My New Adventure. Linking Breathwork with Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy.

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Mike Delaney attended 2 of our Marrakech 5 day Retreats ( over a 7 day period ) in 2016 and 2017.

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“This week has been one of the most profound, mind-blowing, painful at times but spiritually healing experiences of my recovery.

I would highly recommend URBAN Lifeclass Coaching and Breathwork Retreats to anyone who wants to go that little bit deeper in self development work. You have to be brave enough to trust the process but, My God it’s worth it!!

My utmost gratitude to David Parker and Meleeshka for their knowledge and skills and to all of my new friends for their love, support and laughter every day. Thank you so much x “

Mike Delaney RNMH MBACP
Addictive Behaviour Specialist

Mike Delaney is a leading authority in the treatment of addictions with over 30 years’ consultancy experience with individuals, rehabilitation centres, and professional bodies in the UK and internationally.

There was no Equine Assisted Therapy on our Retreat, Mike came for his own well-being, but all details are on his website http://www.mikedelaney.co.uk

http://www.mikedelaney.co.uk/equine-assisted-psychotherapy/

Adam Spreadbury-Maher shares his thoughts on Breathwork and our Marrakech Retreat 2018.

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Olivier Award Winner Adam Spreadbury-Maher is an Australian/Irish Theatre Artistic Director, Producer and Writer. He is the founding Artistic Director of the Cock Tavern Theatre, OperaUpClose and The Hope Theatre, and is the current artistic director of the Kings Head Theatre, Islington. London.

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“Initially attending a one day Evolutionary Breathwork workshop in Central London, I decided to take the plunge and travel to Marrakech on the week long Breathwork retreat in March that David and his team hold annually. I didn’t know what to expect, though I went along with an open mind and heart.”

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“The week long retreat was co-led with established breath worker Luisa Bradshaw, a partnership that accounts for over 45 years combined experience, buckets of empathy and good humour, and I felt ‘emotionally safe’ from the start.

Based at a beautiful and comfortable 4-star riad-style hotel, just off the beaten track and hustle and bustle of the main square, in the Kasbah medina, our group was gently eased into the course with care and compassion over the first 2 days in the hotel with hammam, steamed, washed, scrubbed and relaxed in the Spa plus daily group breathwork for emotional and body release.”

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“The schedule had plenty of time for us to spend together socialising at meals or relaxing by the pool, alone in solitude and reflection, plus visits to some of Marrakesh’s most exquisite gardens. The day trip to the Ourika Valley at the foot of the Atlas Mountains was a particular highlight for me, along with silent walks in the stunning Anima Garden en route in the morning.”

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“Throughout the week, not only was I able to spend sometime focussing on a cleaner and better relationship with myself, I was also able to make new friends and deepen existing relationships.

This is breathwork for today’s pragmatic realistic, who is happy to dodge the crystals and dolphin music; it’s effective, self-led ( yet supported and guided ) self growth therapeutic practice.

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Quite unexpectantly, Conscious Connected Breathwork with David Parker has had a hugely positive impact on my life and well being. I recommend David, Luisa and their team unreservedly, in fact . . . I’ve already signed up for next year!”

Adam Spreadbury-Maher

 

Scott Buchan lives to tell the tale of regular Conscious Connected Breathwork, commitment and deserved results! Worked it.

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November 2010 in Brighton is where I first met David Parker, when he was speaking at a Convention I was attending. The Convention and his topic had nothing to do with breathwork but as time has passed, the link between then and now has become more obvious.

Our paths crossed a number of times in the next couple of years randomly bumping into each other here and there and we connected on social media. It was then I started to read David’s story and what he did/does regarding breathwork. I was nosey rather than curious and didn’t look too much further into it. In the autumn of 2013, my wife and I went to Malta where I had been asked to speak at one of them Conventions where I first met David and lo and behold, David was there. One of those ‘coincidences’.

