing or wrong. It is also important to remember that processing feelings and issues isn’t primarily about making them go away. This can be another form or definition of suppression. The shift towards healthier and happier living occurs when we accept the fact that we can be a fearful or angry person at times, and be grateful for the lesson and opportunity to grow past present limits. Once we have accepted everything we know about ourselves, then we will notice positive changes.
13 Many people have reported experiences where they were totally involved in being a victim. We read about victims of abuse, crime, car accidents, etc. Victimhood has become so popular, partly because we think that being a victim of someone or thing means we weren’t responsible for what happened. To some extent that’s very true. Children don’t ask their parents to beat them. However, remaining stuck in victim consciousness does keep perpetuating victim experiences. When the abused child grows up s/he can continue creating abusive situations even when the initial abuse experience is years in the past. Becoming aware that we don’t have to keep feeling like a victim; accepting that bad things did happen, and it felt bad; and knowing we can be complete with participating in victimization experiences are steps to assuring we are never a victim again. (Renée) Many times in my life I have childishly gotten upset with someone else for letting me down. The biggest for me was becoming aware of my parents’ humanity. As a child, they were my gods. Life worked as they said it worked. When their behavior didn’t match their words, I though it was something wrong with me. As I grew I learned about alcoholism, and what it does to people’s integrity. I became aware that my father’s suicide had nothing to do with me. I did not cause his death. However, I carried the guilt of my father’s death until I began to address my feelings of abandonment, anger, and betrayal around his choice to die. I thought because I felt that way, that somehow I was defiling his memory. So, every time someone did something simple like forget a meeting, I’d be thrown back into an emotion like my feelings at the time of his death, and I’d be angry with them. Once I just allowed myself to be aware that my feelings around his death had nothing to do with the person who forgot the meeting, my responses to those minor situations changed. I could laugh with them about their forgetfulness and reschedule the meeting. This behavior change was a result of my becoming more aware of my feelings, so I could stop being upset with others. I became aware of the source of my anger at self. I couldn’t change my parents’ disease or deaths. That, in turn, helped me stop thinking others were doing the same thing to me. I accepted the fact I had issues around anger, helplessness, and betrayal, and that other people’s behavior came as a result of those issues, not the other way around.
Chapter 4: Physical Immortality, Life Urge and Death Urge
It is said the body is capable of living for hundreds, perhaps thousands of years, if properly maintained. There are many stories of people who have lived far beyond the “normal” length of life. The Bible has several, such as Methuselah, who is said to have lived for 900 years. Based on what has been said about suppression and resistance, and how to cleanse and purify the body, it is possible to live as long as we want. Physical immortality does not necessarily mean living forever. It does, however, mean we can stay here as long as it’s challenging, interesting, and rewarding. It means we have the time to accomplish all we were born to do. This immediately takes pressure and urgency out of living, because there is more than enough time.
14 The ultimate appeal of physical immortality is that if life can offer unlimited possibilities, why would we want to die? From this perspective, this is Heaven, and those who don’t believe it will probably die. When Jesus died and rose again, he resurrected his physical body, not just his spirit. Oral tradition has it he learned how to do this studying with master teachers in India. Our guru Babaji (who is also considered immortal and able to create a physical body at will any time and anywhere) claims to have been one of Jesus’ teachers. Jesus said that everything he did, we are also capable of accomplishing. So what is it that might be stopping us? Death Urge The death urge is defined as any impulse, thought, or action that asserts death is inevitable. Some examples of death urge are carrying judgments or negative feelings about self; diet(s) that damage the body; accidents, stress or disease; and language and beliefs that reinforce the thought that we must die. People have forgotten the ability to live forever, or to at least extend length of life at will, and our language and customs tend to reinforce this “deathist” philosophy. Inspecting our own family history is likely to reveal a pattern of how and when family members die. Some families have a history of succumbing to specific ailments. The Kennedy family has a history of the men dying in their forties. These are unconscious beliefs carried from generation to generation that say we will probably die, much like others in the family did. There are two basic reasons people die young. One is that we have the belief most people don’t live past their seventies or perhaps eighties. The other is that we don’t practice techniques to keep the body cleansed and purified of attitudes and substances that eventually damage it. A way to discover how powerfully attitudes affect the body is to notice people who have smoked for many years. Some of them will probably say they have no particular concern about tobacco’s effects, exhibit no noticeable physical problems, and live to a ripe old age. Admittedly an extreme example, it does show that response to stimulus is unique, depending on the person. Another example is men who retire from their jobs at sixty years of age or so, and die within a few years. These people quit having a reason to stay alive, and as a result, don’t. At the other end of the spectrum are people who do all the “right things” for themselves, yet somehow continue to have physical or emotional problems. These people have yet to change the underlying belief systems about their own health and strength. Life Urge People live as long as their life urge is stronger than their death urge. Life urge is reflected in one’s enthusiasm for living. It is reinforced by using healing, cleansing, and purifying tools and techniques that allow us to strengthen our enjoyment for being alive. People who do not like themselves, and are constantly avoiding their own feelings, are also avoiding being alive and using the opportunities available while on earth.
15 Life urge is also reinforced by doing the things that are the most fun. There is no reason to stop having fun in our lives, even when earning a living. People who lose their sense of humor are the ones who struggle the most. Keeping the fun factor high is vital to a long life. There is no way to prove the concept of physical immortality, except to keep living. may We never know the limits of this theory, which is okay. Attitudes that say death is inevitable at a certain age rob people of their ability to keep living full lives. The holistic emotional techniques are available to extend life far beyond the “normal” limits. It is up to us to use them fully. Even in our “deathist” society, there are people who just don’t seem to buy into the beliefs that life is hard, short, and then we die. We have more centenarians alive today than ever, one example of which are Willard Scott’s interviews on the Today Show with the 100-plus crowd. When interviewed, they often talk about their longevity in terms of attitudes about life. Without fail, it is not diets, advances in medicine, or unusual genes that they credit for their life span. They talk in terms of love– loving their families, loving their lives, and living simply and appreciating all that life has given them. Doesn’t that tell us something?
Chapter 5: Suppression and Resistance: Denial of Self
Suppression of Feelings Most of us are taught that the way to handle uncomfortable feelings is to suppress or resist them. On a physical or energy level, all this accomplishes is that we stop being consciously aware of the discomfort. The source of the tension is not resolved. This is an important concept, because suppression creates many of our complaints about life and is the starting point for all physical illnesses and ailments. When we suppress fear, we also shut down the ability to love. As the term implies, there is a pressure built up by suppression– an emotional tension that eventually expresses itself in our lives. This unconsciously-expressed energy is also known as compulsive behavior, and resistance to feelings is the source of it. However, because the body does not distinguish between fear and excitement, when we suppress discomfort we also suppress feelings of pleasure. Consider falling in love. For most, this is both a fearful and a joyful experience. Being open to love also means being open to fear. Similarly, when we close down to any feeling, we close down to all feelings to the exact same degree. Feelings are a part of being alive. We all experience feelings about every event in our lives, whether we are conscious of that fact or not. Even if we are not feeling very good, or not feeling very much, we are still feeling something. People often seek relief from the conflicting feelings they have, partly as a result of the diversity and intensity of the influences around us, such as multimedia influences, the pressures of being part of a family, making a living, etc. Learning how to handle this input is one of the major lessons of growing up.
16 As children we often find that easy ways to handle uncomfortable feelings are to simply ignore them– literally to go out of body or suppress them. In this example, out of body means not being aware or being numb to the immediate, present circumstances. It is common for some people to have gaps in memories about childhood. This is a defense against something that seems dangerous. Escape into fantasy or obsessions make a reality other than what is being experienced, causing a split between the truth of the moment and what we choose to believe about the circumstances. This is known as suppression of, or resistance to, feelings. Almost everyone does it to some degree, depending on the situation. For people born under anesthesia, the first experience of life is being numb to the immediate surroundings. Often these people grow up feeling like they are only partially connected to situations and the people involved in them. Learning to stay open to all our feelings, and not deny them, is the first step in healing the emotional damage done by suppression. Being shut down also limits our self-love, which is the basis for self-esteem. High self-esteem is the ultimate determining factor in how fulfilled we are. People who feel good about themselves tend to have successful lives, and those who don’t have this inner strength tend to struggle more. It is worthwhile to note here that being open to feelings does not mean we are walking around like a raw nerve ending, feeling everything to an excruciating degree. Our intellect helps us sort out what feelings are appropriate to each situation. Our intellectual and emotional senses work in a partnership to help us choose what feels good and what feels bad. However, our family and cultural training also helps determine what we feel in each circumstance. The point is that becoming aware of our feelings helps us make wiser choices in our relationships with self and others. (For instance, we are quicker to release people who aren’t healthy for us.) It’s common knowledge that a strong feeling can wipe out current thoughts. Suppressed feelings and emotions can and do affect our thinking. Just because we aren’t aware of them doesn’t mean they are having no impact. Suppression has other effects on our lives that may not be immediately obvious. If we work with the premise that there are no (unwilling) victims, then what we experience is always the result of some choice or choices we have made about life. To resist feeling what those decisions have created in our lives– joy, sadness, etc.– is in effect denying the wisdom of those choices. This is like changing our mind in midstream. When a challenging event happens and we don’t like how it feels, there is temptation to deny responsibility for it, and to place blame outside ourselves. On an emotional level this denial creates an inner tension between the part of self that created it, and the part of self that is in denial. This inner conflict is one of the major causes of all physical illness and disease on the planet today. All physical problems– even “accidents”– are a result of unresolved emotional tension created by suppressed or denied feelings.
Chapter 6: There Are No Victims: Your Power Is Your Birthright
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our Light, not our Darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you NOT to be so?
You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the word. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that others won’t feel insecure around you.
We are born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It is not just some of us, it is Everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our fear, our presence automatically liberates others. Marianne Williamson: A Return to Love
Stop looking for a scapegoat in your life, but be willing to face the truth within yourself and right your own wrongs. Eileen Caddy: Footprints on the Path , Findhorn Press, 1976
18 Central to being successful at life is understanding personal power. Power is neither positive nor negative, and it is available to us at all times. We use our power continuously– when we enter relationships, when we define and work for goals, or when we express feelings. Power is the energy that manifests through our belief systems. The beliefs we have determine the direction we express our power and the way we express it– selfishly or supportively. For example, it is possible to misuse power and we are often afraid to act powerfully for fear we will misdirect our energies. This is usually a futile effort, because it is impossible not to be powerful. We can be unaware of this force, but it is still present in us, being constantly expressed in our lives. Noticing the people and situations close to us gives us important clues as to what we actually believe the experience of life should be (because we are always surrounded by people who hold similar beliefs). Very often, these people and situations do not match our conscious selfimage, and we are tempted to deny that they really are reflections of our self. Victim Consciousness Our culture offers many examples of people who appear to be victims of circumstances beyond their control. Yet, if what we believe is what we experience, then believing others control us results in being a victim. It is sometimes easy to feel a little irritated by a marriage partner who seems critical or picky. This minor anger implies being trapped in the situation, as if we could not get away if we really wanted. Being the conscious creator of this situation involves checking to see if perhaps we are neglecting our partner, or maybe we don’t want to be with this person anymore. Being powerful in this instance means asserting what we want, rather than just reacting to the other. Similarly, living a powerful life in all ways requires we assume the perspective of being the one who creates what we experience. Part of changing our lives to be more conscious first involves taking responsibility for everything in our lives, whether or not we know how or why it’s there. Whatever we notice around us is some part of our life energy. Sometimes the unpleasant situations we experience don’t mean that we presently act that way (even if difficult situations are continuing). Often they are a “pop-quiz” on our willingness to forgive the part of us that could still be unloving. In other words, we are testing ourselves to see if we have really changed a formerly selfish or destructive attitude, and we are given an opportunity to forgive the potential for this selfish or destructive tendency. Willingness Willingness is an attitude of readiness and acceptance to address all matters that are within the definition of our moral and emotional commitments. It is an acceptance of all the results in our lives. This includes the quality of all our relationships, career success, money flow, and more. To be as powerful as we can, we must eventually assume responsibility for the quality of our lives. An unwillingness to take responsibility sets up a tension that can create very difficult situations:
19 Unwillingness is an internal power struggle between the largely unconscious belief systems about life that we carry inside and the part of us that does not trust that our intentions will bring about the desired success. This inner lack of trust also carries into relationships with others. Resistance builds a pressure in our lives. This pressure creates “messages” or “signals” from the universe that there are issues with which to deal, and that we are not acting in alignment with universal principles. The signals start out subtly, with colds, minor ailments, or accidents, and then increase in intensity until we either respond to the need for resolution or something happens, the most drastic being physical death. It also shows that we do not trust the principles of how the universe works. These principles– there are no victims; we always get what we believe life to be; etc.– are the same for everyone on the planet, whether we learn through early training, our own meditations, organized religion, self-improvement books, or Divine Guidance.
There is another point to consider. If we feel that someone else controls a part of our lives, then we literally do give them power over that part. It’s tempting to say we can’t get out of paying taxes. This attitude indeed makes us a victim of the government. However, another perspective would be to assume responsibility for choosing to live in any particular country and accept that part of the choice is paying taxes for the privilege of being there. Personal responsibility also means that we choose the circumstances for both our birth and our death. On a soul level, we carefully choose our parents for the lessons we can learn by being born through these people(See Chapter 7). Once this choice is made, it does somewhat narrow down our likely behavior within certain parameters. Though complete freedom of choice is available across the span of a soul’s existence, we also have to take responsibility for choices that we make. For instance, our birth parents never change; nor does any of the history we’ve created up to this moment. Choice allows us to respond differently to those influences than we may have in the past. The Source of Victim Consciousness Most people think they would enjoy life more if they could get more of what they desired. The important thing to realize from this chapter is that we are getting exactly what we believe life will give us. Usually, when first realizing this, a person goes through some anger and then sadness while coming to terms with the parts of self that are self-destructive, fearful and faithless. This is a step that has to be taken before the true healing can occur. Learning to love our anger, fear, insecurities, lack of faith, and disbelief is what gives us access to the higher powers with which we were all born. Let’s consider anger for example. The energy of anger is simply passion. Passion can be expressed in many ways. When it doesn’t seem safe to express it as love, it usually is changed to anger. Often, we try to suppress the anger in hopes of not having to deal with it. However, since we are suppressing passion, our excitement for living and creating disappears at the same time. Acknowledging anger as the truth, when we feel it, is the quickest way to free up creative energy. This act of surrender takes a lot of courage and support, and it works. Notice that resolution of the anger is neither suppression, nor is it acting it out. This is significant, for many of us were taught there is no way to truly resolve anger. We learned we could act it out, sort of, but only in specific ways, and to feel guilt if we overdid it. Or, we could just try to blow it off, or stuff the feelings, which was usually more socially approved,
20 but there was always an uncomfortable, unfinished feeling about that. Simply being with the feelings of anger is the doorway to complete resolution. Another way to check the value of emotional surrender is to notice what happens when we hold unexpressed anger in our body. There is an emotional distance created between the world and us because we have blocked expressing feelings. Others intuitively sense this tension. If we shut down to any feeling, we shut down to all feelings, to the same degree. It is not possible to be open to love without sometimes feeling fear and anger, too. Loving the fear and anger is the fastest way to transform it back to creativity and excitement. Ultimately, all anger is self-directed. If we know that we are not a victim of anything, then it is not possible for anyone to do anything to us that we do not agree to, either consciously or unconsciously. Therefore, anything that happens to us is the result of choice(s) we have made. Accepting responsibility for being the source of all that happens in our lives is the only real way we can change anything about ourselves (whether or not we enlist the support of others). When we refuse to accept being responsible for our lives, we set up a war inside our bodies. There is one part of self that refuses to believe we want a particular situation or outcome or that we created it, and there is another side of self that actually set it all up. These two energies are at odds with each other, and tension and struggle are the result. This situation is the source of all power struggle, created first inside of ourselves and then recreated between others and ourselves. It drains creative energy, and it is not possible to change and grow while in this conflicted state. The moment we love it all we make the limitlessness of the Universe available to ourselves. How often do we hear one partner in a relationship complain that if only the other person would change their behavior, things would be fine? When responsibility for power struggle is shifted to someone outside of ourselves, we then set up having continuous emotional peaks and valleys. We are at the arbitrary will of another’s words and actions. We live in reaction and feel someone else is in charge of our fate. Taking Responsibility for the Present Responsibility means being willing to assume we are the ones who cause the people and situations in our lives to happen. This doesn’t mean we understand how or why we create these things. Many times we are confused by certain happenings and don’t think we want a particular event in our lives. However, when we refuse to assume responsibility, we also give the power away to someone or something else over that area of our lives. Feeling wronged by the boss who refuses to give us a raise avoids looking at what we have done to not deserve it. We may not see how someone else really has done a better job and deserves the raise instead of us. Feeling mystified about drawing romantic partners who are never able to be committed in the relationship is another example. We avoid looking at how we might be the one who is unable to commit and have sought out others on whom we can place the blame. When we deal with it from the perspective of our own fear of commitment, relationships inevitably look different and often leads to being attracted to more appropriate romantic partners.
21 Power requires responsibility and responsibility creates power. Commitment Another word for responsibility is commitment. Commitment means wanting a specific outcome in a situation and doing whatever it takes to create that result. There is a lot of responsibility in acting in a committed way. Commitment in a relationship means doing what it takes to allow the development of intimacy. Sometimes that means spending time with someone who may not be as clear as we are about the love. It might mean being with someone who goes through a lot of fear learning to love and be loved to such a depth. If the commitment is there, then it will be easier to work through the differences. Another level of commitment in this example is to ourselves. If it finally becomes obvious that the other person is not willing to have the same kind of relationship we want, then our responsibility is to let go of them. We might have become attached to an outcome here that is not possible, and it’s self-abusive and controlling to continue pushing for something more. Commitment to other life goals requires the same dedication. It may require extraordinary effort to achieve something. Commitment means staying with it, as long as it supports your life purpose(s). Otherwise, staying is only attachment, which is a result of fear of loss. Attachment is a much less satisfying experience. If our experience of commitment is frustration, we may be attached to something that is no longer appropriate for us. Responsible behavior can be defined as changing any condition that does support our health, wealth, and wisdom; attachment can be defined as unwillingness to release conditions that no longer serve us, or that cost more in time and/or energy than we receive in return. Freedom and Discipline A common concern is how to maintain a sense of freedom while handling the responsibilities of being an adult. The two really go hand in hand. Freedom is often defined as the ability to do what one pleases at any time. Many people consider this an important part of their life goals. True freedom is composed of several concepts. Societal norms were created over time to help define what is acceptable behavior without trampling someone else’s rights. Absolute freedom for one without moral codes means someone else eventually starts to lose their freedom. So freedom must be seen in the context of a balance where everyone has approximately the same amount of choice. Absolute freedom on its own is often expressed as just random actions that don’t usually lead to any constructive ends. It isn’t necessary to always have a specific reason for every action, yet there is something about discipline that leads us to a sense of fulfillment. It is possible to live without ever having any regard for another living thing. This is a self-centered, fearful way to exist. Besides, it’s more fun and productive to be in agreement with those around us. Striking a balance between our preferences versus the constraints of the situation is one way of mastering the balance between discipline and freedom.
22 Discipline allows us to create a structure into which we express who we are in positive, constructive ways. Without some specific direction(s), life begins to feel empty. It seems like there isn’t any reason or focus for our thoughts and actions. Having the awareness to define particular aims in life, and seeing some of them come into being, builds self-esteem. Selfesteem is what frees us from the guilt of not contributing in some way to the quality of life for ourselves, and eventually, other people. Freedom from this guilt is really the freedom we all seek. Discipline can be as simple as taking the time first thing in the day to handle our duties. This frees up much energy for the rest of the day. It allows us to feel a lot lighter. Until we put out the cat, return the phone calls, and get the state inspection on the car, etc., there is a sense of having not done some things that were important. Of themselves, the tasks frequently do not require much effort. However, the cumulative effects of unfinished business begin to weigh heavily. It adds up day after day (often unnoticed), until it all seems overwhelming. If we have continuously put aside our responsibilities or duties for sometime later, they tend to look bigger and harder to accomplish with each passing day. Eventually, the focus of our lives becomes all those things we haven’t done, rather that our accomplishments. This can eat away at our sense of well-being and success, which can lead to low self-esteem, or even depression.
Chapter 7: Patterns of Behavior
All people exhibit (largely unconscious) patterns of behavior. These are seemingly automatic responses and reactions we have to the different situations and people in our lives. Our predominant patterns are from past lives. Genetic imprints, ancestral connections, and family traditions all set a very strong precedent for us. Exactly how we respond to these potentials is set very early in life, sometimes at conception. Birth is a strong imprint for people. All these experiences are the source of most of our behavior– what we do, and how we feel about what we do. Certainly we are able to change patterns; however, this is usually a slow process for a number of reasons. Conception, birth, and early life are times when we are the least ego-developed and the least able to separate beliefs based on fear from those based on love. For instance, most people most people experience their birth as a struggle; from that, most come to believe life itself is a struggle. This is such a deep pattern that many never become aware of it. Few people know that it was a choice, which can be changed, and few understand what it takes to let go of this particular fear. Different emotional healing techniques are available that allow us to get in touch with these deepest levels inside. This is extremely valuable because our deepest, most visceral positive or negative decisions seem to be made at this beginning point in life. Similarly, early life around our parents reaffirms these early decisions that life is a struggle. No matter how emotionally unhealthy or dysfunctional our family was, this is usually the basis for how we act throughout our lives.
23 Changing The Patterns Because patterns are our habits and unconscious behaviors, they change more slowly than our understanding of these patterns. We all seem to understand the goal of personal growth and enlightenment, and it would be fair to say few of us attain all that is possible. New ideas about life being easier and healthier take some time to integrate in the body to the level of automatic behavior. When a person has a lifetime of difficult relationships, simply wanting better relations usually does little to override the deeper belief that being with people is difficult. There are two parts to the process of consciously-chosen change: understanding the principles involved, and adopting those new ideas as a way of living. The Five Biggies It is said our conscious and unconscious ways of acting come from the five major categories of events in our lives. These are called the Five Biggies by Leonard Orr: 1– Conception and Birth, 2– Parental Disapproval Syndrome (Early life), 3– Other Specific Traumas, 4– Unconscious Death Urge, and 5– Past Lives. Conception and Birth Many people who work with the Rebirthing technique believe that the 5 Biggies are the most important physical experiences we have in our lifetime. It is extremely useful to find out details of our conception and birth. Were we wanted? What kind of birth did we have? One client’s father left shortly after she was conceived, and she was put up for adoption. Since then, her life has been a continuous series of relationships that start out feeling good, then end when the other person finally leaves her. When they don’t leave, she starts feeling something is wrong until she ends the relationship by leaving the other person. The pattern is that it is impossible for people who love each other to stay together. Intellectually, the course of these relationships makes no sense. On an experiential level, this was her conception truth, and unconsciously she has continued to act this way. Another client, who was loved and wanted, got stuck and required a forceps birth. Forceps are metal tongs used to grab the baby’s head and “help” in navigating the birth canal. Sometimes, this can be painful to the baby, such as when the tongs grasp the eyes, ears, nose, etc., causing bruising or worse. This has left him with several patterns. Because there was so much love and pain at birth, his experiences have been that if he loves someone, it has to hurt, too, and the more love there is,
24 the more painful it has to be. Another decision he made at birth was that to be supported or helped by anyone was painful– because the doctor used forceps to help him at birth. Consequently, he always felt a strong need to be very independent, even when it was obvious he could use some assistance. When help was offered, it appeared to be an invasion, rather than support. Consequently, he would reject it or feel resentful, even when it was apparent he could use it. A third pattern he has experienced is being rescued. Just before completion of a project he experiences a period of confusion and uncertainty, feeling like he needs help to finish. This is a result of his mother being under anesthesia. When she was knocked out, she stopped her side of the birth process, and he had to be helped out. Even though he is suspicious of assistance, he often feels he needs it to finish undertakings. The wide variety of factors involved in a person’s birth and conception make it impossible to predict someone’s behavior, though there are some valuable and accurate generalizations that can be made. There may be several of the conditions listed in this table present at a person’s birth. All these influences leave imprints and do not cancel each other, even when the influences conflict (such as a person who was held back and then had a cesarean birth). The following chart details a variety of possible conditions around birth and conception, common resultant beliefs and experiences, and healing thoughts (or affirmations– see Chapter 9) to replace the old negative beliefs. Birth Types, Resultant Beliefs, & Healing Thoughts Conception or Resultant Belief and Life Experience Birth Condition Affirmations and Healing Thoughts Loss of security; feeling abandoned feeling ordinary, nothing Normal special I am unique, just like everyone else. It is safe to be different. Accidental Being in the wrong places at the wrong times; prone to accidents; social awkwardness or shyness; unwanted; illegitimate– the need to defend or justify I am always at the right place at the right time, successfully engaged in the right activity. Anesthesia Disconnected feeling; absentmindedness; selective memory; abuse of mood-altering drugs; vagueness and difficulty in making decisions; short attention span or focus; apathy It is safe for me to be in my body at all times. It is safe to be and feel completely alive. Breech Cesarean Section Do things backwards; fight support; do things wrong, The world is safe. I do things easily, and I do things right for me. Difficulty with completions; looking for rescue, I make decisions easily and move forward effortlessly.
