Blog by David Parker Co-Founder of URBAN LIFECLASS
In January last year, 2014, Breathwork Trainer Meleeshka, who I’ve known for 25 years, spent a week with me at my favourite 4* Hotel Les Borj de la Kasbah, in Marrakech Morocco. While I had visited it over a dozen times when leading Breathwork Seminars in Morocco a few years back, Mel who had not visited Marrakech since the early 70’s, said sitting by the pool “Why don’t we do a Spiritual Retreat here next January and bring people from the UK, focusing on Abundance, Forgiveness & Self Care?”. So we did.
To many the idea of a Spiritual Retreat brings up thoughts of early morning starts, sacrifice, scarcity, bleak surroundings and trial, so we decided to challenge this concept by focussing on the opposite : Abundance, Effortless Accomplishment, Self Nurturing, Emotional Support and Playfullness. It WORKED!
You can tell the success of any workshop, seminar or retreat by the thoughts, decisions and actions that follow it. Many have experienced the high of reading a book on personal growth, but somehow never got round to the exercises, and so it is with weekend seminars and the like.
CHANGE sounds like a great idea but actually changing something is more challenging. But on return to the UK, someone from the Retreat ended an unhealthy relationship, another handed their notice in on their unsatisfying job, while others made deep external and internal shifts. You can get challenged by one-to-one therapy, or a One Day Seminar but the energy of facing yourself and others over a 5 day Retreat process, really brings out the weeds to be culled. What assisted these results was not just Group Conscious Connected Breathwork every day, but the comfort of the Hotel Spa facilities close at hand.
The first 2 days of settling in was supported by group Hammams of 4 people, morning and afternoon, while others were experiencing a Rebirthing Breathwork session, for emotional release – some for the first time. Future participate blogs will elaborate further about the bonding, laughter and cleansing that took place. Keep a look out.
READ MORE about our Retreat here : http://urbanlifeclass.me/2015/02/09/january-maroc-spiritual-retreat-a-huge-success-for-all-so-we-are-doing-it-all-again-next-year/
Ever since the SWINGING SIXTIES London has held the edge of creativity as a capital asset and so it is with BREATHWORK in London right now. Created by David Parker with a 25 year plus history of Breathwork and Award Winning Arts Performer *Drag Fabulist* Dickie Beau, URBAN LIFECLASS is for anyone willing to develop their CREATIVITY with Breathwork & Personal Development.
Revived in the mid 90’s as COOL BRITANNIA with BRIT POP & BRIT ART storming ahead on the world stage, BRITAIN has always been creative in austere times. Some remember the dole years of the 1980’s when West End CLUBLAND One Nighters sprung up from nowhere and entertained the weary, frivolous and students of St Martins School of Art.
As that period proved, AUSTERITY ( and tight budgets ) was no obstacle to SUCCESS, but the real obstacle is often our past, our attitudes, our fears and stinking thinking like “not good enough”, ” not worthy” or “no confidence”.
In this current *post-Bank Crash* austere period of budget cuts and low Arts funding, it’s a chance to EXCEL centre stage, if we can learn from the past, directions for the future.
Even those who don’t have creativity in their career, or job, and wish to express themselves more fully in craft, speech, communication or the written word could use the mix urbanLIFECLASS offers, in order to achieve emotional balance, life management and better productivity on a daily basis. You don’t have to have an Arts degree or be involved with the arts, just have an open mind about creative thinking, creating healthier relationship in or out of the workplace, and creating less fear, more loving gestures.
We had our first URBAN LIFE CLASS weekend in October 2013 , as described in previous blogs on this site, and now 9 months later we present a NEW SITE ( below ) that records our womb space and final delivery, offering a 21st Century slant on Breathwork.
We have put together a schedule of Personal Development Groups for the MIND + Evolutionary Conscious Connected Breathwork for the BODY + Community Support for the SOUL.
Photos of the new baby are here : http://urbanlifeclass.me
Feedback from Kate Spence a participant of :
IMMACULATE PERCEPTIONS – Spiritual Hoovering and a Blissful Path To Creative Release.