We spent a lot of time in each other’s company in that week and I started to ask a few more questions about this thing he did. My interest had moved on from curiosity to intrigue and I started to think I wanted to know more and perhaps experience what it was this breathwork was all about.

emoji-56-512I had my own ‘issues’. I’ve been in recovery from active addiction since June 2009 with which I had been battling with for 30 years and I had a lot of consequences none more so than my physical state. I’ve been in a coma twice, I’d had a stroke, I’d had the Last Rites read over me, I’d had pancreatitis on a number of occasions, I’d broken near enough every bone in my body, my right lung had collapsed twice and this was before I got into recovery.

emoji-56-512Since getting clean of all drugs, including alcohol, I then had testicular cancer, I’d had a shoulder reconstruction and in 2014, I underwent 4 surgeries on my knees culminating in a full left knee replacement AND to add to the fun, I’d suffered a burst appendix in the summer of 2014 which I was lucky to survive.

emoji-56-512I had also put on a lot of weight as I had been unhappily comfort-eating and although I’m 6ft 5, I was within touch of 20 stone on the scales. I was also in and out of employment and hadn’t held down a regular job for years. The experiences of 2014 were enough for me to want to change a few things. I needed a different way of seeing myself. My physical health (or lack of it) had become my identity. The first thing people would say to me was, “…and how’s the health, Scott?”

18581901_10155136311290498_8333475731833275017_n-1images-1I spoke to David once or twice around this time and he said about coming along to one of the seminars he was getting up and running in Victoria. I went along open-minded and with no expectation on what was going to happen.

It ended up being one of the most extraordinary moments in my life.

I still can’t explain exactly what happened but I had an ‘out of body’ experience during my first ever breathe. I cried like I hadn’t cried since I was a baby. I felt all this physical pain fill up inside me, overwhelm me and somehow drain from me. I curled up in a foetal ball, I shook, I sobbed, I made a hell of a noise and I was looked after tenderly by David and the team and I felt, without being too dramatic, reborn afterwards.

I left the seminar, got a train from Victoria to Clapham Junction then another train to Basingstoke and then a taxi home and it was only when I put the key in my front door I suddenly realised I was home! I’d done the whole journey in a trance and couldn’t recall a thing about it.

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My thinking DID change from that minute on. I decided my health was NOT going to be my identity. I looked at my diet. I looked at my exercise (or lack of it). I looked at my attitude. I looked at certain people, certain places and certain behaviours and I did a full-on spring clean. I didn’t fall out with people as much as I stopped falling in with them to begin with. I began to keep my counsel smaller and closer and started to look at what was important to me and what I wanted to achieve from my life.

images-1I became a regular ‘breather’ and I’ve been attending groups and seminars with David more or less monthly ever since that first experience. I travel all the way from Basingstoke Hampshire to Camden NW1 and back for every session. It’s a 3 hour round trip on public transport, it’s the best part of £40 in fares and that doesn’t phase me in the slightest. Nor does the fact I get home at midnight and I’m up at 5.30 the following day for work. The breathwork and the coaching sessions prior to breathing have become an integral part of my continuing recovery. I’ve learnt a lot about me, what makes me tick, what fires me up and acquired great techniques to deal with life and what can crop up for me on a regular basis.

3½ years on from that first breathwork experience, I am now in the best physical shape I’ve been in since I was at school. I’m down to a manageable 16½ stone, my diet is unrecognisable from a few years ago, I walk 30-40 miles a week, I’m all clear on every physical front and had a Well Man check a couple of months back and was told I had the physical attributes of someone 10 years younger than myself. I’ve been in full time work since the summer of 2015 and this is the longest tenure I’ve had with one employer ever.

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However, life comes along unexpectantly and I had a major accident last year when I was hit by a bus and I broke my pelvis and sacrum and was off work for almost 5 months. Albeit, I was in a lot of pain, I didn’t take any medication.

I stuck to the principles of my recovery programme and I used what I’d learned from David to work through not only the physical condition but through the emotional and mental effect this accident had on me. It would have been very easy to revert to self-pity and wallow in it all but none of that behaviour serves me anymore.

There has been further pro’s to the breathwork.