25 Cord Around Neck Fast Birth Forceps Blocks in speaking, throat problems; cut off from feelings I can breathe fully and easily. People support me in speaking my truth. Feeling rushed, or rushing others; hyperactive There is plenty of time for me. I have unlimited time in all I do. Feeling forced to participate in life; difficult to receive support without fear of being trapped or hurt; headstrong, independent attitudes; compulsive busy-ness Pleasure leads to pleasure. It is safe and easy for me to receive love, money and support from others. Held Back Induced Difficulty with initiating or finishing projects; obstacles to life I move forward with ease & grace. Rebelliousness; compulsion about or aversion to schedules; headstrong behavior; trapped feelings It is safe and easy to make my own choices. Late Birth Timing problems; often late or early for appointments; struggle in completing projects (long, drawn-out) It is safe for me to be on time. Life flows effortlessly and easily for me. Multiple Birth Competition for food, love, or attention; oversensitivity to others; difficult to set and sustain boundaries I always get what I want when I want it. I have all the space I want. I am safe even when others disagree with me. Premature Previous Births, Abortions or Miscarriages Feeling unprotected, vulnerable; feeling out of synch with others I am in alignment with Divine Order. I am strong enough. Life is dangerous; feeling unwanted or like an outsider; anger from having to fight for life I experience safety and support in the presence of others. Earth is safe enough for me. My way works. It is easy to make my own choices. Wrong Sex Feeling not good enough; life is never enough I am plenty, I have plenty, I do plenty. I am good enough as a (wo)man. Early Life Experiences In the same way we take on the beliefs and attitudes from our conception and birth, we unquestioningly assume our early experiences are the blueprint for our lives. These attitudes are internalized most strongly in the first five or six years. Our parents, or whoever plays these roles, are the first male and female with whom we fall in love, and the particular qualities of these relationships are the patterns we repeat throughout
Transverse Lie Often at odds with close people; resent being manipulated
26 our lives. It does not matter how healthy these patterns are; they are repeated until we start dealing with them consciously and addressing the sources of the unhealthy parts. One very prevalent pattern has to do with openness. Most children are very open and accepting from birth. Many parents do not know how to deal with unconditional love, and they either have to process their own self-esteem issues or suppress the child’s love. What frequently happens is that, rather than handle their own difficulties with love, the parents convey to the child that it’s not okay to be totally open and that the child is doing something wrong. So he gets his parents’ approval only when he acts in a way that keeps Mom or Dad happy, which is not how he really feels at the moment. It’s obvious that growing up with this belief presents problems later when we start to enter meaningful relationships with others. Trying to act out what we experienced as a child is very confusing, because we believe we will somehow be reprimanded or abandoned if we are open and loving. Our natural state is openness, and there is a tension created until we begin to unearth the old attitude(s) that lead us to believe life is not safe, or that punishment awaits us if we express our true feelings. Other Specific Negatives Later in life there are situations we experience that can also have major impact on us. It’s common to be criticized by a teacher and develop significant self-doubt about something that may not be true. Culturally, females are sometimes told they don’t know how to think or act rationally. Whether or not this is true makes no difference. If a woman believes it, it’s true for her. The death of a parent before we leave home is also a difficult experience. Other events with a major impact are divorce and/or remarriage, and the birth of other siblings. These events are not necessarily bad, but they can often have challenging aspects to them, especially if no one is around to help us adjust to the new circumstances. Death Urge This is subtler because we often hide it completely. The source of the death urge comes from choosing to cut ourselves off from the unlimited love of God. Death urge is belief in all those ideas, behaviors, and beliefs that are limiting to our lives, including a belief in the inevitability of death. Whether or not we are aware of this inner tension, it shows up in many kinds of compulsive, destructive behaviors. Any behavior that leads to anything except everlasting life and full experience of God’s unlimited love is a result of the unconscious death urge. On reflection, we can see many areas of our lives where belief in dying, or belief in limited love are a major part of the situation. Most people die because they have unconsciously given up. The physical circumstances might be a heart attack, or kidney failure, or a car accident, but the conscious or unconscious belief that they must die is the only reason people stop living. Suppression of and resistance to feelings is, in effect, slow motion suicide. We force the body to stop accepting love and nurturing, which are as important to health as food.
27 When we have no reason to continue living, most people eventually die. Consider the number of times men retire from work, then die within a few years or even a few months. Frequently, the man has identified his reason for living as doing his job, and when he stops doing his job, there is no reason to be here. This seems more prevalent the longer a man has held the same job or career. Past Lives We are always learning how to make the best use of our abilities. Those talents are a result of accumulated past lives. The challenges and unfinished lessons from those lives also carry over into the present life. Generally we can determine past experiences by how we are living now. Any unfinished business from other lives is still a part of our present challenges and lessons. Past-life regressions can be valuable for getting clarity about some of the specifics. On reflection, it seems that past-life experiences, our deepest patterns, talents, and challenges are brought with us into this life and are reinforced by conception, birth, and later life events. Our friend Iyanla called one day in tears sobbing because she had “killed her mother”. Iyanla is a bestselling author, internationally known inspirational teacher who has appeared on Oprah Winfrey’s show as a spiritual expert most every month for a year. She is read by thousands every day and is one of the clearest and most powerful people we know. Yet, here she was thrown back in time hearing the voices of her grandmother, father, and assorted others talking about her mother’s death. Since she was only a baby when her mother died of cancer, she had no clue what had really happened until she was an adult. By then, her inner child’s mind had connected her mother’s cancer with her conception, womb time, and birth. Now at a pinnacle of success in her life, she was overcome with this old guilt and thought. The adult circumstances of having to fire a much-beloved friend as her manager had thrown her back into these birth and early childhood memories. She felt so guilty about letting her friend go and feared it would ruin her friend’s life, just like her inner child believed she had “ruined” her mother’s very existence. We breathed together and talked about her innocence. Together we explored the soul agreement she and her mother had made when she was born. She came in knowing her mother would be leaving the earthly plane shortly after her birth. Iyanla understood she had agreed to this circumstance on the soul level. Since our contract with our parents is usually a soul or spiritual experience, we are often unconscious or forget we made these choices at conception up to the birth itself. We inhaled innocence and exhaled guilt. Since guilt demands punsshment, we explored the ways she had sabotaged her life, as a result of believing she had killed her mother. She quickly understood there was nothing for her to feel guilty about. She had honored her mother’s choice to die and her own choice to grow up without her mother’s physical presence. She also knew her mother had been with her all along in dreams and visions as a beautiful lady dressed in white. She had always appeared to Iyanla to guide her in times of real crisis. Now she deeply felt that her mother knew Iyanla had kept her agreement. She would not have appeared to Iyanla if she’d been bad, guilty, or somehow caused her mother’s death.
28 Iyanla was innocent, and the family’s old blaming, ignorant words to her as a child were a lie she no longer needed to believe on any level. After that she was clear in her decision to let go of her friend as manager. She also knew she would honor their friendship and love forever. The love didn’t die; just the form of their relationship. When she did talk to her friend, the friend agreed and returned the love. They have both moved on with their lives. (See Vanzant, I. Yesterday, I Cried New York, NY: Simon & Schuster, 1999)
Chapter 8: Change, Growth, and Safety
Change is never a loss– it is change only. The Mystic Path to Cosmic Power Vernon Howard, Parker Publishing, 1967 : Life promises all of us one thing – it will change. Change is a result of seeking answers to questions about the nature of self and the universe. Change is the process of letting go of who we thought we were, so that a new definition can emerge. There are different ways we experience this process. Because most of us have grown up learning to resist and suppress, change is often viewed as something fearful and difficult. Quite often we feel people or situations are forced on us. We have to go the first day of school in the first grade, we are made to speak in front of people, etc. Getting born was our first change in the physical world. How this was handled is an indication of how we handle the process of change later in life. How changes concerning self or others were perceived by the family or culture often predicts how we approach change as an adult. For instance, the teacher that criticizes a child’s behavior in broad terms is more negative than the teacher who criticizes one aspect of the behavior, while assuring him or her that things are all right overall. The child who learns how to distinguish inappropriate behavior is more likely to feel okay when criticized as an adult. Being comfortable with the change we create as a result of our goals, and allowing it to happen without resistance, is one way to define enlightenment. All pain and struggle in our lives ultimately is tied to our fighting the inevitable change that happens as a result of being alive. The natural order of life is change and growth or death. There is no middle ground about this. After using techniques to enhance our growth processes, it is important to integrate these new awarenesses into our lives as they are at this moment. Without this step, we merely hold much of personal growth as only entertaining possibilities, while continuing to live in fear and struggle. Perhaps the most challenging aspect of change is to recognize where we are resistant to loving ourselves. We often see it in others so clearly. We sometimes feel the need to enlighten others about how we feel wronged by their insensitivity and selfishness. We think we could offer help in pointing out how they sabotage their own goals. Yet we never have quite the same sort of clarity or objectivity about ourselves. Many times, we are too subjectively involved in our own lives to have much detachment about our issues. We get indignant when we feel confronted by others about our own insensitivity or selfishness. Yet there is an unmistakable way to see exactly how clear we are
29 about the principles of unconditional love. If we believe there are no victims, except by choice, then it becomes apparent that what we are experiencing in life is of our own choosing. This is always the case. We may have no idea what certain situations are telling us about ourselves, but there is no way to change things we don’t like if we are not willing to be responsible for creating them. Physical On a physical level, our bodies naturally take care of growth. We are born very small and end up five or six feet tall. This is a process that happens naturally if we nourish ourselves. It is common knowledge our genetic makeup is always enhanced by proper diet, exercise, and physical touch. Emotional On an emotional level, things get a bit more complicated. The body’s natural state is to release anything that interferes with the free flow of love. If we believe openness is something fearful and results in being abandoned, helpless, or vulnerable to attack, then we create an inner tension that ultimately results in struggle. Fear, tension, and struggle are what we experience when we close down emotionally, since the body’s natural state is openness and growth. Change on the emotional level is learning to be ever more open, embracing change, and celebrating growth, which leads to ever closer relationships. Intellectual On the mental or intellectual level, change means being more accepting of ideas that may at times seem very different from ours, and not feel threatened by these differences. Though at first this may seem like a rather natural concept, consider the tremendous tension created in the late 60’s by the young people who questioned the traditional ways of life in America. Violence came about because their value systems clashed with the older generations who felt threatened by some of the new ideas. Both sides contributed to this violence in their own ways– one by lack of patience and the other by unwillingness to change anything. The Nature of Change There are two parts to constructive, positive change– having specific goals and then being willing to achieve them. Everything that happens is a result of a thought, energized by belief in it. Whether or not the motive is loving and unselfish does not matter. It’s easier to use love as the motivating energy, because this is the highest state, and because it seems to take much more conscious thought, attention, and energy to create out of fear or anger. Eventually, this is exhausting. In addition, all moral training teaches us to use love as the basis for our thoughts, words, and deeds. Setting Goals Consciously choosing what we want out of life is very important. Otherwise, we continue to manifest our old, unconscious beliefs. Many of these are not based on the limitless abundance of the universe.
30 Nothing changes until we express to the universe that we want the change. The old patterns continue to repeat unless we decide we want something new. Once we make the decision to change, the question is what to become and how that can be accomplished. What it is we are changing is the most important question. When we have committed to that choice, things happen that could only be described as magic. Often it seems beyond our capabilities to arrange the sequence of events leading to our desired results. When choice is made and love is used to empower those thoughts, we allow God to assist us in the process. This is called “turning it over.” Notice the steps in this– God does not make the decision for us. We allow God’s divine energy to help once we make the decision and are truly willing to receive from the universe. This decision-making process takes some time. We all come to earth for a specific reason, to learn specific lessons, and to express our divinity in a certain way. This is our life purpose. One way to get in touch with this purpose is to consider what we enjoy doing the most. What are our talents? What kinds of experiences are we drawn to? Answers to these questions will give us clues as to the direction to take in life. Willingness to Change The things most interesting and important to us are usually the things that bring up the most fear. This is why a lot of us never go for our dreams– we are afraid someone will stop us before we get there. When we don’t express our highest goals, this is settling for less than that which we know we are capable– and the inner tension of self-judgement generated by giving up is an emotional burden. We all need to be challenged. It is important to have projects and goals that stretch us to the limits of our understanding. If we don’t, often we create passionate struggle in our lives as a way to experience excitement. These struggles often become chronic, intense melodramas that consume significant amounts of time and energy. The question to ask is “Is this way of living fun?” Anything important to us– and worthy of our efforts– often has some fear attached to it. This fear lets us know we have chosen something worthy of our attention and talents. It also keeps us awake. It’s stage fright– fear of moving into a new stage in our life. Athletes call it getting pumped up. It means we are getting close to finding our ideal self-expression.
Chapter 9: Affirmations
Like attracts like. Whatever the conscious mind thinks and believes, the subconscious identically creates. Brian Adams: How to Succeed, Melvin Powers Wilshire Book Co, 1985 The secret of making something work in your lives is, first of all, the deep desire to make it work: then the faith and belief that it can work: then to hold that clear definite vision in your consciousness and see it working out step by step, without one thought of doubt or disbelief. Eileen Caddy: Footprints on the Path
31 Conscious affirmations are statements that contain a desired goal. To be most effective, they are stated in the present tense without negative pronouns. Conscious Affirmations Conscious affirmations are a way to create new beliefs. As such, they generally feel like lies at first. A new affirmation is probably different than what we believe, or at least what we presently experience. With repetition, a new idea is gradually integrated into the body until it becomes a habit, and then ceases to seem new anymore. It is not always necessary to know what the original belief was before we begin to change it. Just by the use of the affirming process, we start consciously changing the subconscious. However, a few guidelines are quite useful: In general, work with any single affirmation a maximum of two weeks. We get numb to the effects after that. Give it some time to work. Write the affirmation by hand. Printing thousands of repetitions with a computer doesn’t have the same effect as writing them. First thing in the morning or last thing at night are good times to use affirmations. We seem to be more impressionable or programmable then. Let it go. After going through the affirmation process, quit dwelling on how the change might show up. Go on with life and do not spend time thinking about it. This interferes with the shift.
These are the basic ways to use affirmations. There are many variations possible: they can be spoken, they can be written on stick-up notes and hung anywhere, and they can be used with a response column. See the next page on this topic. Unconscious Affirmations Unconscious affirmations have created the bulk of our present belief systems. There is a direct link between our words and what experiences we have around those words. Our bodies try to literally create the reality described by what we think and speak, so problems can arise when those realities aren’t true. To affirm that we are a loving person– while carrying fear inside– doesn’t usually leave us feeling like a loving person. Pretending not to care that someone has hurt us never makes the pain go away. It is possible to stop feeling the pain, but this does not mean it is gone. We have just suppressed the discomfort. There are many sources for unconscious affirmations. On a primal level, a difficult birth experience frequently leaves a person with a belief and the experience that all of life is a struggle. Or, being told by others we don’t know how to think may also be internalized and repeated, rather like an endless tape loop. Our subconscious faithfully carries out our wishes, and is even capable of destroying the body. Creating Affirmations Decide on a goal, or an objective. It is not necessary to be reasonable. Ask for the real desire. This can be money, career, relationships, or any other intention. Do the chosen affirmation technique, then let it go. Trust the goal will be achieved, and don’t dwell on how it might happen. This interferes with the process.
Be willing to receive the desired result. This requires knowing we deserve it, without reservations.
The best personal affirmations are the ones that either feel the best or are the hardest to believe because they are so good. A good way to create them is to use old negative beliefs or fears. By flipping the old thought into a positive statement, it is possible to focus specifically on personal issues. Make the new affirmation a positive, present-tense statement. Old Belief I am scared to speak to a group. New Affirmation I am comfortable speaking to people. They are interested in what I have to say.
I never have enough money. I always have an ample supply of money for all my needs. I hurt people because I hurt my mother at birth. Men (women) leave me. My parents didn’t want me. Response Column An effective way to use affirmations is with a response column. Draw a line down the middle of a page. Write the affirmation in the left column. Write the feeling response to the affirmation in the right column. Don’t pause to think about the reply– the first response is usually the best one. Continue writing the affirmation and the response until the response is either neutral or positive. Ideally, a positive response is the goal. At this point, there is probably a noticeable shift inside. Continue daily until the desired results occur.
I am always considerate of others and I get what I want. Men (women) are safe in my presence. I am safe around men. Everyone values my presence and my friendship.
Affirmation I deserve love and money. I deserve love and money. I deserve love and money. I deserve love and money. I deserve love and money. I deserve love and money. I deserve love and money. Rolling Affirmations
Response This can’t be the truth! How can this be? It might be possible I could eventually believe this This feels good. Absolutely! Yes!!!!
Another effective technique is rolling affirmations. When using a response column, sometimes it is possible to take the negative response and turn it into a new affirmation. Keep doing this until the feeling of resistance dissolves (and the responses are positive).
33 Sometimes it is possible to uncover one or more levels of negative beliefs that weren’t conscious. This will definitely enhance life, once the old beliefs are cleared. New Thought I deserve money and love. Response It’s always a struggle to get them.
Money and love come to me easily and It scares me. effortlessly. I am safe and comfortable having plenty of money and love. I am willing to be powerful around men. I experience safety and support in the presence of men. I experience safety and support in the presence of men. Men won’t let me have power. I’m afraid I’ll get hurt. Seems unlikely, but it might be possible. This feels right.
Troubleshooting: When Affirmations Don’t Work There are some subtleties in using affirmations. These tips can improve your effectiveness: Be flexible. Thinking a money affirmation will create money in only one way may mean the actual results aren’t noticed. Use the response column. It is possible to affirm a new thought, yet completely resist it internally and emotionally. The response column is more likely to reflect the resistance, as well as how strongly we resist it. The response column also lets us know when we are changing it. When it just doesn’t work, consider the affirmation. There may be a deeper issue to resolve. Before we actually get more money, it is necessary to be willing to receive. When we don’t like ourselves, or have low self-love, it is very difficult to receive love or money. Sometimes the use of rolling affirmations will reveal the deeper issue(s). Be willing to have it that good! This is usually the deepest issue. There is nothing missing inside– we have all the resources we need for re-creating life as Heaven on earth.
Thoughts About Affirmations Affirmations are what make the universe run. The most effective commercials are the ones that affirm the product name enough so that we don’t forget it. Notice how ideas are phrased. “This is killing me” or “Oh, I could never do that” are affirmations of our past beliefs and experiences. Phrase words to describe a life full of desired things– abundance, fun, satisfaction, fulfillment, or whatever. See a half-full glass of water instead of one half-empty. Consider all the verbal input around us. Really listen to the words being spoken. With much repetition, these phrases alter our lives. The music we listen to also has a similar effect. Music that glorifies or indulges in bad luck stories or violence can create more of these experiences.
34 Basically, affirmations are another way we trick ourselves into temporarily suspending judgement and experiencing the limitlessness of the universe. Most growth processes create a way for us to get two distinct views of ourselves: We fully, subjectively experience and feel self– all the anger, love, sadness, happiness, etc, we have inside, and We see ourselves objectively, in relation to the rest of the world. Sometimes our complaints seem petty compared to the problems others have, and this realization is often humbling.
Affirmations are a way we free ourselves from limited thinking. Realize by asking for something specific, like more money, we may be bringing up some or all of our deepest fears. This is not a bad thing of itself. It does, however, require a high degree of willingness to keep moving through the resistance. Patience, in the sense of not asking for everything all at once, allows for a more graceful growth experience.
Chapter 10: Negative Emotions and How to Heal Them
All negative emotions have a basis in either direct life experiences or perceptions we have internalized from others in our formative years. In the musical South Pacific there is a song , about how we must be carefully taught how to hate. We aren’t born feeling hate, but some people are born into hating families. Since the two primary emotions are fear and love, all negative feelings are based on fear. Out of this fear we can experience hate, lust, anger, jealousy, greed, guilt, and sadness. Negative emotions can also arise out of resistance to feelings. They are the result of being unwilling to let ourselves be aware of certain emotions that are trying to surface. Prime Negative Operating Law Some of our deepest and most influential values and beliefs, the ones that practically run our lives, are so buried they may never surface. In fact, for most people, there is one or perhaps two prime negative operating laws that underlie everything we think, say, and do. The source of these is the feelings we experience as a result of the Five Biggies. Sometimes our prime negative operating law (or thought) is planted while we are still in our mother’s womb. If our mother is fearful or afraid about the pregnancy, is angry she is pregnant, or is not happy with the father, we marinate in that fear for nine months. While in the womb, we eat what mom eats, we feel what she feels, and we think what she thinks. We don’t know we are separate individuals from her. It is not unusual for us to work with clients who have been loyally acting out their mother’s feelings and beliefs, rather than creating their own. Once a person realizes they can choose differently from their mother– and it’s really okay– they change their entire outlook. Similarly, the father’s attitudes have an impact; acknowledging the differences frees us from unconsciously acting out either parent’s behavior. Anger Anger is one of the most difficult emotions to handle and one of the easiest to experience. Typical reactions to anger are to deny and suppress it, or act it out, often in ways destructive
35 to self and/or others. These reactions only aggravate the problem because they delay the time when we actually resolve the tension. Suppression and acting out also result in decreased creativity and sexual expression. The energy behind anger, i.e., passion, is the same power that drives our creativity and sexuality. Anger is a way to express feelings, especially common when it seems too dangerous to be open and loving. Resolving anger requires understanding its source: frustrated passion. When it isn’t safe to express and experience intimacy, the results are frustration, boredom, depression, and/or anger. When we don’t allow ourselves to be passionately involved in other forms of creativity– acting, writing, service, sports, etc.– frustration and anger are the result. Consciously or not, most of us want intimacy– to be loved, understood, and accepted for being ourselves. Lack of this closeness leads to frustration and a feeling that something is missing in life. Anger also results from feeling powerless to change something about our lives we’ve judged as inappropriate. We feel like victims of circumstances beyond our control. This denies our ability to choose our life experiences and denies our inherent divinity. Being powerful requires taking responsibility for the present situations and people around us. Once we stop blaming others, we are no longer a victim and can choose what we want out of life. Feeling we are a victim of our parents denies our freedom and right in choosing to come through those people. Being angry with our romantic partners for their behavior denies our ability to either accept them and enjoy who they are, or let go of the relationship. Admittedly, it can be difficult to end a relationship where there is an emotional investment. If we are not victims, and we are still angry, then the anger really is at self. Ultimately, self is the object of all anger, because no one can do anything to us without our conscious or unconscious agreement. At this stage of awareness, inner work is required to resolve the tension. Anger can cover feelings of sadness and disappointment. This sadness is with self: we feel sad about making bad choices and getting bad results. Anger is seductive in that it’s very easy to be upset at things outside ourselves, and the anger is then used to cover deeper feelings of pain. It can also create a false sense of power and motivation to make something happen. This prevents us from feeling our own pain. Anger appears to be easier to feel in our bodies than the pain of sadness or disappointment. A common thought is, “If only they would change, then I could feel good.” If they are bad, we look good compared to them. Anger is easy to project, or put on someone else, even when we’re really mad at ourselves, and is often used to cover the pain of sadness and grief. We experience the pain of sadness directly. Since The Course in Miracles states that anger is never justified, and we are never angry for the reasons we think, how do we release anger? Willingness to feel the pain is the beginning of resolution. Sometimes it means feeling our hearts break. Once this surrender to the inner pain is accomplished, forgiveness of self, which may be rather anti-climactic after the intensity of the sadness, happens almost automatically.
36 Forgiveness is when our past “mistakes” are now viewed and felt as valuable learning lessons rather than more reasons to believe we are unworthy. When we change our perceptions of self-worth, we find fewer reasons to be angry. Forgiveness (acceptance that we participated in making something happen) marks the shift point, and when it happens, we are more conscious of the process to resolve anger the next time we start getting upset. Shifting anger doesn’t always require sadness or heart-break, though it does require a willingness to feel pain, if that’s what it takes. A nice benefit of this process is that it gets safer to be passionately involved in life rather passionately upset about it. Forgiveness also stops the feeding the anger, or the feeling of it. What started out as a small irritation can be blown up into a rage by not handling the issues at the point of origin. Notice that the resolution process described here does not involve the acting-out of anger. There are some techniques that use acting-out to facilitate completion. These can be beneficial, especially for people who have never felt safe or free enough to express themselves. Experience indicates that acting-out is an interim step, since it focuses on the anger, and that surrender to the sadness and disappointment beneath the anger is the quickest way to fully resolve the tension and upset at the source. Romantic involvements require we risk heart break. If we are unwilling to take this risk, then we are not open and there is no possibility of intimacy. If we shut down to any feeling, we shut down to all feelings– positive and negative– to the same degree. We cannot know the outcome of a situation until we enter the experience. Not being open and willing to risk means we assume we aren’t going to get what we want, so there is no need in being open to it. If we are open and willing to risk all feelings, then it means we at least have the possibility of a positive outcome. We also increase the likelihood of getting what we want, when we want it. The experience of anger reflects an unwillingness to risk. Passionate people need to take risks to be complete as humans. Without taking creative risks, we get bored and start taking destructive risks, simply as a way to express this intensity of feeling. The positive aspect of anger is that it means we care deeply about our lives. It shows a depth of feeling about life that can be turned into positive caring once we master the process of opening to our deepest feelings. Sadness and Grief Sadness and grief are a longing for something we have lost or a longing for something that looks impossible. It is a feeling we are powerless to change limiting circumstances. These feelings are also a result of feeling like a victim. It also implies an attachment to someone or something. Attachment is not love, though they are sometimes confused for one another. We feel sad about losing a family member, because they moved away or even died. The sadness is not an expression of how much we loved them, but how attached we were to their physical presence. The love will never change or die, but our feelings of attachment will if we let go. Sadness will diminish to the extent we are willing to release our attachment.
37 Depression, Boredom, and Frustration Boredom is the feeling that nothing has any appeal, and that there is no excitement about what is in our lives. There is a feeling of listlessness. Usually this is a result of “sitting” on some particular feeling that is trying to surface. For most of us, suppression of feelings happens when there is some fear associated with them. The emotions that don’t have a fear connotation are much easier to consciously experience. It is interesting to notice that there is often as much, or more, fear associated with success as there is with failure, and that boredom may be a suppression of success. Frustration is related to boredom, but is an angry response to our own resistance. The impulse is to try to do something to make the blocked feeling go away. The problem is that it doesn’t matter what we do. Until we stop and let the suppressed feeling come up, we will only continue exerting effort that does not seem to create any positive results. Depression is very closely related to frustration. The difference is that instead of expressing anger outwardly, as in frustration, depression is anger turned inward. It is also a result of not being able to forgive ourselves as the source of the anger. Guilt Guilt can be defined as believing we are wrong, or have done something wrong, and punishing ourselves first, before anyone else can. Probably the primary negative motive influencing our existence on earth is that of guilt. More difficult to handle than anger, this feeling is usually more unconscious. Sometimes our parents withdraw love when they don’t like our actions as a way to teach proper behavior. We may, individually, as a person, feel guilt, anger, or disappointment and feel we don’t deserve love, rather than understanding that we only acted inappropriately. It has been scientifically proven that positive motivation is a more successful way to create lasting change. When someone has a positive reason to change, then they willingly change. It is possible to be forced, but that just generates resentment. Most people who are forced will get even by sabotaging themselves or others. The source of guilt is thinking we are separate from God, and therefore, God has withdrawn His/Her love from us. We may have done something wrong and now believe that God is angry with us. Traditional Judeo-Christian teachings have interpreted God as a vindictive being who often arbitrarily metes out punishment, or death, to unsuspecting humans. This version of God makes it more difficult to forgive ourselves, as it seems He/She has already judged and condemned us to some punishment. When God is seen as unconditionally loving of all humans, the grace and innocence we all seek is available as we give up our guilt and forgive ourselves. Healing Negative Emotions Negative emotions are a result of blocking love, each in their own way, and each reflecting a particular fear. It is said there are only the two emotions of love and fear, but it is sometimes confusing when we feel three different variations of fear in one situation. The following chart can help unravel this uncertainty.
38 Emotion; Source; Resolution; Affirmation
Anger, Rage, or Resentment
Source: Frustrated passion (holding back from having strong feelings about something or someone), believing self to be a victim of circumstances beyond one’s control Resolution: Willingness to take risks without knowing the outcome. Allowing oneself to be passionately in love, or intensely involved in work; acceptance; forgiveness of self, other, or the situation Affirmation: I accept myself (and life) exactly the way it is. Money and love come to me easily and effortlessly.
Jealousy, Lust, or Greed
Source: Desire for something someone else has that we are not willing to give ourselves Resolution: Willingness to risk, and ask for what we really want Affirmation: I deserve love (or money, etc.). I am now receiving love (money, etc.) Fear (Being Afraid) Source: Suppressed anger, thinking it’s not okay to be angry because someone might get hurt, usually self Resolution: Standing up for our rights, being willing to say “no” to conditions or situations that do not suit, “yes” to those that do Affirmation: I am safe as long as I’m breathing, no matter how it feels. Life (God) supports me, and I am safe. Guilt Source: Thinking self has done something wrong, and wanting to punish self before anyone else can Resolution: Awareness, acceptance, and forgiveness (The Three Step Process). Give up selfjudgment and self-anger Affirmation: I am innocent, and everything I do, I do with love. Sadness, or Grief Source: Anger at loss or wanting something that is (or looks) impossible to have Resolution: Give up the attachment or expectation. Quit thinking a past event will turn out a different way
39 Affirmation: I always get what I need and want, and more, even when it doesn’t look like that. Apathy, Boredom, Frustration, or Depression Source: Give up expecting life (and self) to be more than it is. Admit the sadness and anger from being disappointed Resolution: Anger turned inward, unwillingness to allow feelings to surface and clear out of the body Affirmation: I love myself exactly the way I am.