A weekend workshop with Rebirthing Trainer David Parker & Performance Artist Dickie Beau funded by The LIVE ART Development Agency.
At Chelsea Theatre Kings Road London October 5/6 2013.
I was very much looking forward to the workshop as it was looking to remove ‘blocks’ that could be stilting my work. Normally the blocks that affect my work are also those that affect my life in general, but I was very interested to see how this would be tackled in the workshop. I found some things about the two days truly surprising!
That is something I learnt, that normally I seem to breathe just enough to stay alive but no more, barely breathing, and that this can relate to how I make exchanges with others, that I’m fairly boundaried and that maybe I’m guilty of giving just enough of myself/and taking back from others, just enough to survive but not to take life and relationships to something more fulfilling. There is so much else I could say, but I also I found the listing our jealousies exercise especially enlightening and helpful. Please do keep me in the loop, as I would like to explore this more, so if you are doing anymore I would love to know about it. Kate Spence
Feedback from Spike Mclarrity a participant of :
IMMACULATE PERCEPTIONS – Spiritual Hoovering and a Blissful Path To Creative Release.
Monday begins with a fresh smile on my face, a deep sleep been had, and all my doors and windows are open to allow the fresh air flow through the house as I breath in the optimism, possibilities and the sense of being awake.
I hadn’t truly thought about what the weekend would bring, and somehow was distracted by other things, and so the word Re-birthing escaped me, I suppose I was looking forward to seeing what Dickie would look like as I have only ever seen him in drag, and from friends feedback on working with him in the past, I knew that something will happen but not quite sure what.
That aside and your workshop began I found myself on familiar territory, though I hadn’t done a rebirth session for a few years, and each session is unique on its own, but the fact here it was not on a field or in some alternative centre or commune, but within a live art building!
That’s was refreshing in itself. My own experience was deep, profound, and challenging, the letting go, facing fear and panic that surfaced..(to my surprise)
I know it was just yesterday and my body and soul is still digesting the information, but to wake up this morning I felt I was greeted by an old familiar feeling of myself! It had been lost in thought, emotions, anxieties, distraction, confusion, hatred, yearning, blame, shame, and a mass of other shit, anyway here I was, me, laying there, feeling my body, feeling my breath, BREATHING!!!!
Yes my breath, the life source.
For myself it was a wonderful reminder of the life I seek, the one that makes me feel alive, to live everyday breathing in the air around me, breathing in my history, my story, my life, my friends, my family and the love and healing that I am surrounded in.
It was like being on a fast fair-ground ride not knowing what emotions that will surface, but the reminder of my mother, the one that carried me, the one that fed me, the one who’s heart beat I felt from inside her body, the woman who gave birth, who held me, who breast fed me, who heard my first cry, wiped the shit from my arse, bathed me, loved me.
This was a new image of her, one that I had never seen. I only ever saw the sad life she lived, the external life around her, not my connection with inside her body, now that was profound. I saw for a moment, whether in my imagination, never the less there I was breathing, sweating, my body filled with intense heat flowing from head to toe, toe to head, and I could feel the umbilical cord attached to me, I was floating, I could hear a heartbeat, hers, her mothers, her mother’s mother and mine, the connection was strong, pounding on my chest it was extraordinary.
I have done many self-growth workshops, pushed many boundaries entered into the places I resist, ignore, I fight myself on a continues struggle, but here I was with a simple technique that embraced me with a hug, with gentleness that it introduced me to my mother, it enabled my primal self to let go of the holding and allow the self to be mothered, to return to a place that I never thought I would remember, the place of safety that I was born from.
It was a moment with me and my mother, not about hang ups, or frustrations, anxieties and all the other baggage I carry, this was about a mother and a son re-uniting, through a heart-beat, through time, through love.
I thank you for this it is one of the most precious gifts that have I have been given recently.
At this point I wanted to say how structured and relaxed the whole weekend was, you took care of us, you reassured us, you fed us, you became our parents, gave us a safe place to become a child, to become ourselves, to be ourselves.
