Living under Pressure - The Technology of Re-birthing
- Having been under unrelenting financial pressure for some time, I
have been greatly encouraged this week by a powerful, and quite
unexpected, experience of "Rebirthing". Before I tell you more about
that, here is some background info to set the scene.
Our Strategies when under Pressure or "Needy Desperation"
In retrospect I suppose I might have guessed that "Rebirthing" rather
than "struggle" and "desperation" would be the way forward out of an
ever-deepening stress/struggle/survival crisis.
I am reminded of the basic physiology of birth that I once used to
teach to vets and animal nurses - how fetal stress initiates the
healthy birth process in mammals as the fetus runs out of "personal
space" and becomes increasingly short of the resources (especially
oxygen) needed to sustain its present lifestyle.
Talking of oxygen shortage leading to "re-birth" into a new life,
reminds me of the famous novel "Love as Spiritual Oxygen" - which
reminds us that human beings have choices - even in despair! See:
As we come under pressure (time, money, fatigue, relationships etc)
our first "port of call" is to either:
a) reduce the demands on us (struggle to control external pressures)
b) obtain more resources/support to sustain our lifestyle
If these strategies work, all fine and good, occasionally they don't
work and the pressures build until "something has to give".
At this point we either go into "break-down" or "break-through".
"Nervous Breakdown" is likely if we give away our power and
responsibility by "beating ourselves up", allowing other people to
beat us up, or by "blaming" other people or life circumstances for
Break-through becomes possible when we accept responsibility for
creating our own life rather than becoming a "victim".
Accepting such responsibility can be pretty arduous (in my
experience!) and leads to that inevitable shriek of frustrated
despair "BUT WHAT MORE CAN I DO THAN I AM ALREADY DOING!"
WHAT MORE CAN I DO???!!!
The baby (foetus) experiencing distress in late pregnancy as it runs
out of space and out-grows placental support, knows exactly what to
do - it gets stressed! Then, as often happens with our own stress,
its stress reactions actually make things worse!
The stress behaviour and activated stress physiology of the growing
baby increase its metabolic needs and stimulate an increase in the
physical pressure it is under as the uterus starts to get
increasingly "restless" - moving steadily towards contractions that
will squeeze the fetus and dislodge its life-support system - the
This is where stress has become crisis, and the only answer is to "up-
sticks" and change lifestyle i.e. "birth into a new pattern of
I suspect that in human adults there is the same natural "healing"
mechanism for "projecting/ejecting" us into a new pattern of living -
i.e. a lifestyle transition (new ways of behaving / perceiving /
creating / interpreting).
I make this suggestion from my own experiences with what is popularly
PERSONAL RE-BIRTHING EXPERENCES
Each of my 3 personal "re-birthing" experiences have been initiated
by the escalating stress of running out of resources (faith, money,
love, inspiration). Each has also followed a desperate, risky act
of "trying something new" - equivalent to the distressed fetus
breaking through the birth canal door to a new world - a new phase of
Changing our environment is often, in itself, insufficient to change
our life experience - we are likely to take our now "past their sell-
by-date" lifestyle patterns with us and re-create the "hellish"
experience that we are trying to escape from! This is where "re-
patterning" becomes vital.
Therapeutic re-birthing technology uses breath control to initiate an
inner "re-patterning" via a process of breath-induced brain
activation, strikingly similar to what a baby experiences in the
process of being born.
The theory is that in the dramatic intense life/death struggle
process of birth a pattern of experience is set up, which sets the
benchmark for recurrent patterns in our life. To some extent these
patterns work in creating the life we want, but over time they wane
in effectiveness. To change them we need to re-experience our initial
birth process under conditions where a new, more favourable pattern
is set up which suits the next phase of our life journey.
My first experience of this process was with a lady who had been
specifically trained as a "re-birthing therapist". It was an alarming
experience for me, because the breathing pattern she encouraged me to
follow "flew in the face" of my own training as a physiologist.
Somehow I found the nerve to do it anyway, and a powerful re-
experiencing of "being born" ensued...
YOU CAN DO IT ALONE - BUT YOU DON'T HAVE TO!
There is no doubt that direct physical experiences change us in a way
that mere information, advice, "affirmations" or "visualisations"
never can. In this first "re-birthing" I re-experienced the deep
terror of "facing a 'life or death' struggle entirely alone". This
terror was very familiar - a terror I have struggled and worked hard
against experiencing all my life, yet have repeatedly ended up re-
In this re-birthing, as the familiar old terror pattern closed in on
me, a new experience formed - this time there was a kind supportive
voice to comfort and encourage me to move forward through my ordeal -
which of course entirely de-fused the "ordeal" experience and
replaced it with an experience of loving, caring support.
Even as a child I was terribly independent - avoiding "neediness"
wherever possible. This pattern had persisted throughout my life - I
have always found it difficult or "unthinkable" to ask for, or be
open to, "loving support". As often happens, my healing experience
(you don't have to do it alone!) was followed by other experiences
that helped me to "solidify" a new pattern of being open to loving
support when the going gets tough. My initial new pattern was of
being more open to human support, but this progressed over a couple
of years into being open to spiritual support and then last year a
powerful and amazing experience of being open to "ancestral
support" - see
[to be continued!]