Chapter 11: Purification Techniques
There are many techniques used for purification purposes, and all of them are useful for conscious living. The increased pace of living suggests more conscious use of centering tools. Those who don’t are likely to experience heightened stress levels. Four Elements There are different methods of cleansing, corresponding to the four elements– fire, earth, air, and water. Some ways to use the elements for balancing are: Fire- Use of fire is an effective method of cleansing. Staying within thirty feet of a fire for 5 hours, or more, burns impurities out of the aura. Meditating on a candle for at least 20 minutes can also be helpful. Earth- Any form of contact with the earth grounds us and releases static charges that build up, for instance, from car travel. Lying on a beach or gardening are two ways to stay in touch. Synthetic materials, such as carpeting, tennis shoes, and car tires, tend to insulate us from groundedness, and walking barefoot for a short while is often very calming. Air- Conscious connected breathing (Rebirthing) is one of the most effective ways to use air. Other excellent methods include yoga. Many organized religions, as well as a number of other approaches to health and balance, incorporate conscious use of breath for purification. Air is the bridge between the physical and spiritual. The more we strengthen the bridge, the healthier we are. Water- Regular bathing (showers are somewhat less effective, as taking a bath better surrounds us with water) also purifies the aura, and centers and balances us. The widespread availability of hot water is one of the more important purification tools civilization has.
List-Making List-making is a very simple and powerful way to find out what we really think about life. When the responses are written down without thinking about or pondering them, valuable insights about our deeper motivations and preferences often come to light. There are many different ways to use this process. A few examples follow.
40 Career Process- First thing in the morning, list the ten most favorite things to do. Do not be limited to things that can be done for money; rather write down the things that simply give the most pleasure. Continue this for about two weeks, and it is likely one or more items will keep appearing on the lists. This (or these) pursuits would likely be the best direction to go career-wise, as they are the ones that are most interesting, challenging, rewarding, and fun. Create a Mate- Write down everything desired in a romantic partner– physical attributes, mental and emotional makeup, lifestyle, financial condition, etc. Do not skip the obvious characteristics (if the preference is someone of a certain height or age , for instance), because there are some interesting surprises that come as a result of leaving out items we assume the universe understands. Manifest Anything- Similarly, it is possible to get anything one could want by using the listing technique, whether this is a physical possession, or a mental, physical, emotional, or spiritual attribute about yourself. It is suggested this tool be used with love, and the attitude that everyone else can also get what he or she wants when they want it, and there is no shortage of anything on the planet. Write the statement, “What I want is...” and fill in the blank with the appropriate answer, depending on the situation. Hidden Aspects of Self- To heal parental relationships, answer the following questions each within 30 or 45 seconds (without thinking about the responses): list five things not liked about mother, father, latest significant relationship and self. Then list five things each liked about mother, father, latest significant relationship, and self. It is common for people to become conscious again of deep feelings that they have hidden for years. It is also common to recognize behavior like the same-sex parent in a relationship with a person who acts like the opposite-sex parent, and with behavior like both parents did in their relationship. This is illustrative of how strongly family patterns are inherited by the off-spring. The purpose of the exercise is to simply create awareness, not to make oneself wrong. Acceptance and forgiveness are the next two steps to finally heal the old behaviors.
Other Techniques and Processes There are many tools for improving one’s life. These are some of our favorites. Chanting- Repeating certain “mantras”– usually affirmations of praise for God– is a powerful tool for cleansing our bodies and raising our vibration to a higher level. Often, Sanskrit phrases are used, because this language is said to be the first and most powerful. Om Nama Shivaya (or Om Namaha Shivayah, which means “I surrender to God within.”) is one of the most often used. Repeating this mantra results in a feeling of relaxation, peace, and safety. Vision Quests- Members of indigenous tribes around the world often spent time alone in the wilderness to get away from the distractions of everyday living. The purpose is to purify self, by sometimes fasting, and to still the mind. Often, the American Indians communicated with the Spirits to get guidance. When guidance comes through, the result is often a stronger sense of self, and a clearer awareness of one’s purpose in life. Meditation- Meditation can be described as sort of a vision quest of the mind, or dreaming without being asleep. Day-to-day living can be distracting, and meditation is a way to find calmness and a sense of strength. Often meditation creates results like Rebirthing, in that there is a sense of renewal, even if no issues of the moment were consciously resolved.
41 Fasting- The Hindu religion recommends one day a week of fasting, where no food is eaten. Particularly in Western culture, we tend to eat more food than is really necessary, and one day “off” gives our bodies time to assimilate what we have taken in. It also usually gives a greater appreciation of what we have eaten, and for life in general. Yoga- Practiced fully, yoga is really a whole lifestyle. There are many variations of this tool, all designed to purify the body with diet, physical exercises, breathing practices, and use of chanting. Originally created in India, many Westerners have come to use yoga as a way to deal with the stresses of fast-paced modern life.
Support Groups No one accomplishes growth work alone. At some point, we all become too subjectively involved in our own problems to resolve them without some assistance. There is no shame in this. There are actually some positive benefits. Because we all have to share to get healthy, it is not possible for one person to figure it all out, then hoard all the knowledge. When each person shares, everyone has the opportunity to benefit from the experiences of others. In addition, it doesn’t feel good to keep all of this inside. Life begins to get very distorted. Most people who feel that they must hold back secrets also experience the universe as somehow limited in love, money, or other resources. Viewing life as offering limitless possibilities makes it much easier to share. Having at least one other person to whom it is possible to say anything, and not feel judged, is a necessary part of emotional balance. Noticing discomfort or struggle in life, signaling issue resolution at hand, involves doing both inner and group work, even if that group is just one other person. This supports a long and healthy life. Teachers Attending workshops and having individual consultations– spending time with specialists– are almost mandatory for balanced living. Probably the best teacher is God. There are also many people doing healing work. Their job is to remind us of the principles of the universe so we can incorporate them more and more into daily living. It is not the job of teachers or healers to do this work for us. Carlos Castaneda (The Adventures of Don Juan ) and Lynn Andrews (Medicine Woman ) both have written several books about their own growth processes. One striking aspect of all their work is how uncaring their teachers appeared at times. Their teachers were clear that if they shielded their students from the challenges of change and growth, they would not learn and gain their own strength. If the universe, God, or teachers seem to have turned a cold shoulder, it may be that selfhealing is required, because they have probably seen it is time to take the next step. Consider it a compliment and an initiation to the next level of learning. It is beyond the scope of this book to describe all the kinds of growth work being done, partly because of the sheer volume, and partly because of its rapidly changing nature. Generally when the student is ready, a teacher will show up.
42 In effect, the whole teacher/student relationship is an echo of a child’s relationship to his parents. Ultimately, the student’s job is to outgrow his teacher– regardless of who might be chosen as our example. This parallels what happens when a child outgrows his parents. The challenging part is realizing we no longer need their support to make it on our own, and now we can start teaching others who need this information and experience. (Ken) I first directly experienced Babaji when he parachuted into a shower with me. Exhausted after a long day leading a workshop, I was suddenly quite aware of another presence in the water. Certainly I doubted my initial impressions, but it was unlike anything I’d ever been through. It marked the first of several times he made his presence known, always for the purpose of guidance. I was in a period of significant transition, and it seemed he acted as a marker for the path. His urges people to take responsibility– to get personally involved in creating communities based on clear spiritual values. His unconditionally loves and accepts everyone. He is also firm in directing people in right action– acting with courage, confidence, and respect. His consistency, power, and compassion have been, and still are, a source of constant inspiration.
Chapter 12: Relationships, Love, and Sex
Love Song of Babaji I Bless the God in and with each of you. What Babaji, the Yogi Christ of India, would like you to know is that he is always with you. But the God/Goddess presence is not invasive, does not run your life, and won’t make decisions for you. So, in practical, here-and-now terms, what is the purpose of the thing we sometimes call the God or Goddess? One difference Babaji can make is, by example of his apparent miracles, giving up any pretense of limitation. Another is having a working partnership, dedicating one’s work to what He stands for, and to spreading the word of His presence. He provides opportunities at precisely the right moments. We are blessed with His attention in moments of change– when new choices are being made, as the past is released. Babaji is one of the purest examples of personal integrity. His actions are always in service to the Divine Mother (representing the essence of Love in all its forms). He is the male/masculine counterpart to the Divine Mother. He is said to be God incarnate. He is said to have been one of Jesus’ teachers during the lost years. He offers the unlimited. He embodies immortality, having manifested his own body by clarity of intention and Love.
43 He encourages action– putting thoughts and words into action. He encourages service to that innate God-like quality in others. He has a great sense of humor and timing. He will help you face your fear and move through it. He adds pure love and passion everywhere He goes. Given to Ken Kizer by Babaji February 1999 Perhaps the best approach to healthy relationships with others is improving our relationship with ourselves. As we are the ones who most determine our own experiences, we are always seeing a reflection of ourselves in every area of our lives. This is especially true for the people with whom we spend time. In other words, the people around us are reflections of different parts of our inner emotional belief systems and attitudes. This can be a challenging concept, especially when there are certain people around who prompt us to some kind of judgement. Just because we are not conscious of having potential behavior like these people doesn’t mean it’s not there inside us. Since a large part of personal growth is simply recognizing and acknowledging everything we discover about ourselves, real personal healing comes from acknowledging our unique kinship with every person we meet. One woman told stories about her co-workers and how she resented their controlling behavior and judged them for it. She finally realized how she had controlled her own family and friends through drinking, emotional outbursts, and suicide attempts. Her work relationships immediately improved a great deal. It is common for people to be confused by the people they attract as romantic partners. Sometimes we don’t want to acknowledge that we have some of the same traits we most dislike in our partners. Relationships Strong relationships are based on high trust levels. This is the underlying theme of all successful human interaction, meaning that everyone gets what they want without someone else losing anything, whether it be money or esteem. Without trust, struggle and emotional turmoil are the result. Trusting means being able to give without expecting some kind of return. It also means being able to receive gracefully. There is an ebb and flow of energy and time in a mutual social or romantic involvement. This flow is balanced, and the relationship is healthier, when each person brings a sense of strength into it. Needing something– acknowledgment, affection, or money– from the other is usually a way to destroy any trust present. This is not the same as wanting to share feelings of love, compassion, or support. One of the purposes of this book is to offer ways to increase one’s feelings of self-confidence. This personal sense of emotional independence– not to be confused with isolation– is the basis of satisfying relationships. Strong, lasting bonds are created by people who add to, as well as receive from, the relationship.
44 Sexuality There are many books focusing on the how-to of sexual expression. However, the most important part of sexuality seems to be about something else entirely. Comfortable, effortless, passionate, and satisfying sex is difficult without a sense of trust and safety. Love-making is where we probably allow ourselves to be the most exposed and vulnerable. When there is fear of being manipulated or abandoned, it is difficult to stay open and continue sharing. Sexual energy is also one of the most confusing parts of ourselves. Its origins are in the first and second chakras. These chakras represent the urge to union, which is the procreative force. It is the power that keeps our species on the planet. It appears there is no way to minimize this passion except by suppressing it. However, suppression only delays the time when we come to terms with this basic energy. One of the biggest challenges concerning sexuality is integrating it with a spiritual lifestyle or philosophy. Everything on earth is a creation of God, and as such, is holy. As mentioned, our passion is what drives our creativity in all areas of our lives. When we suppress our passion we simultaneously suppress our creativity to the same degree. Opening to our sexual feelings sometimes brings up the fear of being abandoned, hurt, or of acting inappropriately. Balanced living means staying open anyway, because the alternative is more difficult to handle. Suppressed sexuality is the most intense suppressed energy in the body. This resistance creates the most inappropriate kind of compulsive behavior, and sometimes, the most violent. This is because the root chakra is the source of power in our bodies. This power is mindless– it demands expression, whether we are comfortable with it or not. It is also perhaps the most difficult chakra energy with which to come to terms, because it is the most physical. The Calvinist and Victorian parts of our cultural heritage offer little help in using this force positively. When girls are taught– and believe– that boys are only after sex, everyone loses touch with a part of loving expression that ultimately seals the bond of intimacy between two lovers. Intimacy Intimacy is what most people want in social or romantic relationships. What we most often desire is the very thing that brings up the most fear, making the bond more difficult, particularly in romantic relationships. In addition, humans tend to confuse sexuality with intimacy. Love-making can lead to intimacy, but sex is only one of a number of doorways to closeness. Connection with another requires a willingness to make ourselves vulnerable to emotions. This can feel like being unprotected and weak. The key to having relationships work is realizing our strength comes not from being well-defended against our fear, but from being open to all feelings. When we don’t feel strong to begin with, this complicates the issue. This book is about developing an inner strength based on facing what we may have considered life-threatening feelings and emotions. Once we develop the habit of facing our fears, we begin to realize we always had the power to face our fears, change our minds, and create what we want from life.
45 Attachment and Love In greatly simplified terms, there are two ways people are connected to each other emotionally. These are labeled attachment and love. Attachment is defined as having expectations of who our partner is, and exactly what is supposed to happen with that person. This is a common experience, especially when we think we can get something from the other person that we feel is lacking in ourselves. This kind of a relationship is based on neediness and is very threatening when loved ones don’t behave as we expect. This is not love because love means accepting other people, exactly as they are. This does not mean we agree with them, have to invite them to our homes, or otherwise be involved with them. Learning to let people have their own way around us is easiest to do when we need or expect nothing from them. Learning to live in love, rather than attachment, often comes from having to let go of something or someone that meant a great deal to us. The death of a loved one, the break-up of a marriage, loss of a pet, home, or friend– these are just a few of life’s experiences that teach us about detaching. Processing a loss is one of the most difficult and usually painful experiences people recount. The pain is caused by attachment to a specific outcome, because the love itself never goes away or dies. Learning how to grieve and handle loss is vital to sustaining healthy relationships as well as a long life. When the pain is cleared from the body, we are freed from the emotional burden and feel lighter. People who have consciously gone through the sadness are less afraid to risk their feelings later. They are more relaxed and more open. Consequently, they are more likely to succeed with relationships or projects. People who stay attached, or angry, hurt, or sad, are often more rigid in attitude, and seem to fight and struggle more for what they want from life. It is not possible to love from the heart when there is unresolved feeling from a previous loss, because we are still closed down. Processing unfinished business, such as with Rebirthing, will free us for a healthy life now. When we are stuck in attachment to the past, all we create is more of the same. Grieving what was lost is appropriate and very individual in intensity and duration. However, letting pain, loss, and grief become the motivating and all-consuming reason for living just restricts and eventually obliterates any chance for a loving, trust-filled, healthy relationship. Attachment to pain and regret over the past just creates more pain and regret in the future. Ten Patterns of Relationships In addition to the ideas presented, there are a number of tendencies we exhibit in relationships. In her book Loving Relationships , Sondra Ray has identified ten basic patterns, based largely on parental influences and our responses to them. 1– We tend to recreate our parents’ personalities in other relationships. 2– We tend to recreate the kind of relationships we had with them in our other relationships.
46 3– We tend to copy the kind of relationships they had with each other in our own relationships. 4– We tend to create parental disapproval patterns in our other relationships. 5– We tend to get even with our parents through close relationships. 6– We tend to want to remain helpless like children. 7– Most people are used to struggle and success is often more threatening. 8– Suppressed incest always interferes with sexual expression. 9– Most people to beat themselves up because of self-hate and guilt by using one or more things– body, sex-life, career, mate, finances, car, etc. 10– We attract someone whose patterns dovetail with ours; i.e., if we believe people will leave us, someone will show up who will leave us. These are very powerful patterns and seem to be the primary challenges to healthy relationships. Becoming aware is the first step to understanding our own challenges. Understanding these tendencies is the next step in resolving the patterns that do not create lasting involvements. However, we also acquire our positive training in this same place we learned negative tendencies, which means we cannot simply discard all our early experiences for the difficulty they still create. For instance, the fact that we tend to mimic our parent’s relationship also means they taught us how to identify and experience love. This holds true, regardless how much struggle we’ve experienced along the way. So, the objective is to separate out the unhealthy beliefs and expectations, a more subtle process than a wholesale abandonment of those patterns. Avoidance and abandonment typically prove impossible, anyway. Mastery in relationships involves the same discipline as in other areas of life: learning to softpedal negative impulses when they are triggered; assuming and learning to trust our partner wants a similar positive outcome; and learning to then respond from the heart. To trust another, we must first trust ourselves. This sustains the respect and integrity necessary for powerful, clear, healthy relationships.
Chapter 13: Integrity
One definition of integrity is the willingness to live life in accordance with our inner moral code. The challenge to living consistently in integrity comes in several ways. Morals Being conscious of our personal moral code requires the ability to be sensitive to our feelings about life and how it is lived. We all know how to love unconditionally at birth; however, growing up with parents who don’t respect themselves leads to an inner conflict that requires resolution for a satisfying life. We all grow up admiring or at least mimicking our parents’ behavior and when this disagrees with what feels like loving behavior inside, a child is faced with a hard decision. This decision is either to deny his parents, who look like the source of
47 love and support to a young person, or to give in to their beliefs and deny a source of love and strength from inside of self. Similarly, on a peer level, we are faced with the same kind of choices. Often acting in accord with our own moral code. When we deny our own inner truths, the tension and anger we carry about ourselves can never be covered or healed by outer relationships. There are important signals in day-to-day life that let us know when we are not honoring our own truths. The discomforts, angers, or tensions we experience in life are usually a result of not staying conscious about what feels right inside. These uncomfortable feelings are also created and/or sustained by not speaking that truth in our lives to the people around us. This is significant, because many people know what’s right, and yet don’t talk about it for fear of upsetting others. This is particularly true in situations where we have an emotional investment. Not speaking the truth, once we become aware of it, creates the same tensions as not being willing to acknowledge it in the first place. For example, on a relationship level, feeling forced to choose between loneliness or sustaining an involvement that is either unhealthy or with a partner who is not what we really want will definitely create discomfort. It’s a difficult choice to make, but we will not feel good about ourselves until we choose to let go of the person. It is possible to rationalize why we might want to keep him or her in our life, and it is not possible to make the uncomfortable feeling go away. We may suppress it so we are no longer aware, but the discomfort is still there. The discomfort is the part inside that knows we chose less than we were capable of, or chose to hold on because of fear. Going through the fear, making the right decision, and letting go of someone unhealthy or not right for us, eventually begins to build the inner self-trust and self-esteem. This building process is the most important work we do, because people who have high self-esteem have successful lives. Those who have low self-esteem have less than successful lives. The same principle holds true in the work place. For example, watching a business taking advantage of other people can definitely bring up a split inside. Keeping quiet about it for fear of upsetting others or perhaps losing a job is the same thing as consciously being a coconspirator. It may require letting go of the job if others aren’t willing to stop being dishonest, yet the sense of self-worth is worth it in the long run. It is not possible to rationalize away the guilt of cheating others. It is possible to stop being conscious of those feelings, but that doesn’t mean we have resolved the issue. It just means we stopped trying or have gone into denial about the situation. Unconsciousness Another part of the concept of integrity has to do with consciousness. There are many times when we suddenly notice ourselves doing something that isn’t what we believe is the right thing. It’s tempting to get upset at ourselves. Yet the high side of this awareness is that at least we caught it before we acted in a way or ways not in alignment with our inner truths. It’s important to tell the truth to others around us so that we can sustain the positive feelings inside. This is not necessarily something that makes us popular with those who think differently.
48 What it will do, however, is begin a process of separating out those who know how to act with integrity from the ones who don’t. While at times this can be disconcerting, it is very valuable for us. People who live by their morals generally live a life based on self-love, and by the same token, treat others the same way. Isn’t this the kind of person we all want in our lives?
Chapter 14: Money and Spiritual Integrity
Another significant point concerns the dual issues of money and love. Very often, people have one of these parts of their life in order, but not the other. In fact, it sometimes seems difficult to reconcile the need for tangible security and the need for intimacy. People often express confusion in reconciling their spiritual beliefs with their desire to be financially well-off, framing it in a context of philosophical conflict. Many people grew up in families and religions that preached the evils of money and the power it can encompass. How can we be rich when so many are living in poverty, for example? Innate Conflict? It turns out that philosophical choices are often made to accommodate negative self-esteem and beliefs of not deserving. As has been noted, there are a number of sources for these thoughts, though it seems the early family environment has the most influence. For that reason, part of the motivation for struggle with money and/or love is in response to family traditions. For some people, their response is to rebel, and others fall in line. Regardless the relative health or ease with money one’s parents had, it can feel extremely threatening, for instance, to be more successful. It frequently stimulates deep feelings of guilt and betrayal to even consider this option, not to mention being faced with the challenge of changing basic habits and patterns. Part of the problem is that it’s natural law to grow and expand. Growth involves expanding our intelligence, health, world view, and even our prosperity. In fact, it takes a great deal of energy to avoid or deny this aliveness. As a result of natural growth processes, many of us build on the values and experiences we learn as children, and exceed those early limits. However, it is usually at this point the conflict arises over loyalties to family traditions. Objectively, it becomes apparent there really is no choice but to keep growing (or to basically give up). However, the conflict can be paralyzing, until we reach out for help and guidance from others or from God (unlimited intelligence, or love) from within. Innate Wisdom Fortunately, it appears there is an innate personal guidance, or wisdom, towards success, that is accessible, by the use of the various purification processes, including Rebirthing. The aim of these techniques is to clear both the residue of unfinished emotional business– including guilt, and the attitudes that lead back to similar experiences. Once this guilt is cleared, people often notice they change their philosophies to include a financial well-being, while staying in integrity with spiritual values.
49 Other Dimensions In this context, we are addressing value systems; things of emotional value (which are usually love and financial resources); and the emotional pattern of how we give and receive those things of value. This suggests that how a person handles their finances is also how they handle their relationships. One common complaint is that there is not enough money; “coincidentally”, these people also frequently make the same comment about their relationships, i.e., that there’s not enough love. Notice that there might actually be plenty of money in the bank, or a genuine offer of love from the other side, but the perception is that’s not true. This is a common conclusion, for those who feel they are lacking, regardless the facts of the situation.
Chapter 15: What is Rebirthing?
Leonard Orr, founder of the Rebirthing philosophy, says* that Rebirthing breath causes the inner breath to be connected to the outer breath. Inner breath can also be called pure life, spirit, God, or infinite being. The outer breath is air, oxygen, and the respiratory system. (*Physical Immortality: The Science of Everlasting Life . Chico, CA. Inspiration University, 1988) Rebirthing is both a simple physical breathing technique and a profound emotional cleansing tool. It is a form of yoga streamlined for Westerners. Traditional East Indian yoga uses breath for centering, relaxation, and healing. The differences are that yoga breathing has a slightly different effect than Rebirthing, and Rebirthing tends to accelerate the clearing process faster than hatha yoga, the most commonly practiced form of yoga in the West. Emotions The emotional part of a Rebirthing session is subtler and is the focus of the bulk of this book. Using the Rebirthing breath dissolves the emotional suppression in the body so that formerly held-in feelings begin to surface consciously. Because approximately 90% of our thoughts and feelings are unconscious, a lot of what gets integrated in a Rebirthing session stays unconscious. This does not mean the breath is not working. It just means we did not need to consciously experience what changed. If how our lives work is a reflection of how healthy we are, and you notice your life works better after a seemingly uneventful Rebirthing, then it was a good session. The first sessions tend to be the most dramatic. After some practice, (five to twenty sessions, depending on the individual), surrender and integration, and the sessions themselves, get easier. For most people, the issues that are hardest to integrate (the ones about which we are most stuck) are usually the ones that do come up consciously. Generally these are around family and romantic relationships, career, and money. When we start breathing fully, some of the formerly suppressed feelings begin to “surface” consciously for us to experience. Before this can happen, we must choose to feel the fear that prompted us to resist those feelings in the beginning. For instance, if we are afraid to tell the
50 truth about ourselves because we are afraid people will leave our life, then we must face and go through the fear of abandonment before we will be able to speak our truth. In a Rebirthing session, this can be accomplished without actually risking a particular relationship. Often, fears we experience only in situations involving other people, e.g., the fear of abandonment, come up on their own while breathing. To just feel this– and to do nothing about it, except to keep breathing fully the whole time– eventually dissolves the fear so that it feels safe to acknowledge that particular truth to oneself. As it gets safer to let down barriers in the protected space of Rebirthing, it gets easier and safer to let down barriers around those we love. This shift is called integration, and it is simply surrender to the truth of the feelings in our body. Surrendering to the fear of abandonment actually frees us from thinking that people would leave, if we tell the truth. This is an important part of the healing that comes from the Rebirthing experience. The Value of Rebirthing The Rebirthing experience is arguably the best stress management tool on the planet today. It has value for several reasons. People are realizing how all physical ailments and diseases stem from unresolved emotional tensions. The energy in these unresolved tensions will not be denied in our lives; it has to be expressed one way or another. Because the inner world and the outer world connect when breathing consciously, Rebirthing is a technique that works directly on the deepest emotional levels. There are many aspects of self and life about which we are aware, and there are as many or more realizations that never surface consciously. Fortunately, the value of the session is not determined by what we understand from the experience of it. This is because, while we may have no significant conscious thoughts while rebirthing, we notice our lives work much better as a result. Rebirthing is not an intellectual process. It does not rely on our logical acuity or rationality for its effectiveness. Therefore, it is not possible to predict or direct what will come up, in spite of the conversation that might ensue as the preface to a session The breath accesses the innate wisdom of the body, allowing it to heal itself. The ego, a part of our minds often out of touch with our emotional and physical needs, is invested in protecting itself, to the point that it will kill the body if necessary. The body’s innate intelligence leads us to heal ourselves, if left alone by the ego. It is not natural to suppress feelings, and the body clears them automatically if allowed to do what is natural. The effectiveness of a session requires no prior experience in anything except being alive and being able to breathe on one’s own. It is not even necessary to know anything about personal or spiritual growth. The main requirements for success with all growth work are: the awareness that the quality of one’s life could be better than it is now; and the willingness to change what no longer works. The first condition does not mean there are complaints. Nor does it mean a lack of satisfaction with present conditions; rather it just reflects the natural desire to grow and expand. The willingness to change is a larger challenge than many people realize. Most people tend to unconsciously act out their old behavior patterns simply because it’s what they have always done in the past. This has nothing to do with how healthy the behavior is for our well-being.