This was really important especially in a theatre for live arts! ( a difficult place to turn into a safe haven and a womb ). For me the crossing of my two life styles, bringing two practices together, helping me to realize it need not be separate. I know the fact that you cannot teach live art, but it is the tools we work with that can help every individual to become themselves within their work and the re-birthing strangely can work, especially in my own practice, reminding myself to breath and to stop being bitter about what I think isn’t happening, but to enjoy, embrace, dance, breath, live, love and appreciate the gift of life.
(below is a picture of my mother holding one of my older brother’s, I wasn’t in the picture yet! I was in the second five born after.) I wanted to share this. xxxxxxxxxxxx
Since 2002 I have been travelling somewhere abroad every 2 months and during 2011/12 every month, so I decided in May 2012, hitting 65, that I would take time out for review and I am still in it, coasting toward March 2013. One thing I have learnt is that the universe knows best, or as Marianne Williamson wrote in A RETURN TO LOVE : “God’s plan works – yours doesn’t.
In June last year I started twice weekly BOXERCISE with a Home Personal Trainer to get back some stamina then in August was told I had first stage skin cancer and went on twice daily chemo for 3 weeks. Deeply unpleasant ( but successful ), and handy that I was already in an exercise pattern. Yes, some patterns ARE useful. But more importantly it verified my first paragraph above.
So having cancelled all the planned seminars for 2013, I just waited, rested and waited.
I just posted a blog on one of my other sites, which is rather apt for here to keep you in the loop . . . AND I’m having a wonderful break, off to Marrakech next week, my spiritual home. Still waiting, still resting.
Hopefully I’m back with a rhythm. It’s been an interesting calming four months deciding what to do next, when the ego insists you MUST be doing something instead of watching ‘Flog it’ in the afternoon.
I thoroughly enjoy ‘Flog it’ especially when they ask ” what are you going to do with the money? “. The money is usually about 80 quid and they put it toward a cruise or a trip to Australia. I can’t wait for someone to say ” it’s paying my electricity bill because of this bastard government and their free-market chums “. Years ago, during the last recession in the late 80’s ( under the Tories I might add ) I was wandering in Watkins, London’s oldest esoteric bookshop in Cecil Court, off Charing Cross Road where I found a little booklet called ‘Life was never meant to be a struggle’ by Stuart Wilde.
It changed my life. Literally. From that point on I refused to struggle and pointed this out to the assistants at Watkins on many future visits, so much so that they amended my mailing list address to ‘I don’t do Struggle’ followed by my name. Later on while researching codependency in the 90’s I came up with another mantra that will solve anyones life crisis and move on. It was FEEL IT, CLAIM IT,>DUMP IT. This too is still used today on my address when they send out recent booklists.
Serenity in recovery often means giving up the struggle in order to WIN. When you register that struggle serves no purpose, it can dissolve as quickly as it arrived. Scarcity or not enough in any form, is linked to the concept of struggle but handing over struggle, or the requirement to create it, to higher vibrations is not all the work you need to do, physically removing yourself from struggle is the real solution. Many of us have learnt to struggle through experience, in fact we are very successful at it. By definition it’s impossible to say you have failed. Rather like people who say they have no discipline yet have been disciplined with struggle all their lives. Switch words around. Letting go of people, places and things is like clearing a cupboard that is rammed full with rubbish you think you need. You don’t. So get clearing.
My own struggle with a physical chronic illness during the eighties came to an end when I attended a ‘Benefits of Illness’ workshop. Instead of struggling with a dominating physical partner ( as in a relationship ) I was struggling with a dominating virus in the same codependent way. It controlled my life. Once I realised that I had a choice whether to accept struggle as a pain, the pain of struggle left. When people asked me how my health was, I would respond ‘ I am more than my health identity’. This assisted me is seeing that codependency, the attachment of struggle, was at it’s end. Stuart Wilde’s little pamphlet affirmed that ” If it’s easy for me, it’s right for me’ and I have to admit that I have followed this path ever since. As Marianne Williamson said ” when people say you are so lucky, just remind them it’s because you practiced “. Letting go of struggle is not a given, it’s practice. The last 4 months doing very little has been a doddle. Just being, waiting but not wanting. It’s been a breeze.
Check out the link below, start practicing, and start to chuck out the chintz today.