Pro’s that are completely unexpected and quite random. I have to undergo regular gastroscopy due to my various conditions over the years and this used to be time of extreme anxiety event whereupon I had to be sedated and it was quite traumatic for a few days afterwards. I now find this procedure, although still very intrusive, nowhere like that today be and I can breathe right through it even when I get a gagging reflex.

Given this is something I have to undergo regularly, the fact I can manage it with breathing techniques is an amazing turnaround.

images-1I’m also a good swimmer. I always have been BUT I’ve always struggled with snorkelling and the like as I could never get my head around breathing while underwater. I can swim underwater but not to observe and enjoy marine life.

During a boat trip in Thailand in 2016, I thought I’d put on a snorkel and found I actually could now breathe and without panicking. I could see the life beneath the waves and love this new-found thrill.

Since then I’ve become more and more adept and snorkelling is something I enjoy on our regular jaunts overseas.

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I’m now back at work, I’ve recently been upgraded with a view to a promotion and I like my job. I like my life and I owe a substantial debt of gratitude to what David has taught me, shown me and helped me with over the past few years. 

Today, I’m very much more the me I always could be.

I’m a good husband, son, brother, friend, employee. I like me and that’s something I never thought I’d hear myself say. Thank you, David, for your continued help, support, encouragement and “…breeeeathe, Scott, breeeeathe!”

Scott Buchan 

 

Autumn Breathwork Update

words : David Parker

It’s been a full summer : 3 Urban LIFECLASS Evening groups every Month in London, that gets booked up one month in advance, new participants coming in too, plus our Annual Breathwork Retreat in Marrakesh Morocco was full up by July passed for January 2017, all flights booked too. Talk about effortless accomplishment! 

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In June I went to Estonia to lead a 3 Day Breathwork Weekend on Codependency and ‘The Artists Way’ in this fabulous new venue in Tallinn.

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Not sure where it is? . . .you’re not alone. My first visit was in 2004, invited to bring my work to a country with just one and a quarter million people, drowning in a history of soviet control, alcoholism and the highest HIV rates per head of population anywhere on the globe. When it was part of Soviet Russia, authorities dumped their IV drug users there, and AIDS devastated communities and families during the 80’s and 90’s. Almost every family is touched by the stain of alcoholism, authoritarianism and genetic codependency.

mapThis was my 9th Seminar in Estonia since 2004, and that weekends 3 Day Event 10,11, 12th June 2016 was an Intensive called : COME OUT OF THE COMA! . . . Co-dependency and Creative Relationships. Based on the new work we are doing in London with Urban LIFECLASS, ‘Creativity and Creative People’ and they have invited me back next year.

We have also found a new venue in London for Sunday One Day Seminars every 3 months, just 3 mins walk from Angel Station, one tube stop from Kings Cross, and our first tryout is next Sunday but it is now fully booked from our mailing list. Details here : called HOME ALONE.

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Our NEXT ONE DAY SEMINARS are Sunday 12th February and Sunday 21st May 2017 – We also have 3 EVENING BREATHWORK GROUPS a MONTH at a different venue.

Here are NOVEMBER DATES @ EUSTON Venue :november-page-001

Evening Breathwork Groups in London

Since our January Breathwork Retreat in Marrakech, the regular MONTHLY London Evening groups have built up to adding an extra one ( now 3 groups every Month ) but even these have become FULL UP a month before they occur. We also have been adding new people, bringing in exciting new energies and experiences.

#BreathworkWORKS  JUNE is NOW FULL, but do contact us for JULY & AUGUST or get on our mailing list and FB pages.

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Full Steam Ahead!

” It is important to have a balanced perspective toward suppressions. The energies which we are used to call “negative ” are just feelings. They really are neither negative or positive; they just are.

But many people do not have permission from family, culture, religion and thus not from themselves, to feel negative feelings, especially anger. Judging these feelings in the first place is what caused them to become suppressed: if they had been perceived as acceptable, they would have been experienced at the time of stress.

So it is critical now, to accept and feel them in order to clear yourself.