51 Change always involves a shift in self-perception. When we change how we see ourselves, this changes the value and importance of people and things. While this shift is going on, we may feel unsettled, until we know again who and what are important. It sometimes feels awkward until the body develops habit patterns based on healthier motivations. Some traditions teach that it takes 3 days, or 72 hours, to consciously change a belief or behavior. After the first 72 hours, the change starts feeling more natural. With some experience in conscious growth, it becomes obvious that, while it may seem difficult to learn the new ways, the old ways certainly don’t work, and it’s self-destructive to go back to them. Similarly, Rebirthing soon makes it apparent that the only choice is to surrender to the feelings that surface during sessions, because it is so uncomfortable to resist. We can resist, but it feels so much better at the end of the session when we allow change and integration to happen. With practice, fears and resistance integrate faster and faster, sometimes without using Rebirthing. Being able to integrate discomfort as soon as we become aware of it is one goal of Rebirthing, and personal growth in general. The breathing guides us to the point of choice to let go or surrender and reminds us how uncomfortable it can feel when we don’t surrender. However, it isn’t the breathing that causes integration. The choice to surrender is the magic, which can happen independently of the breathing process. For instance, when in a session it is noticed the body is holding tension, focus awareness on it. Acknowledging the tension– and allowing it to be there– actually gives the body permission to relax, which leads to the dissolution of the muscle tension. Willingness to just be with ourselves, no matter what we are feeling, enhances the process of letting go and the integration of new thoughts or behaviors. Another valuable part of Rebirthing is the fact that with some practice, anyone can learn to Rebirth himself or herself. This is important in those moments when some uncomfortable feeling is experienced and there is no Rebirther around. In fact, Rebirthing can be done anywhere. It almost always enhances appreciation of life. The Energy of Rebirthing
The energy of Rebirthing is simply love. Learning to let in more love is the most challenging and rewarding work we do as human beings. The circular breathing rhythm increases energy in the body. This increased flow consciously highlights areas of the body where we hold resistance to love. The breathing also dissolves these blocks in a gentle, non-confrontive way. The more we allow this process to happen, the quicker emotional healing occurs. It is possible, however, to resist this increased energy flow. If the objective is to increase the levels of pain, then suppressing the breath is the way to accomplish that objective.
52 Most people quickly decide they don’t want to experience discomfort to this degree and allow the resistance to dissolve. This is how to get the maximum positive results in a Rebirthing session. Taking regular time to practice conscious connected breathing has the same effect in other areas of our lives. It is more loving of self to give up resistance during a breathing session, and it becomes apparent the same thing is true in other parts of life. Ultimately, all resistance is self-abuse. In Rebirthing, the energy of the breath brings up anything that blocks the free expression of love. This, in turn clears resistance from the body until all that is left is feeling good. This experience is the result of surrendering to, or stopping the suppression of, any feelings in the body. When we resist in any way, life gets painful, in the session or in real life.
It is important while Rebirthing to take responsibility for everything we experience. What this means is not avoiding what feelings the breath is bringing up. The sooner we just surrender to having all the feelings that are there, the sooner it becomes okay to have those feelings. When we resist whatever is coming up in our awareness, this causes stress in our minds or bodies. Stress is eventually painful in a session or in real life. If we are always trying to avoid certain memories or feelings, we spend a lot of time unconsciously avoiding living major portions of our lives. The energy used when we suppress takes away from the energy of creative power. Some people think it is easier to create what they think is the ultimate get-away– death. Death is a temporary respite or escape, because or souls still have a consciousness after death, so it only postpones having to deal with our issues. These issues don’t change, whether or not we are in a physical body. The next incarnation brings the same lessons into sharper focus. They are usually more intense in the next lifetime, because we were so resistant in the previous one. Another aspect of growth work is deciding on a particular issue or issues to resolve. Rebirthing simplifies this greatly by accessing the innate wisdom of the body, bypassing the intellect. We’ve often observed (in various forms) that a woman might decide the current romantic involvement presents the greatest challenge and focus on resolving those issues. She was confused because the more her partner sought intimacy, the angrier she felt. The breathing sessions helped bring up memories of how her father wouldn’t let her sit in his lap after she started to develop sexually. He did not explain why he stopped giving her attention (his own discomfort with his daughter’s developing body), so she thought she did not deserve love as a woman. The old thoughts of not deserving were pushed up while in the current relationship, creating the same upset she had with her father. With a few more sessions of surrendering to her feelings of abandonment by her father, she relaxed more and more about her boyfriend’s expressions of physical love. She stopped projecting her anger and grief at her father’s action onto her boyfriend. She even told him of her experience with her father. As a result, he felt trusted and was more patient with her. Surrender, understanding, and telling the truth helped them create a more loving and fun relationship.
53 The unconscious, emotional, feeling, intuitive, and physical side of self has an agenda of its own in regards to healing. Rebirthing works directly in alignment with this inner guidance. Allowing this process to occur without conscious interference usually produces the best results. (This does not mean one should forgo any necessary medical attention. Sometimes this assistance is appropriate and can lead to the best results from efforts at healing.) Trust the strength and clarity of the technique to lead to ultimate healing.
Friends and Loved Ones
Rebirthing noticeably speeds up the pace of change. One of the more obvious side-effects of this rate of growth concerns close relationships. Sometimes old friendships end suddenly and new ones start as if by magic. This can be challenging, especially when long-lasting relationships seem to die. Our awareness of what relationships are fun and easy, and which ones are no longer working, is heightened. From a long-term perspective, we often change our circle of friends when our attitudes change. We are always seeing our values reflected by the people closest to us. If someone leaves, that creates a vacuum or space in our hearts and minds where we had been holding that person. Since nature abhors a vacuum, it will naturally try to fill that space. Given time, chances are excellent that new relationships will come into our lives. This result is an indication of who we are now. This is all positive in the long run. It is not necessary for other family members to Rebirth in order for them to get value out of the process. When one person in a family unit starts to change, every other person is affected and has to respond. The energy is undeniable, ultimately guiding each person to be more open and loving. The result is that others around a person who is Rebirthing either start opening up their unlimited minds as well, or they have to get away from the person who is using the process. We don’t have control of them even though we want them to get benefit from the technique. They may ask you about the process and only when they are ready. No amount of persuasion works until they are open to the technique. The most powerful attraction seems to be when others notice us having more fun, it will be hard for them to not ask what we are doing that is making such a difference.
Chapter 16: The Five Principles of Rebirthing
The Rebirthing Process The Rebirthing process is a technique in which the conscious experience of surrender leads to a greatly increased sense of personal freedom. As this is a concept most of us were not taught growing up, it takes some practice to affirm it as a way of life. The circular connected breathing process, or conscious connected breathing, as Rebirthing is sometimes called, can be split into five steps or phases. They are not necessarily experienced in strictly one-two-three order in a session. However, it is useful to divide it this way in order to increase our awareness of the different parts to assist in the best possible outcome of each
54 session. I am indebted to Jim Leonard for his model of Integrative Rebirthing (now called Vivation™) and his delineation of the five stages of the Rebirthing experience. I have renamed and slightly changed the definitions of his original model. 1st Principle: Breathing The first part is the actual breathing itself. The Rebirthing breath is accomplished by pulling the inhale high in the lungs, and simply dropping the exhale, keeping each inhale connected to the exhale connected to the inhale, etc. The exhale is neither forced nor held. This is different than most forms of yoga or meditation breathwork which have a more structured way of breathing. At first this way of breathing may feel awkward, but the body easily adjusts to it. (See Chapter 17) 2nd Principle: Awareness The second part of the session is to simply be aware of what you are feeling and thinking. It is not necessary to dwell on thoughts, or to try to make them go away. There is a part of self that can be an observer of all this without being a part of either thoughts or feelings. For most people, this detachment is something that comes with practice. Usually the first series of Rebirthings is a revelation of feelings long buried, some never consciously experienced before. Awareness is a state of being, not doing. There is nothing to do about what surfaces during a session. Sometimes people are tempted to act out anger or get deeply involved in crying. Feeling anger as it comes up is sufficient to eventually deal with it. Crying is very healing if it happens in a session. The effectiveness isn’t in consciously expressing these or other feelings. The most important part is to just let these different emotions surface as they do and not resist or suppress them. It is very tempting to fight some of this; however, the reason most people end up working with the breath is because they have been holding in feelings most of their lives, and resistance hasn’t worked. Relaxing in the presence of discomfort may be a new way to dissolve or release it. (See Chapter 18) 3rd Principle: Acceptance The next step is to accept– without judgment– whatever comes up in the session as a part of ourselves. This also is an inner state of being, which means stop resisting or suppressing anything about self. Resistance and suppression are doings, and these are things that have complicated life up to this point. Resistance can manifest as sleepiness, tiredness, yawning, daydreams, restlessness, hunger, or anything that– in the session– distracts a person from finishing the Rebirth. It is not natural for the body to suppress, and the circular breathing rhythm allows the body to clear many of these held-in feelings. (See Chapter 19) 4th Principle: Relaxation As we become aware and accept all that we see and feel about ourselves, there is an experience of relaxation many people report they’ve never consciously felt before the session.
55 This happens when we stop running from– resisting or suppressing– feelings. If we have a belief that we never do enough, when that feeling starts to build inside, we may get busy to make it go away. It becomes apparent it’s not possible to make the discomfort stay away, before we create burnout or a nervous breakdown. Some people aren’t that conscious and have to create physical problems before they will stop long enough to let the body clear the feeling. Learning to not do anything when that old belief or feeling is trying to surface is the fastest way to take care of it. (See Chapter 20) 5th Principle: Integration The completion of a session is called integration. Usually, any tensions, fears, or other uncomfortable feelings disappear. What is left is feeling relaxed, but not sleepy, and energized, but not wired. This experience includes the following characteristics:
having our thoughts match our feelings. being at peace with ourselves, including the parts that aren’t complete. being more consciously in love and like with ourselves.
Integration means feeling the certainty, or at least the possibility, of Physical Immortality. Integration is a more complete sense of self. It means feeling like we can continue the Rebirthing breath forever. It is feeling more open and alive. It means having a more realistic understanding of talents and potential, and no longer setting goals that are unreachable. It also means not settling for something less than we are capable. Integration is a centered-ness that comes from being much less afraid of what life might bring us. Since we have looked into some of the deeper parts of self and realize that we have lived through it, we can proceed in life with a renewed joíe de vivre. Perhaps the deepest fear most people have is of dying, which is not the same as the fear of being dead. Rebirthing helps us address the fear of dying. When we start to look face-to-face at that one, there are few other things about being human that can scare us the same way. Relationships or money concerns seem less threatening to survival after processing our fears about dying and death. Integration is living through what happens in a Rebirthing session and seeing this experience realized with a confidence that translates this new understanding into all other areas of our lives. Facing our feelings about our parental relationships translates directly into healthier, more satisfying adult relationships. Seeing how we might sabotage success– such as by having difficulty with money (perhaps to get back at our parents)– frees us up to address our anger honestly with them. The result is being more successful at making money. Rebirthing is a holistic process in that it heals the emotional attitudes and belief systems that affect every area of our lives. In fact, it is awesome to experience actual physical headings just by changing our beliefs about what we expect from life. If we expect an abundance of love, health, and money in our lives– and we clear unconscious blocks to this expectation– we experience all the abundance we could ever desire. The more we love all we discover about ourselves, the easier and more abundant life gets. This is integration. (See Chapter 21)
56 How Often? Rebirthing can be used any time it is desired, as often as it is desired. As a preventive technique, the recommended frequency is weekly or bi-weekly. There is a momentum builtup in using the tool this often, and the clearing effects of the breathwork continue between sessions. Less often, and increased tension and dissatisfaction may become evident. The rule of thumb is to use Rebirthing on a regular basis. This minimizes or eliminates crisis situations in our lives.
Chapter 17: First Principle: Breathing
Circular connected breathing is the first step in a Rebirthing session. The most effective Rebirthing breathing pattern is taking a larger-than-usual inhale high in the lungs, just dropping the exhale, and keeping the inhale connected to the exhale in a circular breathing rhythm. The inhale is best focused high in the chest, slightly expanding the rib cage. Many people breathe unconsciously from their abdomens, which seems to limit how much air can be taken in.
This breathing pattern may be quite different from techniques used by musicians, athletes, those who do yoga, etc. For the purposes of Rebirthing, however, it is the best method devised so far. Inhale The inhale itself is the only part of the cycle that uses any effort. Probably the most effective way to visualize it is pulling the breath straight up to the top of the head. Focus on expanding the chest, rather than the abdomen. An effective inhale does not require completely filling the lungs.
57 Exhale The exhale is effortless. With a healthy intake of air, high in the lungs, the exhale happens naturally and without effort. The fuller the inhale, the easier the exhale. Ideally, the release of the breath is felt all the way out the bottom of the feet. This allows the most amount of waste material to be cleared from the body. Very often, people stop the exhale in the stomach or abdomen area. This typically results in increased tightness and difficulty. It is important not to hold tension in this part of the body. Relaxing on the exhale is the ideal– as the breath is being released from the body. Sometimes people are so tense that they can only relax after the exhale is complete, before starting the next inhale. Experience suggests that the exhale is the half of Rebirthing that actually triggers relaxation. It is the part of the breathing cycle that clears tension from the body. Holding the exhale (tightness on the exhale, or making more noise on the inhale than the exhale) corresponds to a belief system of attachment and control. Often, these are people who are attached to outcomes in situations. Attachment to outcome is a belief we can, by force of will, make something turn out the way we want, very often done in spite of the wishes of others. Invariably, things don’t turn out as we expect and we get upset, because things have to be a certain way to feel safe. Consciously changing a tight breathing rhythm by releasing the exhale will speed the release of these control patterns. Holding the exhale sometimes corresponds to having to be “careful.” It’s as if we are afraid to be noticed by others. Releasing the exhale makes it feel safer to be around people. Forcing the exhale is the opposite of holding it. This can result from a belief system that reflects fear of being close– in other words, a fear of intimacy. People with this pattern often feel they will be controlled if they get close to others. Dropping the tension in the abdomen will dissolve the belief that closeness somehow means loss of freedom or being trapped. 4 Kinds of Breathing There are 4 basic breathing patterns, determined by the speed and depth of the breath. Slow and shallow- Many people breathe this way– unconsciously, and usually from the abdomen; this pattern tends to suppress feelings. Fast and shallow- Used when a lot of feeling has come to the surface, this type will slow the pace of the session and allow time for integration when powerful emotions are present. Slow to moderate and full- The “usual” way to breathe during a session. A good pace is three to five inhale-exhale cycles in ten seconds. For most people, slow and full is the best way to start a Rebirthing. It most often does the job without being quite as intense as the fast and deep style. Fast and full- Used to dissolve strong resistance, this type speeds up the rate of the session. Fast and deep is how Rebirthing was first done, until more was learned about the technique. It became apparent this pace was too intense for some people, was usually not necessary, and the other rhythms were devised.
58 Underbreathing Because many people had the umbilical cord cut at birth before it was through pulsing, air was taken into the lungs before the amniotic fluid had cleared. This frequently causes the first breath of air to be painful. The imprint left from this experience is that breathing fully is difficult and painful, and, as a result, normal breathing is actually underbreathing. The Rebirthing experience is practicing breathing fully. It heals the damage done to the breathing mechanism in the body at birth. Fortunately, doctors and midwives are becoming aware of how impressionable infants are at birth, and they are taking the time to arrange appropriate conditions to ease the newborn’s transition into breathing air instead of amniotic fluid. Hyperventilation There is sometimes concern that “overbreathing” will lead to hyperventilation. Hyperventilation is defined as very rapid breathing leading to a decrease of carbon dioxide in the blood stream. This might happen when a person is forcing the exhale, but we have never seen anyone hyperventilate in our personal experience. Cleansing Cleansing is important because we are constantly creating and taking on residues and wastes from people and the environment. We breathe in dust and pollution from the air; we take on feelings– positive and negative– from others; and we are also creating our own waste byproducts– used-up food and thoughts. Rebirthing is cellular-level cleansing. Since the breathing mechanism handles approximately sixty to seventy percent of the body’s wastes, it is important to breathe fully to allow all these wastes to be eliminated. Part of what gets cleaned out during a session is residue left over from experiences all the way back to birth. (It is not uncommon for a person to breathe out anesthesia from birth, so that the drug can actually be smelled in the room.) Similarly, Rebirthing clears out the physical level residues of other significant experiences. A person’s belief systems affect everything in his or her life, including the body. Anesthesia leaving the body leads to heightened awareness.
Chapter 18: Second Principle: Awareness
The next stage of the Rebirthing process is awareness. This is simply noticing the feelings, emotions, and thoughts we have while breathing. Because most of us have much training in suppressing or resisting the uncomfortable feelings in our bodies, we have forgotten some of our God-given awarenesses. We are trained to hold down fear, hoping that if we don’t have to feel it, there will be more room for positive emotions. What actually happens is that when we suppress any particular feeling, we suppress all feelings to the same degree. The circular breathing rhythm is designed to start dissolving the suppression mechanism so that we can become aware of all the feelings in the body. It isn’t necessary to understand what
59 they mean, where they came from, and/or what to do with them. These actions can lead to resuppression of feelings and emotions, frequently perpetuating old unhealthy patterns. Loss of Awareness In general, children are open, aware, and unconditionally loving at first. Often our parents cannot accept this much openness and love from someone; either they have to re-train themselves so they can accept more love or the child is taught to be less open– to stay within the family’s definition of acceptable behavior. What frequently happens is that the child learns that there is acceptance and acknowledgment when following family dictates, but there is a risk of rejection or invasion when feeling unconditionally loving and open. Telling the whole truth becomes telling the family’s truth, and avoiding or suppressing any thought that isn’t in alignment with the family’s belief. The fear of disapproval that we carry with us into adulthood is not diluted by the years, unless the old patterns are consciously addressed. To surrender to some of the feelings that the breath opens up can feel like danger is imminent. In order to avoid danger and harm, people use many forms of suppression, such as addictions, distractions, and/or compulsive behaviors. All of them result in lower levels of awareness and openness, which leads to more difficulties later. Unconsciousness The most-favored avoidance technique, unconsciousness can be the hardest to clear and takes many forms. Although this is a passive behavior, it can mask a whole gamut of uncomfortable feelings, including such intense emotions as rage. This pseudo-sleepiness is the death urge in action; full breathing immediately starts to lighten the heaviness and sleepiness. After some practice, most people experience the calming effects of conscious connected breathing. This memory can be good motivation to keep breathing when unconsciousness surfaces. One obvious symptom is sleepiness. Another is being awake, or so it appears, but not really hearing or noticing what is being said to us in a session. A slightly different method is getting so busy that the mind is distracted from the feeling that is trying to surface. In all cases, continuing a full breathing rhythm will dissolve this lack of awareness. There is no constructive reason to stop breathing in a Rebirthing session. It can be continued under most any circumstances. Falling asleep can be an exquisite experience during a session, but it’s not Rebirthing. It will be more valuable to continue breathing until completion. Often, an “awakening” from the drowsiness also indicates completion. One result of breathing out all the unconsciousness is increased powers of focus and concentration. It gets easier to stay alert in most any situation. It is also possible to be more rested with fewer hours of sleep when our bodies are more relaxed throughout the day. Talking Another way to avoid the feelings arising during a Rebirth is talking excessively. This could be a deep philosophical discussion; it could be further conversation about the current issues at
60 hand; or it could be totally unconnected. In general, however, if it takes the person away from the effects of the breath, it’s probably not the fastest way through the Rebirth. One signal is to notice the breathing pattern. If the person is breathing shallower, they are avoiding what’s coming up in that moment. On the other hand, pertinent conversation, as long as the Rebirthing breath is continued, can be useful and valuable. Hunger Sometimes hunger comes up strongly in the middle of a session. In this context it is probably a form of suppression, and the best thing is to not eat until the session is complete. Hunger is a common experience after completion, and it is different than the hunger that arises during a session. The hunger experienced in a session is often the body literally feeling the thought that life is not nurturing or nourishing enough. This desire after a Rebirth results from a sensation of having lost weight or having empty spaces in the abdomen. Eating can be a way to nurture self and is okay as long as integration has been reached. Suspended Breath A condition that can occur during a session is known as suspended breath. It appears the Rebirthee is asleep, and there is no breath being taken (or only a very shallow inhale). This is actually being out of body, and usually happens when there is a feeling trying to surface that is too threatening to consciously experience. It seems at times birth trauma is also being integrated. There is no danger here, because the body will get enough air. Breathing starts again on its own. The occasional blue color of a person’s lips is the result of a lack of oxygen in the bloodstream. We recommend keeping a Rebirthee conscious for the whole session. When drowsiness is so heavy it cannot be cleared while lying down, stand the person up. Standing behind a chair provides extra support, if necessary. We feel the best results are obtained by breathing out these bubbles of unconscious, sometimes resulting in profound insights about safety and security. Stayin’ Alive There are further measures that can be taken to prevent the drowsiness, such as putting one’s feet in cold bath water, walking around the room while breathing, breathing with one’s eyes open, breathing while looking into the Rebirther’s eyes, or breathing while looking into a mirror. An important concern is determining how best to keep a Rebirthee conscious. This can be a delicate point in the session– offering as much support as possible, without forcing the person into compliance. Typically, old behaviors are being acted out. As a Rebirthee, being forced to do things because they are “good for you” might be an old pattern. The Rebirther does not serve a client by slipping into the role of enforcer. The Rebirthee needs to be clear about his commitment to
61 work with the tool. In this example, the healing happens when the Rebirthee takes his own initiative and somehow stays awake long enough to reach completion. As a Rebirther, insisting or forcing the client to use more extreme measures to stay awake (wanting to “help”) gives the client no room to choose their results. The Rebirther’s role is to remind the person (sometimes more than once, during a session) that staying awake as much as possible results in the quickest positive results. No change can happen until the person makes that commitment and takes action on it (i.e., keeps breathing now, and continues sessions on a regular basis). Eventually, however, they may choose to resist Rebirthing, or not to continue, and that is their right.
Chapter 19: Third Principle: Acceptance
The third part of the Rebirthing experience is acceptance. Acceptance can be defined as ceasing to deny the truth of any memory, perception, insight or feeling about self. For example, there might still be anger at one or both parents, combined with a fear of indulging those feelings. This might generate guilt for being upset with them, in light of their support when we were children. In this situation, acceptance means taking responsibility for our part when things worked out badly, and when we used to think we were victims of someone else. It may be difficult to see how our own actions “made” our parents behave as they did. Yet that is where the healing occurs. Understanding why we created people who would treat us as they did can prevent our choosing the same type of person again. Acceptance means taking sole responsibility for everything that has ever happened in our lives. It is true other people play their own parts, yet they are only in our play because they were consciously or unconsciously invited as participants. Similarly, each other person involved must take responsibility in the same way, or they are also victims of external forces. If we think of our life experiences as our own “hologram” that we’ve created, we become the producer, director, camera person, scriptwriter, actor, etc. of this hologram. This means we also can change it any time we choose. This is the power of acceptance. Until we take this viewpoint, we continue being victims of something or someone outside ourselves. Since we experience our belief systems constantly, it is possible to be a victim, but only by agreement, explicitly or implicitly. For some people, the initial moment of realizing the power we have to sabotage our own lives can bring up a variety of uncomfortable feelings, something most of us have gone to great lengths to avoid feeling. This is part of the healing process. It is important to allow these emotions to come up and clear unimpeded. It is sometimes difficult to believe we would hurt ourselves or others, and it’s normal to be a little upset at first, while getting used to being in charge of our own lives. The reason we would take responsibility is to change conditions that don’t suit. It’s very clear in a Rebirthing session when we are still fighting this acceptance. There will be tension in the body, and it won’t feel good. Tension or discomfort show us we are still holding on to the old belief systems. As soon as we surrender to letting the sadness or anger surface (and any other resisted or suppressed feelings), the body begins to relax. On this level, it is very easy to tell how well we are doing. It requires no intellectual effort. The body is always giving out signals, sometimes blatantly.
62 Drama There is sometimes a temptation in a session to indulge in the feelings that are surfacing in our bodies– i.e., to act them out by yelling, screaming, sobbing, etc. It is easy to get angry with people or outcomes of situations when we feel the old frustration. However, this does not heal the old pattern, and in fact, we get stuck as long as we insist on being upset. Drama, or melodrama, is indulging in emotions and feelings. Upset usually implies a victimconsciousness, which often includes feeling sorry for ourselves. Rebirthing is designed to take us through these feelings: then healing can occur. The breathing process is intended to show us how much better we feel, once we allow feelings to move in and out and through us. Crying is perhaps the least distracting drama, as long as one continues breathing while the tears come. Usually, screaming or otherwise acting out more intense feelings is not necessary or appropriate for effective Rebirthing sessions, though some people have never allowed themselves expression of this, and a session can be a safe place to act this out.
Chapter 20: Fourth Principle: Relaxation
Emotional Responses Relaxation could also be called forgiveness, because once we have brought formerly hidden tensions to the surface, and accepted them, it can be a very natural thing to forgive ourselves for having them. There is no longer a need to hide or run from our fears, or to justify them, as they no longer feel controlling. Forgiveness means that we can accept what we have done in the past. This doesn’t mean we have to like the things we did; it just means we stop holding it against ourselves. Once we quit hiding our history from ourselves, we see that we no longer need to do those things that used to create fear, tension, or judgement. It is not possible to change old behavior patterns until the forgiveness happens. Until that time, we are locked in internal (and often external) warfare– one part wanting to change and the other unwilling to let go of the past. As long as there is guilt about something, we still have judgement. To have guilt about how we handled a previous relationship means we have not forgiven ourselves. It also means we have not yet changed the source of the behavior that created the guilt. If we had changed the source of the behavior, there would be no guilt (or inclination to repeat the same quality of relationship). This can be an indication that there is now some clarity about this particular issue. For example, as long as there is a belief something is still unfinished in a previous relationship, then a part of our attention is still focused on those feelings. Often, there are regrets about how things could have been better, if we had behaved differently. Acknowledging and releasing guilt about our actions might lead to a realization that we did the best we knew at the time, and there is nothing more to do to finish that relationship. There is an actual physical sensation of relaxation once we let go of the guilt from the past or in the present.
63 Relaxation comes as a result of knowing there is now nothing we need to fear, run or hide from. Since fear and the need to hide come from inside ourselves, when we stop running from ourselves, we also stop avoiding life as much. When relaxation is achieved, there is an ease in social interaction that may not have been present. There is a confidence in making important decisions that may have caused days or weeks of agonizing in the past. There is a sense of groundedness and connectedness that may have been missing, because we found ways to avoid certain feelings. Relaxed in this sense of the word is a profound experience, more than simply thinking that things might be okay now (at least until the next round of bills comes in the mail). It is an unmistakable knowing. If we aren’t sure, we aren’t relaxed. A benefit of Rebirthing is that it unerringly leads us to this state of relaxation, if we simply allow it. Using the breath lets us see that this is our natural and most alive state of being. Physical Experiences Relaxation occurs on the physical level all during the Rebirthing session. When suppressing or resisting feelings, the body also physically acts out the resistance by getting tight and rigid. In a breathing session, this effect is heightened considerably. There are a number of sensations possible as a result of fighting the feelings, including hunger, feeling trapped, getting angry, and tetany. Normal physical sensations common in sessions include tingling, lightheadedness, and dizziness. There is no action required, except to keep breathing until the discomfort disappears, and completion occurs. Tetany Another common physical response to Rebirthing is tetany, an involuntary tightening of the muscles during the session. It can happen over almost the whole body; however, it most often occurs in the hands, neck, back, thighs, and calves. Tetany is purely a result of resistance to feelings being pushed up by the breathing, whether conscious or not to the Rebirthee. Rebirthing does not cause this tension. Rather, the breathing brings a condition to the surface about which we were formerly unconscious. When we surrender to the feelings, the tightness goes away. It consistently works to dissolve the tightness, even if we don’t know what we are resisting to create the cramps. Massaging the affected area of the body only works on the symptom, and not what creates the tension. We recommend not trying to massage a person when tetany is experienced, mainly because it does not speed up the letting go. More importantly, it can cause physical pain to the Rebirthee. Gently reminding them to breathe easy– and to relax the exhale and the abdomen– usually guides the Rebirthee out of the tetany in short order. Remembering the tetany was created for a reason– to get that person’s attention. Acknowledge that and explore what the tetany signifies. In general, it is best not to intervene with massages or back rubs, etc., as these can easily become the focus of the session. Using the breath to clear the body appears to be the most effective approach.
