Two of the early Rebirthers in the ’70’s were Jim Leonard and Phil Laut, writers of the first REBIRTHING Book I read in 1987, but in 1990 they changed the title of their book REBIRTHING – The Science of Enjoying All of Your Life to VIVATION.
The first page includes an introduction to the term calling it “ a self directed, personal development skill that enables anyone to cause permanent resolution of suppressed sensations, feelings and emotions, regardless of their cause, intensity or for how long they have been surppressed “.
It goes onto explain ” the name VIVATION was made up by Jim Leonard in 1987. It is derived from the latin root ” viv ” for life. Because the name was made up, and it does not appear in any dictionary, we will describe its usage at the outset.” It goes on further to describe a Rebirther as a Vivation Coach or Vivation Professional ( . . . so far so good ) but the rebirthee was described as the VIVER, which frankly never caught on. I remember during my LRT Trainings we amused ourselves with “VIVING” ideas and notions. Yes, the word never caught on. It continues by example ” I was VIVING in the office this morning and I had a breakthrough about that project which was bothering me “.
See what I mean, it’s NOT sexy is it?
But REBIRTHING, at least the name of it, has always caused stress for those who think it gets confused with BORN AGAIN CHRISTIANS. I remember whole meetings of The British Rebirth Society (BRS) in 1990/91 being taken up with this conundrum of ” what will people think “.
In my experience the BRS has always had a low opinion of itself, which is why it’s membership has dribbled away with parochial attitude since then, and has never caught public imagination or increased membership in two decades. Something is wrong somewhere and as they say ” the only guru you need are the results in your life “. Rather than gain confidence in Rebirthing by creating trainings that inspire, they were more concerned about the neighbours, debating whether to call themselves BREATHWORKERS or BREATHING COACHES rather than Rebirthers. Scan the internet and you will find all kinds of names that practitioners make up to make breathwork more interesting.
My experience again, is that the RESULTS of Rebirthing Breathwork are far more interesting than the names made up. VIVATION practice & trainings may continue to thrive, but the name is still debatable. Having worked in Marketing & Design for over 20 years I can understand the value of rebranding a unique product but as the early Rebirthers discovered, when sibling rivalry took charge in the early 80’s, pioneers staked their process name claim in the breathwork goldrush.
Leonard Orr focused on Biblical doctrine, Nose breathing, Physical Immortality & rubbishing group breathes, (and still does), Sondra Ray focussed on RELATIONSHIPS and mouth breathing, Louise Hay went on to become a Millionairess with YOU CAN HEAL YOUR LIFE merchandising with one of Leonard’s Rebirthing 5 BIGGIES -” Thought Is Creative “-, but he was too busy living in the sticks by a fire, to reach out to the mainstream market. Jim Leonard and Phil Laut created VIVATION Breathwork, while Laut specialised in MONEY & PROSPERITY with a book called MONEY IS MY FRIEND. Books like THE SECRET have only borrowed this material, turning it into a marketing jamboree (without the Breathwork), while early Rebirthers like Leonard and Sondra borrowed from existing material and Eastern cultures in the 1970’s. Nothing is new, only the cover of an old book. That’s marketing.
I have never been bothered about the term REBIRTHING and still call myself a REBIRTHER.
When you have confidence in a craft, names are meaningless, while the connection to conception, womb space and the birth experience have been confirmed by present day science to be valuable in understanding adult patterning and healing disease of self. Well it worked for me : REBIRTHING healed a chronic life threatening virus in my body as I become the longest survivor of liver damage in the UK – all due to Conscious Connected Breathing (the old name for REBIRTHING).
Even Sondra has moved from Rebirthing to SACRED RENEWAL BREATHWORK in a bid to modernise.
You couldn’t make it up.