Chapter 21: Fifth Principle: Integration, Enlightenment, and Bliss
“We are born to make manifest the Glory of God that is within us. It is not just some of us, it is Everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” Marianne Williamson: A Return to Love There are a number of cues that indicate when a Rebirthing session is over. The more conscious we are of these signals, the better the results from the breathing for everyone involved. Awareness fosters integration, and integration fosters awareness. Physical Response Integration in a Rebirthing session is when tension, sleepiness, tightness, and/or discomfort have cleared out of our minds and our bodies. (Sometimes extreme tetany will not completely leave the body until a short time after the session ends. There is still a definite shift, marked by a point when the tension stops building and starts to disappear from the body.) Integration is a feeling of being able to keep Rebirthing forever. If there is any resistance to breathing– or what it is bringing up– the session is not complete. Continuing to breathe, until resistance is minimal, is what creates integration. Integration is a conscious experience of change, even if there is no visible or conscious clue of the shift. Emotional Response Integration is feeling free of negative internal judgement. It is feeling the freedom to make commitments and the confidence to take risks. It is feeling the freedom, wonder, and love of the miracle that we are alive, or at least more at ease and comfortable in self. Integration means knowing that love makes us strong, not a slave to what others demand of us. It is being strong and free of guilt enough to say no to those who demand we take care of them, knowing their own power comes when we stop propping them up. Integration is the experience of the world today as an absolutely safe place to live– safe enough that we can stay as long as we’d like. This is not a head-in-the-clouds view of life that denies some scary realities. It is the certainty that our life urge is so strong and clear that we will always manifest the conditions around ourselves to be immortal. Spiritual Shift Integration means feeling the certainty, or at least the possibility, of Physical Immortality– reconnecting with our innate joy of being alive. This can also be called bliss, which is defined as constantly and forever re-experiencing our connection to God.
65 Enlightenment is knowing we can choose bliss whenever we want to have this experience. It is knowing that thought is creative, we are the creator, and we can change any condition or experience at will. Bringing It All Together This is also a good way to define integration. Humans are the only creatures on the planet capable of thinking we can be separate from God. This is a major source of guilt and shame. If we know we are always a part of God and always loved by God, there is nothing to hide and we are always right for ourselves. When we release guilt and shame, our innocence comes back– the experience of the universe as unlimited, where anything is possible. One definition of innocence is not knowing there are things that can’t be done. This innocence returns when we forgive our guilt, missed opportunities, and inappropriate actions. Notice this also means taking responsibility for the consequences of those in/actions, not pretending they “don’t really matter”. They do, but it still need not hold us back. Anything done with a genuine love of self and others is a service to mankind. It can be nothing less because it is respectful of self and others. In addition, there is a joy in this service that makes it easy to give the energy necessary for really large undertakings. This is when the journey to a goal is as enjoyable as achieving it. The universe, and our existence in it, are inherently bountiful. There is no “Divine Punishment”. There is no need for that. We do an excellent job punishing ourselves with guilt, shame, and other destructive behavior. Integration is coming to realize all these things about ourselves. It is knowing there are no limits to the abundance of love; it is knowing we can now choose in love and integrity to create exactly what we want to get from our time on this planet; and it is knowing we are no longer necessarily limited by what we were told by others about ourselves and life. Enlightenment The effects of Rebirthing are cumulative; that is, the more it is practiced, the longer the relaxed feelings last. This implies the breathing process must be used as a matter of routine. Similarly, enlightenment is an experience we can have as a result of practice, and it does also wear off. There are still the challenges and choices of living to be made, whatever amount of awareness or consciousness we develop in life.
Chapter 22: Getting Rebirthed
If you are ready to take the step to actually get Rebirthed, congratulations, because now is the time to acknowledge yourself for your dedication to your life purpose. You will soon be much closer to knowing that purpose, if there was any doubt. Choosing To Rebirth There are several things to consider when you decide to start Rebirthing:
Are you comfortable with your potential Rebirther? may take a little while to decide It if you are uncomfortable because you are getting ready to face some things you may have been avoiding for a while, or if you really don’t like the person. Continue the search if there are problems or unease about the Rebirther. A Rebirther is a guide for an amazing inner journey. them about Rebirthing and Ask why they feel it is of value. If you don’t hear answers that are pretty compelling, keep looking. From the Rebirther’s point of view, the simple question “What is Rebirthing?” is often one of the hardest to answer, even after years of explanations and experience. However, the good ones will come up with replies that hold promise for growth. Keep looking until you hear and feel this kind of response. Sometimes money is a concern.If it is, look for someone who can make comfortable arrangements. This doesn’t mean trying to pay little or nothing. The issue may be a willingness to make a commitment by investing in oneself and the process. Talk to other clients of a potential Rebirther.They should be able to give some positive feedback. Make a commitment to do the initial series of ten sessions with a male Rebirther and ten sessions with a female Rebirther.This consistency is important for the learning process, lays a strong foundation for later work, and helps quickly heal male/female issues. Don’t rush the process.Take the time it requires to integrate what is changing in a gentle way. The inner changes happening will cause profound shifts in awareness, self-perception, and the quality of life in general. All this can only happen as fast as it does. The desire to make it happen faster is urgency, caused by a fear of not doing enough or getting enough, which is part of the healing. Stay relaxed.
A part of the rapid inner change occurring when working with Rebirthing is sometimes an urgency to make outer changes.It is generally best to not make major life decisions while in the middle of a series of Rebirthings. In the same way that certain ideas in the middle of a session look quite different at the end of the session, actions that look appropriate in the middle of a series sometimes turn out to be hasty and misinformed. Ending a relationship while in the middle of a series might be part of an old behavior pattern. Wait until all the information is in, which is usually how a clearer and healthier decision can be reached. Rebirthing Self It is a good idea to practice different ways of Rebirthing. This improves one’s sense of security, safety, and self-reliance. It can also make it easier and more fun to Rebirth. One ultimate goal of Rebirthing is the ability to Rebirth self. This powerful tool is one of the few that can also be self-administered when needed. There are several positive benefits to this. The ability to Rebirth oneself avoids the possibility of becoming too attached to a Rebirther. It also allows the freedom to experience relaxation and healing at any time day or night, without disturbing anyone else. The result of taking more care of oneself is an increased inner strength, and usually a happier existence.
The recommended frequency of sessions is the same as for guided sessions. Weekly or biweekly is a good rhythm. It seems impossible to over-breathe; it is conceivable to Rebirth as many as three or four times a day, if necessary to get relaxed again. Any amount of conscious
67 connected breathing done will make a difference. Breathing to completion is not necessary to experience some stress and tension relief, though completion and integration is certainly recommended. Rebirthing While Active It is possible to Rebirth anywhere at almost any time: At work Preparing to do a presentation in front of people. Breathing before being in front of an audience is an excellent way to calm the usual jitters. Driving a car (don’t go unconscious or get tetany so bad you can’t steer the car) In bed at night Anywhere and anytime there is discomfort or less than loving, contented thoughts.
Sometimes doing conscious connected breathing around other people confuses them. In particular, the big sighs that surface periodically while breathing may sound like exasperation to others. People not aware of Rebirthing only seem to sigh like that when suppressing uncomfortable feelings. It is okay to explain to them you’re just letting go of tension in your body, and encourage them to do the same. Everyone will feel better in this little “microsession”. Those who have Rebirthed are aware this is the moment in a session when formerly uncomfortable feelings actually integrate in the body. After some experience, the sighs may come up at any moment during the day, whether doing Rebirthing or not. This is a signal the body has cleared out some discomfort, and there may be noticeably more relaxation when it happens. Group Rebirthing Group rebirthings are a way to save money and still get Rebirthed. As a Rebirther, it is a way to work with a number of people at once. The energy in a room full of people who are Rebirthing is definitely heightened, and often adds much energy to each person’s session. It works best to have a combination of individual and group Rebirths. Ten individual sessions with one Rebirther– combined with intermittent group sessions– is recommended. After ten, a clearer understanding emerges of the process, how it works, what effects it has, and how to use it. In our opinion, group sessions on their own, without the private sessions, are better than nothing. However, without the experiences of individual sessions, group work can be confusing. The Rebirther for a crowd of people simply does not have time to attend each person as fully as he or she can in an individual session. Generally this is not a problem. It just means moments are missed when a word or gesture from the Rebirther might make a difference for the Rebirthee. Group Rebirthing sessions work, and they are done all the time. The important point is to understand the difference from individual sessions.
68 Advanced Rebirthing Techniques It is recommended these techniques be used after one is comfortable with the Rebirthing process. This obviously varies between people, but it might take from 5 to 20 sessions for this shift to occur.
Cold and Warm Water Rebirthing
Rebirthing in water reminds us of our original state in our mother’s womb and is a primal connection to life. Water also tends to bring up deeper and earlier memories and feelings. Wet Rebirthings can be done face up or face down (with a snorkel and nose clips). When done face up, allow the water to cover as much of the face as possible. The head can be tilted back, exposing only the nose. Much like the womb, warm water feels safe and encompassing. This sense of safety sometimes allows more strongly suppressed emotions to surface in the session. Birth memories are more likely in this type of session, but this is impossible to predict. It is probably easier to start with warm water sessions, as this is similar to the environment in the womb before birth. Cold water sessions only require the water to be below body temperature, even if only 1° or 2° less than 98.6°. Ultimately, it is healing to breathe in water at 70° or 80°, and it is effective to gradually work down to that temperature. The cold water recreates the experience of coming out of our mother’s womb into the cold birthing room. Cold water Rebirthings integrate much of this trauma, and greatly increase feelings of safety. They will also release sensitivity to winter conditions, as well as strengthen and enhance our immune system. The cold water often decreases the length of time needed to reach completion. Most people’s reaction to being in cold water is to breathe more deeply, and sometimes more quickly. Faster breathing does not necessarily enhance the Rebirthing. Quicker integration usually comes from relaxing into the cold, which might produce shivers, rather than trying to outrun it. Shivering appears to be a form of hysteria and survival response related to birth trauma, because a healthy body always has the internal fuel to be warm. Another way to deal with cold is to simply not be affected by it, such as the Hindu masters who live in caves in the Himalayan mountains of India. This is not so much toughing it out as it is a mastery of the body. The Russians, who have done much work with underwater births, are creating a generation of children who swim in their icy winter waters with no apparent discomfort or ill effects.
A powerful variation of the Rebirthing experience is gazing into the eyes of another. Sit or stand comfortably within three feet of each other, and breathe until all the discomfort disappears. The effects are enhanced if both people are breathing. This technique is an excellent way to release embarrassment. If we allow it, we experience love for our partner and increase our sense of safety while being open to others. It is seeing ourselves in love through the eyes of another.
Rebirthing in front of a full-length mirror, affirming our love and support for our body allows us to achieve acceptance of our body and body image. Part of being likeable and loveable is having positive feelings about ourselves, including our bodies. Carrying distaste for our physical form is no different than not liking some of our personality traits. It also shuts others out in exactly the same ways. Making peace with the bodies we have created is the first step in changing any parts of it we don’t like. For example, it is not possible to lose weight until we accept how we are. Similarly, other physical limitations typically seem exaggerated when we dwell on them.
Chapter 23: Rebirthing Others
Rebirthing other people is a wonderful experience, and can be satisfying in a number of ways. It contributes much to the ecology of planet earth, from the micro to the macro levels. When guiding others in a Rebirthing session, there are some tips that will make the session easier and more successful. Order of Progression Though every Rebirth is different, there is a general progression to the session. Using two different models explained earlier in the book (Chapters 3 and 16), it is possible to track the movement of “energy”– emotions and feelings– through the minutes of a Rebirth. This table is a picture of what happens in a session. Though it’s a good start at understanding the mechanism, it barely touches on the wonder of the experience. (See also Chapter 7.) Five Principles Three Steps of Personal Growth of Rebirthing Experience or Goal in the Session 1st Principle: Breathing 2 Principle: Awareness
Awareness The stirring of feelings– emotional and physical Awareness Use of the conscious connected breathing technique greatly heightens awareness. Clearing suppression of awareness reveals formerly hidden motives, agendas, etc (typically negative beliefs, expectations, and patterns of behavior)
3rd Principle: Acceptance
Acceptance Acceptance of, or surrender to, feelings and emotions works the best, simply because it gets more and more uncomfortable to resist them in a Rebirth.
4th Principle: Relaxation
70 Relaxing into uncomfortable or unfamiliar awarenesses– thoughts or emotions– immediately starts to clear any discomfort. 5th Principle: Integration Forgiveness Forgiveness of past sins, and willingness to forgive future sins, clears the way for the best results. Facilitating the Session Find a comfortable place: outside distractions don’t have to be a problem. We’ve heard of Rebirths occurring in hotel lobbies, parking lots, hospital corridors, and churches. We would suggest a little less public place, unless the setting is a conscious part of the process, i.e., clearing birth trauma in the hospital where we were born. We don’t recommend trying to reconstruct a womb– shutting out all light, silencing all noises, etc. This can be counter-productive, because one of the goals is learning how to feel safe in public. Constantly avoiding it does not resolve the fear. The preferable position for the client is lying on one’s back. We find this the quickest way to complete a session, even if there is a temptation to turn on the side. This can be a sign of avoidance. We find it important to first discuss the purpose of the session. Typical concerns are relationships, finances, and health. The main point is to define the ideal outcome to the question (without invading anyone else’s boundaries). Different Rebirthers have their own methods of conducting this part of the session. What appears most useful is supporting the Rebirthee in talking about their goals in terms of success, rather than dwelling on past frustrations and difficulties. There are some subtle distinctions here: it can be useful to recount history and feelings, but there may come a point when it produces no further relief. Then it’s appropriate to talk about outcomes, facilitating the client’s belief that those goals are possible. Let the Breathing Begin Once the concerns are explored, start the breathing. We find the most universal rhythm is about three breath cycles in 10 seconds. Much slower than that, and people appear to lose momentum in the session; sometimes a faster pace can be used if the person is experiencing pronounced drowsiness, discomfort, or fear. The goal is for the person to breathe to integration. Sometimes this is an obvious shift in the person’s manner, and sometimes it’s very subtle. Their breathing pattern– how they are inhaling and exhaling– usually provides all the clues necessary to tell what’s going on inside the Rebirthee. The most effortless way to Rebirth seems to be like connecting a series of big, relaxing sighs until all discomfort is completely dissolved. When people aren’t finished, there are a number of signals in the breathing pattern. They may stop the exhale at different points in their bodies (typically the stomach), instead of letting it go completely out the bottom of their feet; they may not take a deep enough inhale, and/or they breathe from their abdomen instead of their upper chest; they may constrict various muscles in the effort to take enough air; or they may
71 feel they can’t get enough because of tightness (often in the throat). The breathing rhythm itself may be strained or awkward. All of these difficulties are handled by encouraging the person to just keep relaxing– that’s all. No further effort is required. In fact, less effort is what makes it easier– for the client to achieve integration, and for the Rebirther. Experience suggests an excellent breathing pattern looks like this: a fuller-than-normal exhale is taken, and then it is immediately released– without forcing it or holding it– in a big sigh. The exhale– where we relax– is the reward we get for the effort of the inhale. Then start the next inhale without pausing. During the session, we’ve found the quickest way through any mental confusion or uncomfortable sensations is to keep relaxing and maintain the full breathing pattern. Suggestions from the Rebirther can help, though the main thing to remember is that the breath works when nothing else seems to change anything. This ultimately can only be “proved” by trying it– no amount of speculation or conversation can answer this question. Trust the breath and let the experience of the session teach you. Another way to say this is that the Rebirther is not responsible for the success of the session. He or she is only responsible for providing a quality environment. No one can make another “get better”. A Rebirther’s job is to serve the request for supporting a Rebirthee’s self-healing process. A trained Rebirther brings a wealth of experience to each session. This includes the basic belief that everyone is already healed and whole; they just forgot this truth. They also hold to the philosophy that anyone can improve the quality of their life, if they can breathe on their own, and are willing to take responsibility for themselves. These points are made to help Rebirthers maintain an empathetic yet detached perspective in the session. The client is not served if the Rebirther is also distraught at their problems. It’s helpful to have been through similar personal experiences, and/or to have Rebirthed a lot of clients. In other words, the more experience the Rebirther has lived, the more relaxed and helpful s/he will be to the Rebirthee. Usually, people exhibit minor or major forms of avoidance during the session. Extreme forms of expression are normally counterproductive– crying, yelling, pacing, etc. The most common form of evasion is sleepiness or unconsciousness, which is really going out of body. This avoidance is also a favorite technique we all employed as children to prevent overwhelm (or other discomfort), so it can be a deep and subtle pattern. We no longer allow Rebirthees to go to sleep during a session. Usually, we have people stand up and breathe. Breathing in a chair can work, even if it does somewhat restrict how the breath is released. If this is still not enough, sometimes it’s helpful to eyegaze Rebirth with the client. This is powerful and fast, and quickly clears trust issues and sleepiness. If a person is just not willing to keep breathing until they are finished, ultimately that is their choice. There is no way to force completion, since they originally requested support. It is appropriate to make it clear there is a reason to keep breathing, and stopping often feels worse than just finishing the session. Otherwise, let it go.
72 The Payoff Integration is a multi-level experience. Ideally, it feels good just to be alive. The person’s breathing pattern is relaxed and full; there appears less or no tension present; and it is no effort in or resistance to breathing. Sometimes there are symptoms of discomfort left at the end of a session. However, if the session is really finished, they usually clear within an hour or two. Predicting the Future Accepting past negative behavior is not always enough to stop the same pattern from recurring. Rebirthing on a regular basis, either solo or coached, is one of the better preventive techniques available to help us clear the tendencies. It consistently reminds us of the awesome power of unconditional love, and that it is constantly available. The doorway to this love is forgiveness. It ensures a permanent healed and healing effect. However, this is an ongoing, sometimes moment-to-moment process of staying aware, not a one-time experience. Every day we are drawn to old habits, and every day we get to practice forgiveness again. Otherwise, the internal warfare that results soon stops much positive movement. Taking some deep sighs at the first sign of any discomfort brings back the peaceful feelings that occur in a full Rebirthing. As Rebirthers, our job is to show people they can access that experience any time they desire.
Step 3: Combining Rebirthing with Astrology
The culmination of this book’s path to enlightened personal freedom is using the diagnostic interpretations of astrology with the conscious connected breathing of Rebirthing as a wholistic approach to identifying, feeling, clearing, and healing all life’s challenges and blocks. Jeff Greene says “Within the Soul there exists two coexisting desires. One desire is for separate existence– to separate from that which created the Soul. The other desire is to return to the Source of Creation. The interaction of these two apparently opposing desires instigates the drama of personal and collective evolution. Desire is the determining force that dictates the reality of each individual. Buddha’s enlightenment underneath the Bodhi tree was based on just such a realization as he pondered the nature of sorrow, pain, and misery. Planetary symbolism is interesting to consider here.” (Greene, J.Pluto, The Evolutionary Journey of the Soul, Vol 1 , St. Paul, MN: 1989, p.1) Our intention is to clearly and concisely encapsulate 5000 years of research into the “science” of Astrology in the following pages. It is astrology for laymen and can help anyone understand why they can have two diametrically opposing beliefs in their minds– and both are true. We also explain how to combine astrology– an excellent tool for exploration, insight, and diagnosis– with Rebirthing– a simple, effective process for addressing challenges discovered in the birth chart (and in life experience).
Chapter 24: The Value of Astrology
Astrology is simply charting the movements of the eight planets, sun, and moon in our solar system, and interpreting particular angular relationships they make with each other. These angles, or aspects, imply certain tendencies, depending on the nature of the individual planets, and the signs they in which they are found. A person’s birth, or natal chart, is literally a picture of the planetary positions at the moment of birth. All interpretation is derived from the thirty four elements of astrology– ten planets, twelve signs, and twelve houses of the chart. The meanings that can be derived are valuable for their accuracy. It is important to remember that this tool only describes predisposition to particular kinds of behavior. It is not compulsion or force to act this way (though behavior patterns can feel that powerful); it is simply the line of least resistance. Predisposition to Behavior A person’s sun sign is a major influence on attitude and behavior. For instance, Scorpios are usually intensely emotional people. They may appear at times to be rather detached and distant, but others may not see the depth of feeling that is present. Gemini people are usually talkative, active, and less interested in emotions. They can have trouble with the intensity a Scorpio needs to thrive. Geminis can be emotional, but it’s not as natural as it is for a Scorpio (or Cancer or Pisces– all water signs). However, the Sun sign is only one possible influence of many– it’s possible to have as many as ten or eleven of the astrological signs emphasized in a birth chart. Even though a person is a Libra, he or she may also have a strong Scorpio, Sagittarius, and Capricorn influence in their birth chart. From reading the definition of these signs, it might become apparent that this person has a variety of conflicting motives. For instance, a Libra person is typically interested in fairness to all and maintaining harmony, whereas a person with a Scorpio influence is more interested in sustaining a certain emotional intensity. This intensity is sometimes expressed as melodramatic, high-risk situations– the type of experience that makes Libras uncomfortable. Someone who has both of these energies emphasized in their chart might wonder why they think they want peace but keep experiencing deeply emotional situations. Or, they might think they enjoy the strong feelings present in a romantic involvement, but have difficulty expressing these emotions to others. This mixture of astrological influences reflects what is known about the complexity of human beings, as most people have influences that are considered at odds with each other. Similarly, most of us experience inner conflict on occasion. One important aspect of astrology is that it describes how to harmonize these energies to become centered and aligned, so that inner conflict does not interfere with taking appropriate action(s). As effective as astrology can be in deciphering subconscious motives and attitudes, it does not tell how a person will choose to use this potential. This is as it should be, as each person has the freedom to make such decisions. What the chart does illuminate is how a person is most likely to be, think, and act.
74 Rebirthing and Astrology Astrology can be valuable in the sessions with people. From the chart it is possible to tell:
whether the person is mother- or father-oriented who the dominant parent was for the child growing up the nature and quality of the relationship with each parent whether the parents acted true to their sex or flipped roles whether this person is logically or emotionally-oriented a person’s prime negative operating law, and how strongly it runs the person’s life the quality and nature of relationships the person creates how easily money comes to them their style of giving and receiving love the career or kind of career best suited to the person and much more, depending on the issues the person has at the moment
Astrology can save countless hours in conversation and processing, determining the nature of an individual’s life challenges and strengths. This is valuable, whether or not used in conjunction with Rebirthing.
Chapter 25: Astrological Symbolism
Astrology reflects a particular combination of energies in each of our birth charts that describe our most likely ways of being and acting. We do not have to be like this; it is simply the line of least resistance for most people. There are several ways Astrology is able to support the growth process and Rebirthing. The birth chart is a picture of a person’s most likely patterns of thought, word, and deed. (Only a few people seem able to consistently deny the energies described in their chart, and they are not very happy. They seemed to be trying to find themselves, having lost touch with their inner essence.) Astrology is a map of the contributing factors for all our behavior patterns– positive and negative– something that may take many Rebirthing sessions to determine (depending on the person). Astrology also shows the current nature of change present for a person, how intense it is likely to be, and the areas of life affected by it. Just as life itself is constant growth and change, astrology shows the variety of cycles that affect different areas of life. (as well as their nature, strength, and purpose). It is extremely valuable to be able to determine how long a particular influence will last. Although we decide how quickly we learn the lesson(s), the timing of transits shows how long we will be tested on these particular issues.
Each pattern in the chart has many levels of possible expression. Growth is learning (or remembering) to use higher levels of expression more of the time. As an example, consider the Sagittarius person. Less conscious Sag types sometimes make promises they cannot keep, yet people keep believing them because they are so charming. As these people grow, they realize the damage this inability to commit causes in important relationships, and they stop making impractical commitments.
75 The conscious healthy side of Sagittarius personalities shows their ability to immediately gain the broad perspective of any situation and a willingness to tell the truth about that, regardless of the consequences. To learn the other signs that are emphasized in the birth chart, consult a good astrologer. A reading can also help unravel complex behavior patterns. For instance, a single act or habit can be a combination of several factors, and describing each one separately aids in resolving them individually, rather than feeling overwhelmed by the multitude of divergent factors in the moment. Questions about money and love quite often show a combination of factors at play in the chart, their degree of strength being affected by such things as level of personal growth and awareness, willingness to change, or the people involved. The birth chart shows about half the picture of any person. The other part is determined from moment to moment by the individual, based on decisions made at that time. Astrology shows the general direction: we get to make the final choices. Tendencies of Expression In this section, we are looking at the tendencies of each sign, and some fairly specific basic tendencies:
Qualities and Underlying Influences- The unique combination for each sign of polarity (gender identification), element (basic essence quality), and mode (style of expression). Characteristics- Some of the positive qualities, talents, and strengths of the signs Conscious- How we behave when we are expressing the healthiest and most positive aspects of each sign Unconscious- How we behave when we are reacting in fear or from old beliefs or habits, conscious and unconscious Early Life- Our earliest experiences with our parents (or whoever actually played those roles for us). This does not say what these people actually were like; it only describes our perceptions and beliefs about them. Siblings often have quite different experiences of the same mother and father. It does not matter if the people who raised us were our blood parents or not– we draw to us those people who reflect our individual beliefs about who parents should be. Relationships- How the patterns of our early life experiences usually show up in later relationships. For the most part, this is just an extension of what we experienced around our parents, at least until we start resolving unfinished matters. We may think our relationship with our father was the more difficult or conflicted one, but if later relationships with males are healthy and with females are noticeably less healthy, then the challenging relationship growing up was with our mother. It might eventually become apparent the real anger is that mother didn’t protect us from father, and the anger with her is the deepest and most influential (shown by the quality of later female relationships). Romantic and family relationships typically bring up the most negative and compulsive behaviors; we have the deepest emotional investment with these people, and the outcomes are the most important. Challenges- The essence of the life lesson for each of the signs. We all have strengths that allow us the opportunities to achieve these goals when we learn to love ourselves
76 with less self-judgment. Astrologically, the symbology that can indicate potential hot spots also reveals ways to resolve those conflicts. Issues- These are common difficulties typical to each of the signs. Addressing some of these issues can significantly improve the quality of life. An Aries person (which suggests a powerful father-figure by Sun sign) might grow up with a quiet father and a very assertive mother. However, it’s more important that the child grows up with thoughts and beliefs about their own need to act assertively than it is which parent acts out the Aries qualities. This energy is part of the early environment, regardless which parent expressed it.
Chapter 26: Astrological Signs: The Qualities of Being
Qualities of Being There are three ways to categorize each of the twelve signs. In addition to the explanations that follow, a chart is included that shows how the combination of polarity, mode and element is different for each sign, giving excellent clues as to the unique interpretation of each astrological influence. 1– The polarity of each sign describes a tendency toward active (masculine) or responsive (feminine) response. Half of the signs are masculine gender and half of them are feminine. 2– The element associated with each sign indicates an inner quality of essence– part of how each person is (which might then translate into action). 3– The mode of each sign gives information about a person’s style of expression and most likely responses, depending on whether the sun sign is cardinal (active/proactive), fixed (slow to change/stable and steady), and mutable (very changeable/flexible). Qualities of the Astrological Signs Mode —> Element & (Gender) Fire (Masculine) Earth (Feminine) Air (Masculine) Water (Feminine) Aries Capricorn Libra Cancer Leo Taurus Aquarius Scorpio Sagittarius Virgo Gemini Pisces Cardinal Fixed Mutable
Keywords for the Astrological Signs Sign Aries Element/Polarity/Mode Keywords Fire/Masculine/Cardinal
77 Impulsive, direct, pioneering, excitable, inspiring Taurus Gemini Cancer Leo Virgo Libra Scorpio Sagittarius Capricorn Aquarius Pisces Earth/Feminine/Fixed Steady, faithful, practical, consistent, sensual Air/Masculine/Mutable Intellectual, communicative, versatile, non-conformist Water/Feminine/Cardinal Nurturing, domestic, sensitive, healing Fire/Masculine/Fixed Powerful, magnanimous, authoritative, big-hearted Earth/Feminine/Mutable Discriminating, methodical, consistent, practical Air/Masculine/Cardinal Diplomatic, sociable, fair, intelligent, balanced Water/Feminine/Fixed Resourceful, intense, deep, inscrutable, willful Fire/Masculine/Mutable Philosophical, broad-minded, outgoing, forthright Earth/Feminine/Cardinal Ambitious, conservative, conscientious, organized Air/Masculine/Fixed Humanitarian, original, intelligent, idealistic Water/Feminine/Mutable Compassionate, sensitive, gentle, creative, artistic Polarity The polarity of a person’s sun sign points out tendencies of behavior and attitude. The terms masculine and feminine are used to describe internal attitudes and response patterns, more than external appearance.
Masculine Signs: Aries, Gemini, Leo, Libra, Sagittarius, and Aquarius
These are people who act to create their realities. They are father-oriented, which means they are more like him than mother. Their experience of life is more intellectually-oriented. The challenges of life call for rational consideration and action, in a logical step-by-step process. As such, learning about the irrational nature of emotions can be a challenge. They tend to think in linear time– past, present, and future. For a male, a masculine sun sign feels more natural. In general, men tend to be more logical and a bit less in touch with emotions than women. They are more action-oriented, and this way of thinking about life works well.
78 For a female, a masculine sun sign can be more confusing. Often, her father really wanted a boy and tries to raise her that way. This works okay until she enters adolescence; Dad’s affection and attention may stop, because he is uncomfortably aware of her body, because he can no longer deny that she is not a boy, or because she begins to have interests natural to a young girl, creating an awkward shift in the relationship. Frequently she is quite disappointed by the sudden loss of attention and thinks she is doing something wrong. By becoming a female, she is betraying a fundamental piece of the relationship (even if it never was completely natural). This judgement about her true nature can create conflict in later romantic involvements. She might run into the same internalized judgment about her femininity while trying to connect as a woman to her mate. This can also lead her to deny mother as a role model growing up, contributing to later confusion, as she has less conscious experience of how women are expected to behave. Being a female with a masculine sun sign sometimes describes women who are successful in the professional world through their competitive skills, sometimes at the expense of upsetting men. Feminine power is partly derived from consensus-building, which might not be as conscious for women who strongly identify with masculine traits.
Feminine Signs: Taurus, Cancer, Virgo, Scorpio, Capricorn, and Pisces
Feminine sun sign people are mother-oriented in early life. These are people who are more emotionally connected to mother while growing up and are more like her. They often see father as someone who creates unnecessary conflict and tension. These people are capable of drawing to them the resources, people, and situations they need for their survival. They are capable of action, but they often find that things come to them. For a female, these signs feel more natural. Mother is the most important role model for a girl, and she more easily gets the appropriate messages about how to be and live as a woman. For a male, there may be some conflicts. Like girls with feminine Sun signs, the father may be resented for appearing to come between the child and his mother, or other offenses. Another tension can arise when father is absent from the home, and the boy is the oldest male in the house. Then if Dad or another man shows up later, the child is replaced in this role. He may have a difficult time later in life in determining his real role in relationships, such as triangles– which are echoes of early life. Males with feminine sun signs are also typically more emotional people (whether it’s visible or not), an experience not generally supported in this culture. This can be confusing until awareness is developed. The Four Elements There are four physical elements with which we are associated, and these are represented in the various signs. The element associated with each particular astrological sign describes an inner essence, a part of who we are, that feels as natural as breathing.
Fire Signs: Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius
Fire sign people are dynamic, dramatic, outgoing, active, and energetic. All three fire signs are masculine energies, which means father-oriented. These people are idealistic, actionoriented, and work on a large scale. Detail work has little appeal for them; they tend to work in broad strokes and on a grand scale.
Earth Signs: Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn
Earth signs describe people who are methodical, practical, and who often need physical proof to believe the validity of ideas. As all the earth signs are feminine, they are mother-oriented. They are sensitive and emotional, though this can be hidden under a layer of practicality. Although they can be assertive, earth signs can draw the resources they need to them. They are more often responsive to people and situations, and can be quite patient. These are the detail-oriented people of the zodiac.
Air Signs: Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius
Intellectual in nature, the air signs are great thinkers. Not as assertive as the fire signs, nevertheless they are masculine energies, which means father-oriented. These people have excellent powers of logical, and are usually considered intelligent (or at least, quick thinkers). The difficulty with this is that emotions and emotional behavior can confuse them. They are often surprised by the truth of their feelings, because they believe that they are who they think they are.
Water Signs: Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces
The most emotional and least rational are the water signs. These are people who rely more on instinct and less on intellect. For that reason, they can also be the least conscious about their actions and motivations. These are the most powerful signs in the zodiac, because feelings are the basis for our state of being, and they are the source of personal power. Partly because of their easy emotional empathy, water signs are also the least structured or personally welldefined in identity. The Three Modes of Behavior There is a third way to classify the natural tendencies of each sign, called its mode. The mode of a sign characterizes a person’s manner of expressing their basic qualities.
Cardinal Signs: Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn
Cardinal mode signs are active and proactive, seeking opportunities for leadership (including the gender inherent to each).
Fixed Signs: Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, and Aquarius
Fixed signs have strong personalities and they usually have definite personal values, boundaries, and opinions. They have the persistence to sustain their own views and goals, though this tunnel vision can blind them to new, more pertinent facts.
Mutable Signs: Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, and Pisces
Mutable signs are the most flexible of the twelve signs. These are people who can see all sides of a situation. This adaptability means they sometimes have trouble making commitments (or holding one point of view), especially for long periods of time.
Aries: March 21 – April 20
Qualities: Masculine Sign, Fire Element, Cardinal Mode Characteristics: Aries people are the pioneers of the zodiac. They are true self-starters. Being perhaps the most impulsive sign, they will create activity around them rather than get bored. They are fearless and will dive into almost any challenge. The best way to get a response from them is to tell them they can’t do something. They are not egotistical in the sense of being stuck on themselves; they are genuinely not aware of other people at times. Aries people are often confrontive (the best defense is a good offense) rather than cooperative. Part of their life lesson is learning they don’t always have to do it alone. Conscious: These are the true pioneers, going where no man has dared. This is important because someone has to do it. Bravery, courage, strength, and impulsiveness– all these describe the Aries. Unconscious: Sometimes these people create activity just to have something happening, whether or not it really serves any useful purpose. Also, the line between bravery and foolish courage can get quite blurry sometimes. Aries types are great initiators, but they get bored so easily they often have little staying power. Early Life: Having a masculine sign, these people are father-oriented. Generally, father is the kind of person who is an explosive personality: unpredictable and very powerful. However, because Aries doesn’t necessarily have the staying power, if their initial bluff does not work, they are often at a loss as to how to win a confrontation. The child experiences needing to develop independence and strength, because father cannot be counted on to be present. He is usually so wrapped up in his own concerns that the child is either overwhelmed or ignored. Relationships: Aries people need stimulation to keep from getting bored and they need a lot of space to move. They resent being crowded or clung to and will often blow up relationships that are otherwise healthy if they feel too crowded. Leave them alone and they will return on their own schedule.
81 For them, a good fight is like a thunderstorm that clears the air. These people do not hold grudges after they express their tension. They are frequently surprised that others in the room are still reacting to their anger or tension, but for the Aries, it is truly out of their system. Challenges: Finding suitable projects to keep them occupied is very important. These are not detail-oriented people; they work on a dramatic, grand scale. Patience is one of their hardest lessons– learning that peace is not boredom. Issues: Patience, compassion, commitment, willingness to handle details.
Taurus: April 20 – May 21
Qualities: Feminine sign, Earth element, Fixed mode Characteristics: Taurus people are true friends, once they have made that decision. They can be counted on to be the way they have always been– steady, strong, patient, slow to anger, grounded, and usually very practical. Conscious: These people help ground everyone in practicality. They are the accumulators of the zodiac, helping to bring together the resources needed to accomplish a project. They are also excellent with growing things– they have a very fertile energy. Unconscious: The symbol of the bull is an appropriate sign for Taurus. These are people who would generally like to be left alone. Inertia is a good keyword. They are not self-starters, needing to be prodded to change direction. Taurus gets attached to people and things in their lives, frequently coming to regard people as possessions that somehow offer a measure of security by their presence. It does not matter what the real-world value of something is– if a Taurus is attached to it, it is extremely important to keep. Frequently these people are quite attached to possessions. They often enjoy the finer physical pleasures– good food, pleasant surroundings, and nice clothes. They are also the most sensual and sexual of the twelve signs (in spite of the reputation attributed to Scorpio). Early Life: Having a feminine sign, these are people who are mother-oriented. They are loyal to the death. However, they demand to be accepted exactly as they are, as they have difficulty in consciously initiating change. More often, things happen that force them to let go of people and possessions. Mother, too, is a very loyal person who has a hard time letting the child grow up and leave the nest. What the child learns is that survival means being able to be just as stubborn and resistant to change or be run over by the power of his parents. His security is being able to
82 hold on tightly to those things and people that matter. Taurus people are more practical than intellectual, so ideas are less important than being able to see, feel, and touch. Relationships: Involvement with one of these people can be extremely satisfying if you are looking for a strong commitment. They are uncomfortable with people who need a lot of space. Challenges: A hard lesson for Taurus to learn is flexibility. However, once they see the value of it, they exhibit a strength of will and character that can be the bedrock and reference point for focusing a wide range of energies into some positive, tangible creation. Issues::Flexibility, detachment, willingness to change and share, openness to new ideas.
Gemini: May 21 – June 21
Qualities: Masculine Sign, Air Element, Mutable mode Characteristics: Gemini is the sign most associated with the intellect. Ideas are very important for these people. They love social interaction where they can find out the latest news and gossip. Quick on their mental feet, they also love a certain amount of controversy and will sometimes create it, especially if conversation appears lacking. Perennial students, they are constantly learning more about life. Conscious: Extremely smart, these people are excellent communicators. They do well in all areas dealing with the written and spoken word. They function as a link between information centers, serving to tie together widely diverse people and situations to create new levels of knowledge. Unconscious: Being so mental, Gemini sometimes misses the unspoken word– the emotional level of communication. This means they are sometimes out of touch with the truth of their feelings. Early Life: Having a masculine sign, they are father-oriented. Father is intelligent and quick to learn. However, he sometimes unconsciously lies because he may not know the truth of his feelings. A child growing up around this is often confused, because by outer appearances, father is seen as someone quick enough on his feet to stay on top of the life’s challenges. However, because of the difficulty in dealing with emotions, situations happen where father is at a loss as to what to do because he doesn’t know the truth of his feelings. Another challenge is that Gemini is one of three signs most representative of multiple personalities. The child is required to be mentally fast, because he never knows with which
83 aspect of his parents he may be dealing. The child carries this quickness into adult life, as well as the ability to be different people at different times and in different situations. This can be a distraction to avoid dealing with feelings. Relationship: Involvement with a Gemini is usually very exciting because there are always new worlds to explore. Sometimes sex for them is a good stimulating conversation. There is also a certain amount of patience involved in keeping track of who a Gemini might be today, because it’s different from yesterday. At least it’s not boring. Challenges: Learning about feelings in depth is a main challenge– using their intelligence to discern the subtle shades of emotions adds a richness to their personality that helps them communicate the whole story. Issues: Emotions, commitment, making choices, consistency, dedication.
Cancer: June 21 – July 23
Qualities: Feminine Sign, Water Element, Cardinal mode Characteristics: Cancer people are the nurturers of the zodiac. They are very compassionate, caring, and healing. These people are able to bring beings back to health that which might not have made it on their own. They also make excellent nurses. People born under the sign of Cancer are usually very family oriented, and traditional values are important. They are attached to home, country, and particularly their mother. There is a strong emotional connection to everyone and everything in their lives. Conscious: Cancers are keepers of the home fire. They know the value of security and seek to create that around them. This does not mean they spend a lot of time actually being in their home; they just need to know its location. They are usually quite active socially. Unconscious: Because they are so connected to everyone in their lives, they sometimes cling so strongly that others need to break away, just because they feel they are being smothered. Learning to let go of emotional attachments is sometimes very difficult. Cancer people tend to collect emotional memories as a sort of reserve, like animals storing food for the winter. They may also collect as a hobby, such as stamps, dolls, art, etc. Early Life: Being mother-oriented, these are people who frequently feel so much love from her, that they are not sure they can make it alone in the world without her emotional support.
84 This is also known as smother love. Mother manipulates situations a great deal to make sure people need her, so she can then feel needed. The Moon is the planet associated with this sign, and Cancer represents the nurturing principle of motherhood. Both male and female children usually experience an emotional tearing away when it is time to leave home. Mother usually doesn’t make it any easier because she continues to offer what looks like shelter from the storm. Of course, until the child makes an attempt at independence, he or she is still attached to her apron strings. Ultimately, Cancer people must go into the world and try their wings. The experience of being smothered is still strong for them, and they continually have to leave home to make sure they have their freedom. Relationships: Cancers need a strong emotional bond to feel a relationship is of value to them. There is much love to experience with these people, if you are willing to go that deep. Sometimes others need a break from all the emotion– it’s okay to take a breather. This does not mean the love is gone; it just means coming up for air. Less conscious Cancers are afraid to let loved ones go like this. Challenges: The emotional connections these people create can be very healing for others around them. The difficulty usually comes when a relationship has served its purpose and it’s time for it to end. This is hard for Cancers, but once they learn the source of love is from inside, they experience a sense of security that allows much healthier involvements. Issues: Detachment, learning to reason, defining clear personal boundaries.
Leo: July 23 – August 23
Qualities: Masculine sign, Fire element, Fixed mode Characteristics: The lion represents the sign Leo, and this is a very apt description of the energy. Magnanimous, giving, and caring, they are very conscious of others around them, and of making sure others are comfortable. Working in broad strokes, these people make a dramatic statement to the world about their presence. Conscious: Great leaders, these people are truly concerned about the welfare of the masses. They are willing to make decisions that affect many people and receive the rewards for taking those risks. Unconscious: Part of the Leo concern for acknowledgment is the need to feel the strength of their own identities. It sometimes takes constant positive reinforcement to assure these people
85 of their value. The value of this gesture is often more important than what is actually offered. They may believe flattery is real. Early Life: As father-oriented people, father is such an imposing presence in early life that sometimes the child has a hard time being able to define himself. Leos are extremely giving and sharing, and often the underlying motive is to make sure that others acknowledge the Leo’s existence. Often the seeming egotism of these people is just a statement of enjoying themselves. Conversely, they are often amazed when others don’t share in this delight. Father is usually very idealistic, to the point of sometimes ignoring reality, and is often very surprised when others do not hold to these high ideals. In spite of the appearance of strength, these people are very sensitive to any kind of criticism, because there is such insecurity about identity. Relationships: A Leo often requires a constant stream of affirmations to make sure they get the sense of being in charge of their own space– something that usually doesn’t happen in early life. If one is willing to do this, these people are extremely generous and giving in return. Challenges: Part of the Leo life lesson is establishing a strong sense of identity. These people exercise their public presence because they are not quite sure of that strength. Once identity is established, however, these people can truly make a positive difference for every person’s life they touch. Issues: Sharing the limelight, willingness to change, refraining from controlling other people’s behavior.
Virgo: August 23 – September 23
Qualities: Feminine sign, Earth element, Mutable mode Characteristics: Virgo is the sign representing service to mankind. These people are the best at taking care of details. The urge for a Virgo is to make sure that there are no loose ends anywhere. They are meticulous and very detail-oriented. Conscious: Because of the service orientation, these people frequently work in the background. They are not usually interested in the limelight, gaining their greatest satisfaction in seeing a job get finished. They are also very health-conscious.
86 Unconscious: Sometimes the concern for detail turns into a compulsive need to be constantly doing something. At this point, these people become very self-critical, and it can be difficult to be around them. They are sometimes hypochondriacs and tend to worry themselves into sickness. Because they sometimes feel like a victim, they may see others in pain or need as victims and be tempted to rush to the rescue. Early Life: Mother is the kind of person who is never satisfied. Everything could always be better. This is the sign most about the nagging parent. As a child, the Virgo feels that it’s never enough. There is usually no acknowledgment about what has been accomplished. It’s more a focus on what hasn’t been done. The child grows up feeling guilty about almost everything in their life, because the imprint is that the nurturing parent feels that there is never quite enough. It takes a lot of conscious work for these people to finally see that, taken to extreme, it is possible to burn out and still feel inadequate. The resolution is seeing that what gets done or not done isn’t the issue. It’s learning to accept what is there and have it be enough. Relationships: With a Virgo, it’s sometimes important to draw clear personal boundaries to stop this person from trying to arrange one’s life. As the forgiveness happens in them, and they relax, the urge to serve, when it is requested, becomes a help to all. Challenges: The need to be of service is such a strong drive in these people that it’s sometimes hard for them to relax when things are not all done, even if it really isn’t their business to handle it. This often translates into guilt as a prime motivation. They do have the ability to help others– but not all others. Issues: Releasing guilt as a motivation for action, learning to see the larger perspective, taking responsibility only for oneself, integrating innocence.
Libra: September 23 – October 23
Qualities: Masculine sign, Air element, Cardinal mode Characteristics: Libras are the socially appropriate people of the zodiac. They love the company of people, and they are graceful in social situations. Having an air sign, they are usually intelligent and quick learners. They also love the finer things in life. They have a highly developed artistic sense, and they draw around them people who have money, whether they are also rich or not.
87 Conscious: Libras are the diplomats of the zodiac. They are great at handling people in public settings, and help everyone feel at ease in less than comfortable situations. They are great partners. Unconscious: The reliance on intellect means that Libras can be out of touch with their feelings. This creates difficulty in making decisions because they don’t know how they feel about things. Similar to Gemini, their personalities may change around different people, depending on present company. Early Life: The confusion that comes in growing up with their father’s indecision pushes them into social situations constantly. This is so they can see what works best in interacting with others. The trouble is that these people are so intellectual they often miss the fact that many behaviors are emotionally motivated. Father is the kind of person who is out of touch with his own emotions. Early life at home is a confusing experience of feeling a lot of emotions between family members who won’t decide or admit to anger or fear. This creates a split inside the child about what the truth really is between people. When Libras are unsure of their identity, they often define themselves by watching how others behave in certain situations. Until these people begin to explore their emotions, they will never feel entirely comfortable around others. There will be at least two different likely responses to any situation that requires assertion of self. This explains the difficulty these people have in making decisions. Being out of touch with their feelings cuts them off from knowing what is true. That knowing is not an intellectual process. It is an immediate gut feeling of the right answer. Relationships: Interpersonal involvement is tremendously important for these people. Often they need someone to agree with them in making decisions, yet they want to be in charge once they make the choice. Libras are great companions, communicators, and thinkers. The difficulty for their partners comes for people who need a strong emotional tie in the relationship, as Libras are not always comfortable with deep feelings. Challenges: As with all air sign people, learning to hear the inner emotional answers eliminates the indecision and gives them the appropriate answer to what can look like an overwhelming variety of possibilities. Once they start feeling, they are clear and concise in communication. Issues: Commitment, taking sole responsibility for self without involving others in the decision-making process, acknowledging feelings and emotions as an important part of life.
Scorpio: October 23 – November 22
Qualities: Feminine sign, Water element, Fixed mode Characteristics: Scorpio is the most intense sign. They are very emotional and extremely intelligent. They are aware of other people’s feelings and curious about their motivations. The sexual aspect of these people’s behavior is a common perception, but the larger picture is the constant need for deep emotional experiences. Conscious: They are strong, determined, patient, intuitive, and have a deep understanding of other people, because they see so deeply inside themselves. They have powerful investigative skills and make great lawyers, detectives, and researchers. Scorpio also represents transformation. Unconscious: Because they are so intense, they can be very jealous, vindictive, angry, controlling, and secretive. Often when frustrated, they will try to force an outcome to a situation by adding more intensity or pressure. Early Life: Early life for the Scorpio is always an experience of losing people. Often there is a close family member who dies around conception, and this becomes a part of the womb experience, feeling the loss of someone important in the immediate family. They can also experience the same feelings through divorce in the family, siblings who leave home for college, etc. Being born into the energy of fearing loss, they frequently confuse attachment with love. The need to control is the terror of losing someone or something important for their emotional security. Usually early life is the same experience from his parents. The parents are so afraid of losing the child, that all his actions are controlled and watched carefully. He learns that the only way to get any privacy is to hide his thoughts and feelings from others. If he can’t hide occasionally, then he isn’t allowed to be the way he is, and he loses his independence. The need for secrecy is an attempt to define personal boundaries without interference from others. Relationships: Because there is such strong fear of abandonment for these people, they tend to create situations where the feelings are always so strong there is no mistaking the existence of the emotional connection. Often this need for intensity blinds a Scorpio to the quality of experiences they create. In other words, they sometimes cannot discriminate between healthy and unhealthy choices. Because negative situations also create an adrenaline rush and strong feelings, they will create these events just to feel that there is some connection to other people.
89 However, in relationships, this tendency works against the Scorpio, because others feel like they are being controlled– either overwhelmed, or shut out, or both. The old fear of loss may make it seem too dangerous to risk intimacy. Trust is the prime issue: being able to trust self and others not to invade or abandon Challenges: Learning patience is one. Also, discerning the difference between love and attachment is important, which cannot co-exist in a healthy relationship. Once the trust is in place, these are some of the most loyal partners of any sign. In spite of the reputation, Scorpios prefer monogamy to having to deal with jealousy and anger. Issues: Detachment, cooperation, giving up control of other people, patience, willingness to change, honesty and willingness to be forthright.
Sagittarius: November 22 – December 22
Qualities: Masculine sign, Fire element, Mutable mode Characteristics: Sagittarians are usually well-liked people. They look for the big picture and are not concerned as much with details. They are very intelligent, well-read and/or welltraveled. Their broad perspective gives them a more relaxed approach to life. Conscious: They are fair and honest, have a great sense of humor, are intelligent, and can be excellent at arbitrating all kinds of conflict, because of their overall perspective. Sagittarians usually have a strongly developed life philosophy that gives them patience with others who have not done the same work. Unconscious: Their honesty sometimes comes out as a bluntness that is hard for others to hear. Commitment is something that looks like loss of freedom, which is something they prize very highly. They can be quite undependable because of this, making promises that are often impossible to keep. Early Life: Father was looking for meaning to his behavior. He was a man who knew the right words and knew the principles of how life worked, yet he may not have actually lived that way. He was looking for some reason to stay home and be committed. He usually didn’t find it and may have spent much time away from home looking for the meaning of life that he couldn’t find at home. The children learn this, too, since they also feel the emotional emptiness of their parents. Relationships: This is part of the difficulty Sagittarians have in making emotional commitments– feeling the early experience of not finding what they wanted at home, and fearing they will create the same sense of emptiness as soon as they enter a long-term
90 relationship. Not being emotionally available to the ones that they say they love just perpetuates this experience of having to go somewhere else looking for what they think they can’t find at home. Being in relationship with a Sagittarius demands a willingness to give a lot of freedom to move and explore, so that ideally they come to realize the grass is greenest where they stay long enough to water it with their own emotional involvement. Challenges: Learning to live out their philosophy is one of the biggest challenges for Sagittarians. The information they collect in all their travels has little meaning until they put it into their daily life and sees how these ideas actually work. Issues: Willingness to make commitments, patience, learning not to overwhelm others with too much truth, learning not to promise the impossible.
Capricorn: December 22 – January 20
Qualities: Feminine sign, Earth element, Cardinal mode Characteristics: Practical, grounded, and focused are words to describe Capricorn. These people are the managers of the world. They have the ability to take resources from many different places and create something useful. Responsibility is a motivating principle in their lives. Conscious: These people are efficient, conscientious, and dedicated to their purposes. Once they make a commitment, they do everything in their power to fulfill it. Unconscious: Sometimes the need to manage other people hinders their ability to make their own decisions. The fear that they are not doing enough is so strong, that they find they have a hard time being off-duty. This fear also prevents them from accepting acknowledgment from others, something very important for their self-esteem. Often, the guilt from feeling they haven’t yet done enough is so strong that they lose sight of what has been accomplished. Early Life: For most Capricorns, early life was an experience of constant struggle. Mother felt she could do nothing good enough, yet if she kept struggling, maybe it would finally work out. Capricorns are suspicious of things that work easily, thinking they must not be worth much. They may also believe they don’t deserve it being this easy. Another aspect of this belief is that there ought to be some way to complicate the process to give the sense of having struggled enough for the outcome.
91 Because mother (and sometimes father) was never satisfied, mother always felt she didn’t deserve to be loved without doing something. She always had more to do to deserve that love, and couldn’t relax enough to let it in. The child learns also to keep love out because he doesn’t deserve it yet. Relationships: These people are extremely dedicated in relationships. They are true to their own and will do a lot for the sake of the relationship, even if they have to sacrifice their own needs to achieve something they feel is important. They may appear to be the rock of Gibraltar, yet this often hides an extreme sensitivity to criticism. For others, involvement with a Capricorn can be an experience in frustration if this person doesn’t learn to acknowledge the value of his efforts. These people are the over-achievers of the zodiac, not necessarily in success, but in total effort exerted. Success is something they may never allow: how much energy was used in the attempt is more important. Challenges: Learning to leave well enough alone is one of the hardest things to do. These people almost always end up doing too much, upsetting others around them in the process. Their organizational abilities are second to none. Once they allow themselves to be helped by others, there is nothing they can’t accomplish. Seeking approval is also a sign of an insecure Capricorn, and learning to create their own inner moral code is an important step to emotional balance. Issues: Giving up guilt as a prime motivation, allowing others to control their own lives unless assistance is requested, giving up struggle, learning to laugh at self and life.
Aquarius: January 20 – February 19
Qualities: Masculine sign, Air element, Fixed mode Characteristics: This is the sign of the genius. These are the most inventive and creative people of the zodiac. They are usually a step ahead of the rest of humanity– seeing solutions to all manner of problems. This sign is the male equivalent to feminine intuition– answers come to them with no apparent effort. They also have a real talent with complicated machinery, being able to easily understand and use or repair it. Conscious: Extremely intelligent, quick to learn and apply their acquired knowledge to solutions, these people are pioneers in the area of new possibilities for humanity. They love group interaction and are great comrades.
92 Unconscious: Being very intellectual, this also means they are often out of touch with their feelings. Part of this distancing from feelings comes from thinking there is a loss of freedom if they acknowledge feelings. There is no arguing or reasoning with the feeling level inside; it just is. On an intellectual level, this can be very inconvenient, because intellect is not hampered by truth. It’s possible to make up anything at all and have that be real, at least until feelings are consciously identified and acknowledged. Early Life: Family life for an Aquarian can be a scary experience because there is such a split between what they feel around their family versus what the parents say about it. Ultimately the easiest action for them is to deny the tornado of feelings and start living in their head. Father is the kind of person who cannot make commitments because he does not know what means the most to him. That changes from day to day, depending on what catches his fancy. The child learns not to count on intimacy and avoids letting himself get too close to anyone because the love is given and withdrawn so many times. Finally the child learns to not be open because it’s too painful. Relationships: These people are true friends. They are intellectually stimulating and love to share their experiences with others. They enjoy seeing that their ideas might have possibilities for other people. On an emotional level, involvement with an Aquarian is often a great friendship and not much more. For them, the memories of being abandoned so many times teach them not to be open so they don’t have to deal with the pain. Since the emotional closeness is not there, they expect a lot of freedom to move in and out of the relationship. They may get very upset when forced to deal with the pain others feel at being abandoned by them. Challenges: Because these people are so intellectual and creative, they often miss the responses others have to them. Learning to feel what is happening inside other people gives them the ability to actually apply their wonderful ideas in real life situations. Until they learn about feelings, the connection with others cannot happen and they will experience continued frustration at trying to convey their ideas to others. Issues: Acknowledging emotions and feelings as important aspects of life, being willing to share emotions and feelings, learning to work on the practical, mundane level.
Pisces: February 19 – March 21
Qualities: Feminine sign, Water element, Mutable mode
93 Characteristics: Pisces is the most intuitive and least conscious sign in the zodiac. These people often are healers, musicians, artists, and writers. Anything that requires a higher aesthetic sense is something for which they are well-suited. Conscious: Being so sensitive, Pisces people are able to intuit answers to questions with no logical thought processes. They have the ability to most directly tap into the collective unconscious and get answers with no limitation of time or space. They are also gentle, loving types that enjoy peace and harmony in their lives. Unconscious: One of the axioms of intuition is that the more sensitive to others one is, the more unconscious one is about self. These people have the most trouble drawing clear personal boundaries, because they often can’t tell where their own limits end and other peoples’ begin. They need frequent time alone to re-establish personal boundaries so that they are not taking on other people’s thoughts and feelings about life. Early Life: For these people, family life was a constant experience of losing themselves in the feelings of the people around them. Much of the time, they could not draw clear boundaries between themselves and the rest of the world. The experience of mother is a subtle mixture of a very nurturing parent who is also so emotionally invasive that the child doesn’t develop individuality separate from her, or anyone else. The child has a difficult time leaving home because he is not aware of how fused inside he is to the strongest people around him. He or she grows up thinking that security is being able to live from inside other people, and consequently, often acts like the last strong person in his presence. Relationships: These are the gentle people of the zodiac. They are so open and giving it feels like being merged as one. Pisces is the experience of the highest spiritual kind of love. The other side of this is feeling like living with a shadow, because Pisces is sometimes so nebulous. Challenges: Learning to identify the truth of self is very important for these people. Particularly in dealing with the pain of others, it is also important to not take this on and lose self in the process. Once these people stop viewing themselves as constantly being swayed by stronger forces in the universe, they begin to see the tremendous love and healing energies they have inside. Issues: Learning detachment; learning assertiveness; defining personal boundaries; giving up rescue operations, especially if it was not requested.
Chapter 27: Using Astrology in Rebirthing Sessions
Understanding someone’s birth chart, even if we just know the Sun sign, can significantly increase a Rebirther’s understanding of the person’s inclinations and point of view. This is helpful in being able to follow their line of reasoning and response, and in helping them find their own healthiest self-expression. For instance, signs that are known for high levels of nervous energy are not best suited for boring, repetitive tasks, or for confining work conditions (especially hours behind a desk each day). No doubt much about a person is obvious on being in their presence, or interviewing them on various aspects of their life. However, the astrology chart fills in major parts of the
94 unspoken and/or unconscious details, enabling a Rebirther to offer support based on the wholeness of the person, not just the visible or conscious parts. In general, each sign describes patterns of behavior a person will use in attempting to avoid or suppress uncomfortable sensations. This includes confusing and/or conflicting thoughts, and/or uncomfortable feelings and emotions. Sometimes people suppress emotions by carrying thoughts in their heads without being in touch with the accompanying feeling in their bodies. They rationalize and often discount the feelings. Sometimes people half-listen to what is being said to them. This is known as being out of body; one of the most useful traits of Rebirthing is making it feel safe for people to “stay home”. Common traits of insecurity and resultant issues for the various astrological signs are listed below:
Aries Common Challenges: Restless, positive energy. Tendency toward the idea that “the best defense is a good offense”. Not especially comfortable with commitment, except to the excitement of change. Short attention span; quick to anger (though generally do not hold grudges); Justification/Key Phrases: “Because I can do it; because I want to do it; if not now, when?; What? There are other people around (they might do things differently)?” Suggestions for the Session: Suggest they just notice the impulse to move, act, or think, rather than doing anything about it. Encourage them to be still and breathe, instead of moving around.
Taurus Common Challenges: Placid, slow-moving influence; typically content with the status quo; tends to get emotionally attached to people and things quite easily; can be stubborn; Justification/Key Phrases: “What do you mean this isn’t mine?; Well, ........(silence).......“ Suggestions for the Session: Give up thinking possession of objects or people is genuine security. Encourage a willingness to make changes when appropriate
Gemini Common Challenges: Intellectually-oriented; quite restless; difficulties in dealing with emotions and emotional issues; can have several different, but equally valid, opinions about any one thing
95 Justification/Key Phrases: “Sure, I know that; We’ve already talked about that; I think; Yes, but, ...” Suggestions for the Session: Analyze their feelings (if they must) from their body, rather than in their brain; suggest they closely detail the differences in the quality of each individual emotion (not stories– one-word phrases, such as sad, happy, fear, etc.)
Cancer Common Challenges: Can be too emotional; difficulty with detachment; tend to hover and smother; nurture others to excess, and neglect self Justification/Key Phrases: “They seemed like they could use a little help; I can just feel their pain; I know what you need; Here, let me help...” Suggestions for the Session: Stop being mother to the world. Feature letting others risk life on their own (unless they specifically ask for help)
Leo Common Challenges: Competition for attention; overestimate value or worth; assume decisions for self are decisions for all; too idealistic and/or too rigid or inflexible; tend to take everything personally, especially criticism Justification/Key Phrases: “Where is my adulation (audience, support, acknowledgment, court staff, etc)?; Of course I’m the one; I (deserve; want; need; desire) this; Why do people upset me or hurt me?” Suggestions for the Session: Accept the imperfection of humanity; resolve (at least acknowledge) the split between ideals and true motives; stop taking things quite so personally
Virgo Common Challenges: Undervalue importance of their contributions; control situations and people by becoming indispensable; indulge criticism. Justification/Key Phrases: “Oh, I could never do that; I’m just not good enough (have enough time, love, money, training, looks, etc.); It’s not perfect.” Suggestions for the Session: Stop assuming the worst; don’t empty other people’s trash, unless being paid for the work; once in a while, make a list of things that do work, or that have been accomplished.
96 Libra Common Challenges: Live at face (or faces) value, and often don’t investigate people’s motives (or their own), making inaccurate assumptions; inconsistent attitudes, depending on present company; never forgive or forget; tend to avoid or deny emotions, and their importance in people’s actions. Justification/Key Phrases: “This is my picture; No, I’m not upset about that– why should I be hurt my wife left me for you? You’re my friend...; How do I (the house, the children) look?” Suggestions for the Session: Allow for the unpredictability of emotions; learn that motivation is seldom a purely intellectual exercise; stop keeping score of everyone’s transgressions
Scorpio Common Challenges: Want to control people’s behavior; when fearful, tend to overwhelm others with intensity or freeze them out; get attached easily; can be obsessive; resistant to change, but (by their intensity) the sign most about change. Justification/Key Phrases: “I can, that’s why; What’s mine is mine– what’s yours is negotiable; You can’t make me; Why should I (trust; let; tell; ask) you?; No.” Suggestions for the Session: Create safety from a sense of inner strength, rather than the ability to manipulate others; temper the skepticism with an honest sense of other people’s past actions; admit that sins of omission are the same of sins of commission
Sagittarius Common Challenges: Freedom-loving to the extreme; difficulty in honoring commitments (though promises are easily made); reluctant to focus on the here and now. Justification/Key Phrases: “Whatever…; Does it really matter?; Sure, I can do that; No, it doesn’t really matter; Oh, just let it go. It’s fine.” Suggestions for the Session: Make a list of promises made, and don’t exceed ones capacity for following through with them; take the time to explore the feelings others might have in response to past words or actions; acknowledge that emotions create lasting connections not lessened by time or distance
97 Capricorn Common Challenges: Focused on what’s wrong and what’s missing, rather than what works; slow to trust emotionally (though often oversensitive, especially to criticism); tend to invade and manage unasked. Justification/Key Phrases: “This has to get done; Nobody gets this right; Ack, surrounded by idiots again; I’ll just do it myself; What’s the use?; I can’t; I’m not good enough.” Suggestions for the Session: Learn to accept conditions and people as they are, without creating a mental fix-it list; delegate some of those responsibilities; learn to operate comfortably with life at loose ends; accept that some questions don’t have black or white answers
Aquarius Common Challenges: Brilliant to the detriment of common, practical sense; idealistic to the extreme, often at the expense of family and friends; difficulty in owning emotions and honoring commitments. Justification/Key Phrases: “This isn’t logical; well, my picture is...; we ought to be able to do this...; No, it’s not like that– it’s like this...” Suggestions for the Session: Deal with the details of life– cleaning house, paying bills, and especially, honoring how others feel, even if it makes no sense
Pisces Common Challenges: Emotional and physical boundary issues; easy to be the victim and/or the martyr; strong temptation to rescue others in distress, often to the detriment of self. Justification/Key Phrases: “Poor baby, here, let me do that; I know exactly how you feel, and I can help; Poor me; Why does this always happen to me?; Why would (how could) God let this happen?; Where am I?” Suggestions for the Session: Clearly identify whether or not someone is requesting help; acknowledge that some people seek out painful experiences, and it’s their right to have them without “help” (interference); learn to teach others how to be self-sufficient, rather than taking on their pain and struggle (even if it’s just the emotions).
This section is designed to clarify the use of terminology in this book. Some familiar words are used in less than familiar context, and the meaning can be quite different depending on the understanding of the terms. Generally, each term is explained in the text as it is introduced. For the words that don’t show up here, consult a regular dictionary. Acceptance- Ceasing to deny the existence of something; acknowledging something as true and being at ease with it Accident- A self-destructive act disguised as an unexplained event, perpetrated by someone or something else. Never caused by something or someone “out there,” accidents are usually the result of refusing to acknowledge previously more subtle signals that part of one’s life is out of balance. Accidents are quick shifts in a person’s life to correct these imbalances, just the way an earthquake releases stresses in the earth’s crust that have been building for a while. Activation- Discomfort caused by a feeling before it has integrated. Being around your exwife or ex-husband could be very activating, for example. Addiction- Habits, started for the pleasure received, that are difficult to stop, even when it’s clear continuing is unhealthy or self-destructive. Everyone is addicted to something or even several things. In itself, this is not the issue. The important thing is to pick safe, nondestructive addictions. Adrenaline Rush- Feeling excitement is the result of extra adrenaline being dumped into the blood stream. This blast of energy can be created by both positive and negative situations. Falling in love is a positive instance. Getting angry is a negative one. Affirmations- A technique used to establish all our behavior patterns. Consciously using affirmations means changing the negative beliefs to more positive ones, so that we create what we want out of life. Whatever we say, or whatever we are thinking, about life is what we experience. If the thought (affirmation) is, “Oh, I could never do that,” then this is what we experience. The body literally acts out what we tell it, and achieving the affirmations– acting them out– reinforces them in our thinking. This is why the words we say have a major impact on the quality on life. From conception on we make decisions about life and adopt them as our beliefs. These beliefs are like affirmations, being constantly repeated unconsciously. Using affirmations is initially an intellectual approach to changing unconscious beliefs and takes a period of time to gradually affect the old beliefs. (See Victim Consciousness) Anesthesia- Any drug used to block awareness. Giving birth can be so painful for some women that use of drugs seems the only option. The trade-off is that for the child, all experience is exaggerated and leaves deep, lasting impressions. Anesthesia at birth generally creates several specific patterns in a person’s life. These are people who often have a hard time staying in their bodies during strong emotional experiences. Frequently they feel drugs are necessary to maintain their balance.
99 Drugs that create loss of awareness include illicit drugs, and also include substances like coffee, nicotine, large amounts of food, as well as a number of over-the-counter drugs. All these substances are suppressive in nature in large enough doses, and block uncomfortable feelings. Those born under anesthesia may also have: extreme emotional sensitivity such as clairvoyance, intuition, channeling; difficulty setting personal boundaries, passive behavior, addictive behavior in general; and greatly increased appreciation and talents for singing, writing, art, dance– the higher aesthetics. Anger- Frustrated passion. The energy of anger is our passion for living. When it is not safe to express it as excited and creative involvement in our lives, passion can only come out as anger. (see Passion) Astrology- The study of the planets in our solar system. Mathematical relationships between the planets and their position in the sky has been studied for over 5000 years, leading to observations about what certain angular relationships between the heavenly bodies mean, depending on the situation at hand. The astrological birth chart is a road map for our talents and challenges, and suggests the best ways to use these innate energies. Each person has his or her own experience of the universe, and the chart describes the most graceful and effortless way to regain enlightenment. Attachment- Wanting someone or something to be the way we want it to be, and refusing to accept things the way they are actuality. Attachment is a fear response that means we think the strength and security we need come from outside of ourselves. Controlling people are typically very attached to particular outcome(s). Avoidance- Denial; not wanting to acknowledge something. Denial can be passive, as in unconsciousness, or it can be active, as in expressing unwillingness to accept something. Refusal to accept is not always avoidance; this is where feedback from others can sometimes help. It may mean we are choosing not to get involved in something unhealthy for us. Awareness- Consciousness, perception, knowing; the part of self that “is.” Birth Chart- Planetary positions erected in an astrological chart for the moment of an individual’s birth. This is a valuable way to gain insight into conscious and unconscious beliefs and attitudes. It is also a road map for understanding the reason our lives happen the way they do, especially during the different phases of growth that happen over a lifetime. The idea is to ultimately not be held back by the limitations shown in the chart. Birth Trauma- The negative influencing factors of our birth experience. The struggle most have with birth is the trauma that convinces most people life itself is a struggle. Birth is usually traumatic, and this has a profound impact on the quality of our lives. Birth Types- Various kinds of birth experiences, important because of the conclusions we make about life at that moment. The particular birth experience is a life-long imprint , deeply buried in the psyche. This will often affect how we respond to change and relationships in negative ways, long after we know better. The name Rebirthing came about in part because the breathing process helps people release the negative after-affects of birth.
100 Boredom- What we experience when we don’t want to feel the emotion that most needs to surface in our bodies. Boredom is the feeling that nothing satisfies or interests us. This is the result of suppressing our passion for something that is at once both exciting and fearful. For example, if it’s time to change careers and we are too scared to deal with it, boredom can result. Chakras- The human body, in addition to the physical body, has an energy body, or aura, also known as the etheric body. This energy body is the organizing energy of the physical body. The source of all physical ailments and diseases is the etheric body. When the organizer of the physical body is out of the balance, then physical problems occur. The chakras are locations in the etheric body where different energy sources reside. There are seven main chakras, each representing a different aspect of the energy body. For instance, the heart chakra has to do with issues of loving and being loved. As the center chakra, love is the most important question to mastery of life. Similarly, the physical heart is the most important organ for staying alive. We can stay alive without most any other organ (to varying degrees) except the heart. Co-Dependence- Believing that what someone else thinks about you is important for any reason. Typically, co-dependence is seen as unreasonable dedication to relationships, a strong need for approval from others, unhealthy addictions to drugs, work, or any kind of destructive behavior. A great deal of co-dependent behavior is compulsive and unconscious. Commitment- A measure of dedication or obligation; means staying with a project or a relationship until resolution occurs. (see Discipline) Communication- The art of conveying one’s personal experience of life to another person. Approximately 75% of all communication is non-verbal and the other 25% is actually verbal. Non-verbal communication is often more important because people respond more to how something is said than what is said. The ways we communicate non-verbally are by our body posture, gestures and movements, and most importantly, by the feelings we carry in our bodies. Most are unaware how powerful an influence on relationships this level of interaction really is. Because we are all connected emotionally, we subconsciously know the truth about everything. When others deny what they are feeling in conversation, there’s always some degree of discomfort or awkwardness. Since we are all very intuitive (whether or not we know it), we recognize the other person’s inner friction caused by denial of the truth. Compulsive Behavior- Behavior that does not match conscious self-image. For instance, there are times when we know the appropriate behavior, yet we see ourselves acting out something very different. Compulsions are the result of suppressed feelings. When we suppress anger, we get angry at things that ordinarily would not be upsetting. This is an example of our thoughts about ourselves not matching our feelings. It also illustrates the power of emotions in our lives and the desirability of mastering them.
101 Conscious Connected Breathing- Another term for Rebirthing that describes the breathing rhythm. The emphasis is on pulling the inhale, dropping the exhale, and keeping the inhale and exhale connected in a circular breathing rhythm. Consciousness- Awareness; knowing; perception. One of the most important goals of personal growth is to simply be aware of all the things happening around us and choosing the ones we want to include in our own lives. Death Urge- Conscious and unconscious attitudes and behavior that reflect the belief death is inevitable Deathist Philosophy- Deathist philosophy is the belief that death is an inevitable fact of life; that our bodies finally wear out with age; or that we have to die and there is no choice about any of this process. Denial- Refusal to acknowledge the truth, even when presented with clear evidence to the contrary. Denial is a form of suppression, which invariably leads to compulsive behavior. Depression- Similar to boredom, depression is suppressed passion. Unlike boredom, however, depression seems to be deeper-seated feelings of not deserving or being lovable. Depression comes from being locked in place by fear of change. There is always a desire for something to happen that we are resisting or suppressing. When we let ourselves have that experience of going through the fear, depression clears away. Discipline- Discipline is remembering what we want. With clear purpose or goals in mind, it is easier to do what it takes to achieve the desired result. This takes the guilt and should out of our actions, and replaces them with excitement and enjoyment. Drama- Crisis situations with high emotional content; lots of acting out, based on the belief that everything must have urgency, emotions, and fears attached to be of any value. Sometimes drama is created just for the adrenalin rush. Drugs- Substances used to alter chemical balances in the body. Some are used for physical effects, and some affect consciousness. Drugs are also used to suppress certain feelings. Nicotine suppresses anger, marijuana suppresses sadness, caffeine suppresses other kinds of suppression. For those who were born under anesthesia, drugs are sometimes used to duplicate our initial experience of being alive in the world. Medical drug use can aid in physical healings or block the brain’s awareness of pain, which often helps people get through their ailment. Ego- An often-maligned part of ourselves that has some important functions in our lives. On a practical level, ego is what helps us define clear personal boundaries between self and others. One of the hallmarks of co-dependent behavior is lack of self-definition. Ego relates to logic and intellect and helps us decide what choices are most appropriate for us. It also filters out ninety per cent of the input and stimulus we receive from the world so that we are not overwhelmed by it. Ego can be used for selfish ends; however, it is not negative of itself. The important question is the motive for its use.
102 Emotion- A feeling in action; an expression of how we feel about something. For instance, anger can be an emotional expression of feeling frustration. Energy- Called ether by the ancients, this is the fundamental substance of the Universe; energy can be power, love, psychic vibrations, emotional attitudes, or feelings. It is a capacity for vigorous activity, whether within oneself, between people, or in the environment (natural world). This is reality between people, not the words we attach to our experiences. Enlightenment- The knowledge that we each create our own realities, and the experience of that principle. This does not mean we always live in an enlightened way, but it does mean there is no question about the principle. Once we master this approach to life, we are not tied to the cycles of physical death and rebirth. We can be released from the wheel of karma. Existence- Reality; God, the universe, and everything in it. Expectations- Attachment to outcome. Expectation is a distorted version of a goal. Things usually never turn out the way we expect, and yet we often get what we want. Learning to take life as it comes is a less stressful way to be. The higher our self-esteem, the easier it is to release expectations. Experience- (verb) The events that happen around us; the physical living out of something, as opposed to just thinking about it. Experiencing a kiss involves feeling the emotions and the physical contact, as well as seeing lips touching each other. Experience- (noun) An event that has happened in our lives. An experience of a roller coaster has physical sensations long remembered after the actual event. Fear- A feeling that results from believing we won’t or can’t get what we think we need for survival. The truth of the universe is that there is an abundant supply of anything we could wish, and the only reason we don’t experience life that way is because we don’t believe in this limitlessness. (see Melodrama) Feeling- State of being inside; an attitude about something. There is a feeling inside about everything with which we come into contact: we always have feelings whether we are conscious of them or not. Female (Feminine) Energy- This is the passive, receptive, feeling side in each of us. Feminine energy is open to all possibilities. Intuition, sensitivity, psychic awareness, passion, intensity, and emotions reside here. Corresponding to the earth and water astrological signs, and the Moon, Venus, Saturn, Neptune, and Pluto, this is also the so-called dark side, the largely unconscious part of us. Most importantly, this unconscious side is where we carry our deepest attitudes and beliefs about life. Compulsive behavior comes from here, particularly when our conscious beliefs don’t match what we carry on the emotional level. Five Biggies- Leonard Orr’s list of the most significant events in people’s lives: Conception and Birth Trauma, Parental Disapproval Syndrome, Unconscious Death Urge, Other Specific Negatives, and Past Lives. In some ways, all of these are variations of past life patterns. Parental Disapproval Syndrome, Unconscious Death Urge, and Other Specific Negatives all
103 reflect the beliefs and decisions we carry from the birth experience. Past Lives describe patterns we carry into this life that usually get reinforced by our experiences. (see individual listings) Forgiveness- The internal shift that frees us from past self-judgements and compulsive behaviors. Feeling all the disappointment and sadness of our past mistakes is what leads us to the point of forgiveness. Forgiveness means we stop being angry or judgmental about past actions. (There may still be details to handle, such as filing the paperwork for a divorce). Once this forgiveness happens, then we can truly change the parts inside that are no longer appropriate for who we are now. Until forgiveness happens, it is not possible to change because all our creative energy is locked in inner power struggle. (see Integration) Frustration- What we experience when we consciously or unconsciously interfere with our heart’s desire. We always have dreams, what we would most like to do as part of our purpose for being on earth. When we suppress those dreams, frustration is the result, and anger is usually the experience. Goal- A specific desired result. Goals are important to keep us from being bored. They also help us organize our time so that we can accomplish certain things. It isn’t as important to reach these goals as it is to have them, because once we accomplish a goal, we get to set another, or we stop growing. Part of the limitlessness of the universe is that life can always get better.(see Purpose) While the goal matters, it’s the journey, or how we get there, that is really the point. God- Infinite intelligence; infinite being; infinite manifestation; unlimited consciousness– within each living entity. As the creator of the universe and everything in it, God always says “Yes.” If we believe life has to be a struggle, God loves us enough to allow us to struggle in all the ways we choose. If we believe life is Heaven on Earth, God allows us to experience it that particular way. Seeing God as a totally loving energy frees us to make our own choices, because S/He always supports us. Grace- Grace can defined as being chosen to receive God’s love. The belief is that we are here to get God’s grace, and that will save us from Hell. This bestowal of grace can seem a bit arbitrary and there may be no clear way to insure it happens. Unfortunately, this line of thinking reinforces guilt and unworthiness. Grace is not arbitrary. It is always within and around us, once we release our guilt– the guilt we have from thinking we could actually be separate from God and fearing He would punish us. Grace is God’s forgiving mercy, which is always available to us. Guidance- Assistance we receive from the universe. Guidance can be messages we receive through other people, through our own channeling, or from inside of self. Some messages start out as subtle signals about the most appropriate life-choices at any given moment, increasing in volume until we create accidents or illness to let us know we are not in alignment with our life purpose. Other times we ask for and receive specific replies to questions. Guidance is always available, and the signals are everywhere, if we are open to receiving it.
104 Guilt- Guilt is thinking we aren’t good enough, we haven’t done enough, and/or we’ll never be able to do enough. Feeling that we don’t deserve is also guilt. Thoughts that reinforce a belief we are bad and deserve punishment are the main sources of guilt feelings. The presence of guilt always demands punishment. Healing- Returning to a state of receiving the full measure of God’s love. This can happen as a result of a hospital visit to cure a physical problem, a Rebirthing session, or anything that helps us open to the innate wisdom in the body. Without interference from suppression or resistance, the body returns to a state of perfect health. This healing also occurs in the mental and emotional “bodies”. We are all already whole and healed in God’s eyes– we just forget that truth, thus creating disease. Higher Self- The part of self that knows our true life purpose; or our heart’s desire. We all came to earth for a specific individual reason, and losing touch with that purpose leads to an experience of life that feels empty, meaningless, and boring. Understanding that our higher self is directly related to the God energy within each of us keeps us on purpose in our lives. Hyperventilation- Defined as very rapid deep breathing resulting in a decrease of carbon dioxide in the blood. Hyperventilation is caused by forcing the exhale when breathing. It is impossible to create this condition if the guidelines for Rebirthing are followed, i.e., the emphasis is on the inhale, with complete relaxation on the exhale. Immortalist Philosophy- The belief that we can live as long as we want. It isn’t necessarily about living forever. It just means we can stay to accomplish our life’s purpose, and leave when we choose. The advantage of this philosophy is that it takes all the urgency out of living. If we believe that we chose to be born, then we also choose when we die. Many people would rather die than know the truth of their feelings. When we are willing to explore inside ourselves, life starts being so much fun, and why would we want to stop living? We now have the emotional technology to resolve all the inner emotional conflicts in us. There is no shortage of tools to assist us in achieving enlightenment and maintaining it as long as we want. The challenge to this is sustaining the willingness to clear old beliefs and allowing this much love into our lives. At this point, we can actually “youth” our bodies instead of aging. Innate Intelligence- The body has a natural tendency toward health and growth. It is possible for us to interfere with these natural processes. Resistance and suppression of feelings in particular are a major intrusion on the physical level, and sometimes people suppress so much the body dies. Inner Child- Literally the part inside that feels like a child in certain situations. If our inner child does not feel safe giving and receiving love, there is no amount of intellectual work that will create successful relationships. Rebirthing and similar tools address the unfinished business from our past and create the sense of inner safety and strength that allow relationships to work. There are several stages of growth through which we move, with varying degrees of success or completion. These can be defined as the child, the adolescent, the young adult, and the mature adult. The inner child seems to represent the part dealing most with issues of safety,
105 security, and comfort– in other words, survival. When we are caught in fears about our very survival, there is usually no room for healthy relationships, since our potentially creative energy is being used solely for survival purposes. The change occurs when we love the part inside that feels demanding and selfish and not try to make it go away. Integration- The experience at the end of a successful Rebirthing session. Integration is ceasing to separate existence with judgements of right and wrong. Integration means acknowledging the existence and value of everything simply because it does exist. (This acknowledgment does not mean, for instance, that we would want to spend time with those we feel have hurt us in the past. It just means we have accepted their existence and behavior without feeling anger when we think of these people.) Integration of fear means accepting its existence without trying to make it go away. The value of integration is that it allows, in this example, the release of passion that can be used in positive, creative ways. (see Surrender, Acceptance) It is being in complete balance– inwardly or outwardly. It is understanding and feeling that everything is really okay. Integrity- Living life in accordance to one’s own inner moral code. Living in integrity contributes much to one’s positive self-esteem. It is difficult to feel good about self when not living according to our own truths. It also includes being honest about our feelings to self and others. Intention- Our conscious and unconscious choices about life; intentions initiate change, which creates results. Clear living means changing our intentions when we don’t get what we want, rather than arguing with the results. Intuition- Non-physical sense awareness; knowing without being told. Intuition is the same as psychic awareness, and everybody has it. People are conscious of this sense to varying degrees. What we generally sense with intuition are emotions and feelings. Rebirthing, and other similar techniques, enhance and expand intuition. Judgment- An assessment of a person or situation’s value to us. More often the connotation is that judgment implies a negative opinion. Indeed, the negative judgments we hold are an indication of less than unconditional love for self and others. One goal of personal growth is finding we have progressively fewer negative judgments about life. Karma- Unfinished business and its consequences in our lives. Karma is not something that happens to us. It is a result of our belief systems. If we believe we have unfinished business from some past situation, then that is our karma. As soon as we believe in our hearts this has been handled, the karma has cleared. The purpose of karma is to make sure we learn the lesson of each situation. Once we do that, our karma is finished in that instance. Learning the lesson can be a completely internal process. It does not necessarily involve an outer doing. Another level of karma is dealing with actions from past situations. Every action has an effect and creates results. Sometimes we have echoes of past actions in our lives that require
106 attention. Our karma is that we have the opportunity to be responsible and deal with the results of those actions. For example, getting a student loan to attend college means that one has to make repayment eventually. The lesson of responsibility in this instance can be learned in the act of repayment. Another view is that our birth chart shows our past-life karma– the lessons we did and didn’t learn. We are dealing with the results of those actions in this life, also. Life Urge- The impetus to growth, expansion and healthy living. As long as we are still alive, our life urge is stronger than our death urge. (see Unconscious Death Urge) Love (noun)- Love, or feeling a lack of it, is the prime motivating energy in the universe. All our thoughts, words, and deeds revolve around getting and sustaining enough love for ourselves. When we don’t think we have enough, then we begin to do desperate and demanding things. When we feel we do have enough, then there is a peace we experience that cannot be created any other way. There is no substitute for having enough love, and many of our unhealthy actions are a result of resisting the process to come back to a state of unconditional self-love. Love (verb)- The experience of unconditionally accepting self, someone, or something exactly the way it is and feeling a strong emotional connection with that person or thing. It isn’t love to feel that connection and expect certain things to happen so that we can hold on to that feeling. It isn’t love to get attached and try to control others so that we can keep feeling safe. This usually creates resentment all around. Male (Masculine) Energy- This is the active, assertive, logical, doing part of each of us. It is the part inside that structures, organizes, and makes choices from a range of possibilities. This energy corresponds with the fire and air astrological signs (Aries, Gemini, Leo, Libra, Sagittarius, and Aquarius) and the Sun, Mars, Jupiter, and Uranus. Manipulation- Using someone to get something. This term generally has a negative implication, but this is not always the case. We manipulate others to get attention or love. Manipulation is often used when we are afraid to ask for what we want out loud, so we take what we want anyway, without letting others know what our actions really mean. Manipulation is used in many positive ways, too. Rebirthing a client involves helping them discover themselves. Sometimes this process is enhanced by being more directive with the client– gently guiding them to what, for others, may be quite obvious. Most growth techniques that work are the ones that allow us to forget who we are for moments of time. In those seconds, we are able to gain a larger perspective of life, and let in more love, which usually leads to a more forgiving attitude. Melodrama- Intense emotional experiences that are not necessarily part of our conscious desires or goals. Melodrama is usually created when we need to express our passion, but we are afraid to direct it into our higher purpose. Rushing from crisis to crisis can be gratifying rescue work, and sometimes this constant motion may prevent us from doing our own internal housekeeping.
107 Melodrama often results from choosing situations, personal and professional, that do not challenge us. If our personal goals do not excite and scare us, then there is excess energy that has to be expressed somewhere. That’s when the melodrama occurs. Melodrama is an intense experience, and so is a healthy, challenging life. If it’s not fun, then it’s probably melodrama and we need to reassess where we focus our attention. Money- A medium of exchange and a way we reward and pleasure ourselves. Money is used to purchase services and goods. Money is how we can allow strangers to love us, by their contribution to our continued success and well-being. It can also be a way to acknowledge others Morals- Personal definition of appropriate and inappropriate actions and attitudes; guiding influence(s) for behavior, attitude, and faith. Motive- Our reason or reasons for acting the ways we do. From a feeling of lack and need, often our motives are selfish and demanding. From a feeling of security and abundance, usually our motives are clear and loving. Since results reflect the truth of our beliefs about life, not succeeding reflects a motivation of not deserving. Need(s)/Neediness- Needs are things we think we require for our survival. This might be someone else’s love, more money, food, or other necessities. Using the word need in conversation implies we may not survive without what we say we need. The truth is we have all we need inside us, even to the point of being able to live only on air, and dematerialize and materialize our bodies at will. We might think we need something is because we have forgotten the strengths we have always possessed, or we keep affirming it by using the word “need” (such as “I need your life to be happy.”). (see Preferences) Other Specific Negatives- In the sense of the “Five Biggies”, these are experiences that leave deep emotional imprints on us. For instance, fear of speaking in public may have come partly from negative criticism from a third grade teacher as we gave an oral exam. It could also come from being told to “be seen, not heard” by our parents. Whether or not the comments were true is less important than the effect of believing they were the truth. Out Of Body- An experience of awareness being focused outside of one’s body. One result of this is not being aware of feelings, especially if we don’t know we are unconscious. Most often learned as a defense mechanism to avoid uncomfortable emotional situations, it is also done consciously for exploration of other realities. Many people spend a significant amount of time out of body and are not aware of it. This lack of awareness is usually seen by others as someone not really here– “lights on, but no one’s home.” Parental Disapproval Syndrome (PDS)- The attitude of self-distrust we learn from our parents. Since what we feel about ourselves is the standard by which we judge others, if we do not like ourselves, then we will (1) not like others around us, and (2) they will not like us. The word “love” can replace the word “like” in the previous sentence. Examples are endless, such as “Do as I say, not as I do,” or being punished for telling the truth about family secrets. Physical hitting, verbal abuse, and constant criticism are other examples. The child left at school the first day could feel this is a traumatic event, while Mom sees it as a positive first step to the child’s growth and well-being. If it’s never resolved
108 between them, as the child becomes an adult, this memory is tucked away and can cause feelings of abandonment or distrust in later relationships. Passion- Excitement for living; the creative urge; the energy that keeps the animal kingdom and human race on the planet. Passion is the drive for union and is a holy energy. Part of the challenge is allowing self to be swept away by the intensity– out of control– and, conversely, wanting to “control one’s animal urges.” Past Lives- The experiences we had in former lifetimes. Exploration of these prior times can be valuable in certain instances. It appears as unfinished business from those lives and is a part of life now. We are the sum of our past experiences in this and other lives. We are now working on the lessons our souls have not completed as of this lifetime. Patterns- Patterns are the habits in our lives; for each individual, they are “how life is.” They are what we learned first or best, and they are how we usually act and respond. Most patterns of behavior are unconscious, having been reinforced mostly in pre-verbal times. Dealing with primary issues from this lifetime usually will clear up anything unresolved from past lives. Personal Growth- Knowing that the universe offers unlimited possibilities, and personally experiencing this abundance more of the time. Usually, the steps in growth are awareness, acceptance, and forgiveness. Tools like Rebirthing increase the awareness. Taking responsibility for our actions and results is the acceptance. Going through the anger and then the sadness (which Rebirthing also makes easier) then allows us to forgive. Once the forgiveness happens, we are no longer locked in internal warfare, all our energies are in alignment, and conscious choice for change can occur. When people make life choices in love and clarity, they are more successful in all of them. Physical Immortality- The ability to literally live forever, in ever-increasing youth, health, and vitality. This is one of the goals of Rebirthing and of mastering life. It is possible to live for as long as we want (which may not be forever). The idea is to make a conscious choice to keep living or not, rather than having unconscious beliefs about mortality that finally convince us to die. The Bible says “God hath put eternity into the heart of man.” Power- Influence; the ability to create; the force behind action (but not the action itself); the energy of the Universe and God. Another word for power is love. Expression of power always creates change. Power does not only mean dominion over others, nor does its expression only imply harm to others. Power itself is neutral. Much of its effect is determined by the motive for its use.(see Energy) Preferences- Conditions of life we most like for ourselves. As opposed to needs, preferences are what we want to attain or have around us. This word also implies being willing to use what the universe provides. People who are insecure tend to deny the value of something completely if it isn’t exactly what they want, rather than taking advantage of what is offered. (see Need) Prime Negative Operating Law- Our deepest negative beliefs about ourselves and life. Most people have one or more laws saying “I’m not good enough,” or “I don’t deserve it,” or “I’m not lovable.” Successful conscious growth work changes the degree to which we still believe
109 this old thought. The old law may never completely stop being a part of our lives, but it can have progressively less negative effect on us over time. Process (verb)- Processing means acknowledging the truth of generally uncomfortable feelings and emotions, versus suppressing them. Processing feelings about a romantic partner, for instance, might mean admitting we also have fears about the relationship. Typically, the fear is people will leave if we get upset, or if we aren’t perfect. There is no other way to change unhealthy behavior except to process feelings. It requires we access the emotional side of self and heal old wounds. Once we do that, we are no longer held back by limited thinking, which denies the experience of earth as Heaven. Talking with someone and listening actively to another’s story is a part of processing someone. Process (noun)- A technique or tool that speeds the emotional healing necessary for successful, fulfilling living. Projection- Getting others to act out the parts of self with which we are uncomfortable. A classic example of projection is how a man often lets his romantic partner act out the emotions for both of them. Particularly when the man is shut down emotionally, he is more likely to draw very emotional women. (see Reflection) Purpose- A consciously chosen specific direction for one’s life. This can be teaching, singing, racing cars, etc. The value of having a life purpose is that we are more focused, more able to contribute in positive ways to society, and we are not bored, a condition generally leading to a destructive life. Reality- What it is that actually happens between people (based on their individual belief systems). This is the experiential, feeling, emotional level of existence. How we respond to life is more determined by how we feel about things than by what we think about things. Our reactions and responses to others are determined by what we feel more than by what we hear. What we feel is mostly unconscious. This is why words said to us sometimes make sense but don’t feel good. Learning to listen on the feeling level is an essential skill to living consciously and making clear life choices. If we grew up in families where no one told the truth about their feelings, life looks very confusing until we begin to explore our emotional level consciously. Rebirthing- Conscious Connected Breathing. Physically, Rebirthing is a simple breathing technique with the emphasis on the inhale and a relaxed exhale. The inhale and exhale are connected in a circular breathing rhythm. Emotionally, Rebirthing begins to dissolve suppression in the body, which is the source of compulsive behavior. The more comfortable we are knowing the truth of our feelings, the more successful we are at life. Reflection- Because we only recognize and attract people who are like us, we are always seeing ourselves reflected back by these people. We typically don’t recognize anything else, so we are not drawn to it. Because it is outside our personal field of experience, it tends to not
110 come to our awareness. The challenge is seeing unpleasant qualities about others and recognizing them in self, too. Whether or not it is conscious, we are always getting to look at ourselves being reflected back to us all the time. This is a great way to get a sense of how well we are doing in the game of life. If you notice your friends are in pretty good shape, and successful at life, then chances are good you are too. Similarly, if your friends don’t look so good (or you don’t have any), then it is time to get some assistance. (see Projection) Reincarnation- The belief that we have many physical lifetimes on earth as one soul. Since each successive life is a sum of past experiences, lessons learned, and issues unresolved, it is wise to think long term concerning our actions. We never get away from ourselves. Even if no one else catches us taking short cuts, we always know it in our hearts and carry it with us. We also carry the disappointment and anger at our lack of clarity and trust in self and life. Living clean means being willing to assume we never get away with anything and that we stop trying to get different results from the same behavior. Responsibility- Commitment to an outcome in a certain situation; accepting accountability for our beliefs and actions. Responsibility means conscious involvement in the result. Taking responsibility for one’s life means knowing we only experience what we believe, and we are the cause of our lives. If we see parts we don’t like, it is our responsibility to change the belief that caused it, and not blame others for victimizing us. Sabotage- Willful behavior that is damaging to self or others, generally the result of destructive belief systems. Feelings of not deserving can come from almost anywhere– beliefs internalized from being in the womb and feeling unwanted, from a difficult birth experience, from less than totally loving parents, or from hard experiences later in life. Sabotage is always self-sabotage: we are never victims of situations unless we agree to have that particular experience with others. Usually this agreement to fail is unconscious because we think we want to succeed. Sadness- Sadness is an unhappy, regretful, and painful feeling experienced in one’s own body. Sadness is disappointment in ourselves that we did not experience the outcome we wanted in a situation. Often sadness is covered by anger. Or, sometimes a person’s first fear response to an upsetting situation is anger, because anger can be directed out at others and isn’t necessarily felt as sadness in the body. Self-esteem- Self-love and self-like. Esteem is partly a result of living in accord with our inner moral code. Loss of esteem comes from believing that we are anything less than a divine creation of God. We build self-love when we forgive ourselves for thinking we ever did anything wrong in the eyes of God. Self-esteem is valuable because people with high esteem usually succeed at life, while others tend to struggle more. Settling- Accepting less than what we really wanted; not being willing to risk for fear of failure. Shame- Criticism or being reprimanded by another. Whereas guilt is self-inflicted, shame comes from others.
111 Spirit- Derived from the Latin spiritus meaning breath. Spirit is as physically elusive as air, yet it is the essence of life. Breath is the connection between the physical and the spiritual. Spiritual Growth- Related to personal growth, but it is more concerned with the relationship between self and God, and how to incorporate that in a practical way into daily life. Struggle- The effort we exert suppressing our divinity and self-love. One source of struggle is the belief that we could lose God’s love. Another source of difficulty is birth, which is the first traumatic experience for most people. Submission- Giving up or giving in. Implies being under the influence of someone or something else’s will. Suffering- Implies being subjected to struggling with life and thinking that’s what we deserve. Some people suffer now at jobs they hate, to build up a bank account so they don’t have to suffer as much later. Others believe it leads to enlightenment. However, suffering only leads to suffering. Pain may be inevitable; however, suffering is definitely optional. Suppression- The denial of feelings until they are no longer conscious. Because we experience both fear and joy as an adrenaline rush in the body, when we suppress any fear feelings, we also suppress the ability to feel joy and love to the same degree. When we resist the truth of our feelings, generally our physical and mental health is adversely affected. Surrender- Acknowledging the truth of what is. Surrender is not giving up or submitting to something. Surrender in a love relationship, for instance, means admitting the truth of the feelings that may be present, and ceasing to resist them, so that intimacy may happen. Each person’s job is to allow the other’s love to be received and stop resisting or controlling the situation. Surrender implies a letting go of a fight, which allows a space for conflict resolution and forgiveness. Survival Mode- Living in fear that there may not be enough money or love for our needs. If survival is not handled, it will supercede any other thought or action. Time- The measurement of how long something has lasted or is lasting. There are two kinds of time, corresponding to two different kinds of awareness. Momentary time is a subjective experience of time passage. There is no sense of past or future– there is only awareness of the present moment. This corresponds to the emotional, experiential level inside us. People “lose track” of time in momentary time. Linear time is an objective experience. There is an awareness of past, present, and future. However, this is not experiential. It is thinking about the experience. The value of linear time is that we don’t get lost in experience and we do make our appointments on time, etc. Both are valuable for their own reasons. The ideal is a balance of the two. Tithing- Supporting those people and institutions that help us heal and/or grow with a percentage of income or actual service.
112 Trust- Safety; believing what someone says about themselves or life; feeling safe in present company or circumstances. Most importantly, it is the belief in the integrity of self and God within. Truth- There are two kinds of truth: the way the universal law works, and the way we believe it works. Suppression of feelings results in confusion about the truth, partly because we lose consciousness about it, and partly because we begin to rely on our intellect to make choices about feelings. In other words, as we suppress, our awareness is focused on our intellect and we lose consciousness of feelings. Confusion is a result of losing touch with the truth of our feelings. The more we increase awareness of our feelings, without judging or changing them, the easier and better life works. Unconditional Love- The goal of personal growth. Some think this term means giving up what we want just to make someone else happy. That is submission. Unconditional love is a respect for self and others, exactly the way we are right now. There are no other conditions needing to be met before we acknowledge this love. Another part of unconditional love is choosing to let go of those with whom we disagree, rather than trying to change them to our ways. Self-love means choosing not to be a part of situations or relationships that do not meet our desires or goals. This awareness might become conscious in the middle of an unhealthy relationship, and the corrective action required might to be to let go of the other person. This does not mean we try to change the other or stop loving them, nor do we give up our own preferences. We simply choose to be in a different place. This course of action is most respectful of all involved. Unconsciousness- Lack of awareness, lack of perception, not believing or knowing something exists when in fact it does. Unconsciousness is often used to hide the truth of our actions or the motivations for those actions from ourselves and others. Unconscious Death Urge- A belief that death is inevitable that has been suppressed into unconsciousness; compulsive sabotage patterns. Anything in our lives that creates the experience of failure, struggle, disappointment, separation, anger, or sadness is the result of this urge. Ultimately this is the part of us that would rather die than know the truth of our feelings. It sounds strange that this fear would create such extreme behavior, but it does. Urgency- The feeling there is not enough time. Usually this is stimulated by the feeling we are not adequate to or don’t have the resources to accomplish the task(s) at hand in our lives. Victim- Feeling our lives are run by forces stronger than we are; feeling at effect of someone or something else. Victim Consciousness- Holding on to the habitual belief that something other than self is in charge of our life. It generates lower self-esteem and enhances feelings of helplessness and/or hopelessness, with accompanying bitterness or depression. Willingness- Choosing to grow, not because others want us to, but because we want to.
113 Witness- The part of our inner awareness that always knows the truth of our feelings and motivations. This awareness may be a very faint voice inside; practice in listening increases the ability to hear it. Loss of self love, guilt, and anger with ourselves are all a result of refusing to listen to this inner guidance. It is generally a more detached and neutral part of our mind.
Some of these books are out of print, or publisher-out-of-stock, but they are included because they were seminal works for us, and influenced us more than any other material we read. They can often be found in used bookstores. Immortalist Living Physical Immortality– The Science of Everlasting Life by Leonard Orr (Celestial Arts). Sources of the immortalist philosophy and ideas on integrating it into daily life. I Am Harmony by Rahde Shyam (Stone Creek Press). Biography of Babaji, the Yogi Christ of India. Details many life experiences of Babaji, a lineage of yogis that includes Paramahansa Yogananda. Challenging, stimulating reading. How To Be Chic, Fabulous, and Live Forever by Sondra Ray (Celestial Arts). Exactly as it says. Sondra’s latest discoveries in staying healthy, happy, and immortal. Towards Everlasting Life: A Metaphysical Program for Reyouthing, Staying Young, and Living Long by Thomas Boles. Experiences in living out our full potential.
Rebirthing Vivation– The Science of Enjoying All Your Life by Jim Leonard and Phil Laut (Vivation Press). The encyclopedia of Rebirthing. First book to define the Rebirthing model and its effects. Excellent reference. Celebration of Breath by Sondra Ray (Celestial Arts). Explanation of the breathing process by one of the world’s foremost Rebirthers, with contributions by several other authorities. (All of Sondra’s books are worth reading.) Rebirthing in the New Age by Leonard Orr and Sondra Ray (Celestial Arts). Origins of Rebirthing and the early days of refining the process. Fascinating reading about the early explorers of this new technology.
Loving Relationships by Sondra Ray (Celestial Arts). Classic book on healing unhealthy behavior in relationships. Highly recommended. Birth and Relationships by Sondra Ray and Bob Mandel (Celestial Arts). Excellent book on the correlation between birth and the type of relationships we usually create. The Couple’s Journey by Susan Campbell (Impact Publishers, San Luis Obispo, CA) Another approach to identifying and healing relationship patterns. Classic work, full of ideas and techniques. Beyond The Power Struggle by Susan Campbell (Impact Publishers). Expanded work on the most common difficulties in relationships. Excellent book for processing blocks. Sexual Evolution by Rhonda Levand (Celestial Arts). Specific techniques to process effects of birth and guilt, restoring innocence to sexuality and relating to others.
114 I Deserve Love by Sondra Ray (Celestial Arts). Specific healing techniques for improving relationships. In The Meantime by Iyanla Vanzant (Simon & Schuster). Spirited, clear, and honest guide to conscious and healthy relationships.
One Day My Soul Just Opened Up by Iyanla Vanzant (Simon & Schuster). 40 days and 40 nights toward spiritual strength and personal growth. Excellent conscious workbook to build hope, faith, trust, and strength. A Course In Miracles (Foundation for Inner Peace). Called a required course, whenever it is taken. Powerful explanation of the principles of the universe, and our places in it. Drinking The Divine by Sondra Ray (Celestial Arts). How to study A Course In Miracles. Welcome assistance in getting the most from a book called the most important in two thousand years. The Only Diet There Is by Sondra Ray (Celestial Arts). Forgiveness as a basic healing tool. Money Is My Friend by Phil Laut (Vivation Publishing). Complete guide to practical money handling and manifestation. Also contains excellent definition of specific negative emotions and how to heal fear. Footprints on the Path by Eileen Caddy (Findhorn Press). The Mystic Path To Power by Vernon Howard (Parker Publishing). How To Succeed by Brian Adams (Melvin Powers Wilshire Book Co). Creative Visualization by Shakti Gawain (Whatever Press). Thorough explanation of visualization techniques, and a good beginning book. You Can Heal Your Life and Heal Your Body by Louise Hay (Hay House). Connects illness with specific unresolved emotional tension(s). Unique and powerful. Don’t leave home without it.
Astrology- Non-Technical There are few good Astrology books written for people not wanting to learn chart interpretation. The ones that are non-technical often trivialize the information. Astrology is a rich language that can easily be a life study. Learning chart delineation for yourself takes about 18 to 24 months of committed study. If you don’t want to learn a new language, find a good Astrologer for interpretation of your own chart. Star Signs for Lovers by Liz Greene (Day Books). One of the best non-technical astrology books ever. It went out of print a few years back, but was very popular, and copies can be found in used book stores. Worth looking for. Linda Goodman’s Love Signs , Linda Goodman’s Sun Signs , Linda Goodman’s Star Signs . Not laymen’s books, but plenty of information for the non-technical reader.
Astrologer’s Handbook by Francis Sakoian and Louis Aker (Harper & Rowe). Excellent beginning and intermediate book for learning Astrology.
Combination of Stellar Influences by Reinhold Ebertin (American Federation of Astrologers). Classic work in interpreting natal, transit, and relationship charts. Planets in Transit by Robert Hand (Whitford Press). Excellent book for interpreting transits. Planets in Composite by Robert Hand (Para Research). One of the standards in composite relationship chart interpretation. Astrological Insights into Personality by Betty Lundsted (Astro Computing Services). Relates astrological symbolism to family patterns in early life. Powerful work on understanding how chart symbolism reflects daily behavior. Unique in its depth of interpretation. Pluto, Evolutionary Journey of the Soul, Vol. 1 by Jeff Green (Llewellyn Publications 1989 St. Paul, MN). The title says it all: clear, detailed explanation of Pluto’s role in personal transformation and evolution.
More Information about Babaji Write to Haidakhandi Samaj P.O. Haidakhan Vishwa Mahadham Via, Kathgodam, Dist. Nainital Pin 263126 (U.P.) India or Haidakhandi Universal Ashram P.O. Box 9 Creastone, Colorado 81131 Phone: (719) 256-4108
About The Authors
Ken Kizer is a professional Rebirther and Astrologer. He was born October 27, 1949 at 12:24 p.m. in Lawton, Oklahoma. His sun sign is Scorpio, his moon sign and rising sign are Capricorn.
He has done group and client work with Astrology since 1982 and with Rebirthing since 1986, primarily on the East Coast of the United States. He has written numerous articles and essays on personal growth, leads professional Rebirther Trainings, has owned and run a personal growth center/bookstore with his wife Renée, and writes and travels with his wife, Renée, leading workshops in the US and Europe. Early influences were RamDass and Alan Watts, as well as Gilbert Shelton, R. Crumb, The Beatles and the Rolling Stones. Some experience with yoga and Eastern thought in college, delayed by a ten year marriage and career in the automobile parts business, ultimately led to hearing the word “Astrology” in his head while at work one day. Some initial reading led to a full-time commitment to growth work, personally and professionally. Astrology was a lifesaver at a time when little else was making sense. Rebirthing is the process that integrates it all. In between first exposure and professional work, he spent time learning various healing tools, such as polarity, kinesiology, Tarot, massage, and chanting and mantras, in addition to the primary interests in rebirthing and astrology. Exposure to an East Indian guru in 1983 (Satguru Sant Keshavadas, whose Indian ashram is in Karanataka, 20 miles from Bangalore)
117 opened up the experience of unlimited possibilities, confirmed and integrated by his rebirthing work. His specialty is in assisting people in resolving unhealthy beliefs and behavior patterns. The conscious insight provided by Astrology– combined with the emotional healing power of Rebirthing– is an especially potent combination, and accelerates a person’s growth markedly. He and his wife Renée are both astrologers and rebirthers who often share leadership of their work with each other. His intention is to share the gift of these tools with others who also seek joy in their lives and meaning to their existence. Renée Kizer created the WomanPower Series . She leads workshops and seminars on relationships and rebirthing with her husband Ken, and works with individual clients. She is known for her power, love, humor, and compassion for others in identifying and resolving the challenges in all our lives. She has combined studies toward an MS in Sociology with accredited Clinical Pastoral Education training, hospice volunteering, and work with abused women’s groups. She has studied with Sondra Ray, Bob & Mallie Mandel, Jim Leonard, Leonard Orr, Ellsworth Chytka, Twyla Nitsch, and others. Currently she is writing a book on women’s relationships with men.
118 Renée has always been involved in community service fields. While raising two children, she was an active volunteer director for church Sunday schools, Meals-on-Wheels, and a trained facilitator for the Junior League of Richmond, Virginia.
Ken & Renée have made numerous media appearances in support of Rebirthing and personal growth. They continue writing and teaching. They have been happily married and working together since 1989.
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