The suppressions which are dislodged and experienced with breathing are not “released” but actually are integrated into the totality of your expanded awareness. Think about the following example : Most likely, you have had some experience in your life that was quite painful but because of that experience, you matured and became more compassionate, sensitive and understanding. In other words you expanded because of integrating that pain into your total awareness.

This is exactly what happens with REBIRTHING. The energy of a negative, painful event which you did not feel in the moment it occurred, became stored instead, in your subconscious mind as suppressed  energy, it is brought into consciousness and integrated in just the same way, leaving you more mature and expanded! People frequently experience after rebirthing that ” even the trees look different “. It is as though some filter is removed which had partially obstructed the lens through which they viewed the world and, indeed the world now looks different, usually simpler, lighter and happier.

Compare the breath to a train moving across country with you as a passenger.

Let  us say that as long as you are breathing in a connected fashion during a rebirth, the train continues moving. If you stop breathing, the train stops. Now suppose that you come to a particularly unpleasant place where the scenery is unpleasant and it even smells bad! You can keep the train moving and even speed it up or you can stop the train and take a long look at this unsightly place. Compare that to reaching a space in a breathing session where perhaps you are in touch with some energy that is particularly painful. If you hold your breath it is tantamount to stopping the train so you can experience it for a longer time. So it makes sense to keep breathing and even speed up the breath to move through this space quickly.”

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This excellent appraisal of Breathwork are the words of CHRISTINA THOMAS taken from her book SECRETS : A Practical Guide to Undreamed Of Possibilities, published in 1989.

A lot of Rebirthing books from the 80’s are no longer in print but may be found on http://www.abebooks.com/ the web shop for worldwide deleted and secondhand books. Much of the material is still relevant today as Science is recognising in the 21st Century, the impact of ancient breathing healing techniques. Start a Breathwork bookshelf for less than you think.

Expert Witness

Workshops are full of people who think they are experts, they think they know what’s best for us when they often hardly know what’s best for themselves. Such is life, and we eventually forgive those steeped in codependent armour, as well as ourselves for not speaking up while spoken too. I think that the only expert that works longterm is our OWN experience, and since we are often dismissive of ourselves, we dismiss the value of our input. When we witness honesty and emotion from deep sharing of others it can provoke vibrative memory of buried treasure, and help us to dig further within our psyche in order to achieve forgiveness. This is the real energy behind workshops and seminar probing.

Robin Norwood who wrote Women Who Love Too Much, set herself up as expert and ten years after forgave herself by writing WHY ME, WHY THIS, WHY NOW – A Guide to Answering Life’s Toughest Questions, when her life car crashed. She experienced true humility by going public and sharing this experience of falling off ivory towers. Within my 20 year journey of leading workshops I have heard amazing truths revealed, including incest, which plugs in the whole training.

She writes the following about an abuser.

” To truly forgive requires that we truly understand. We must be able to look clearly at the whole picture, recoil from none of it, deny none of it, accept it all. In a way this means that we must become EXPERTS regarding which that we must forgive, seeing all sides, not just our own.

An example : I was in a workshop on the treatment of incest many years ago when, halfway through the morning, one of the participants identified himself as an aggressor who had sexually abused his daughter. For a long moment there was a stunned silence. Then he went on to describe his incarceration, the therapy he and his family had received, and his recovery of many years duration.

He now counseled male offenders incarcerated for the same offences he had committed. With his wife and daughter, he participated in group discussions for the families of these men. His honesty created an environment that allowed other workshop participants to talk about their own experiences with sexual abuse.

Because he modeled courage and dignity and humility as well as honesty, he made it easier for some of the therapists in the room who were also incest victims to gain more understanding of the person who had violated them. We stopped interacting as professionals and became EXPERTS instead, drawing on our EXPERIENCE as we struggled to understand this human problem. Such understanding, when achieved, leads eventually to forgiveness – and forgiveness is the final step in our healing.

Through forgiveness we are forgiven. “

In sharing our deepest shames we dissolve the pain of holding on. I have attracted many women and men over two decades who are adult survivors of child abuse and used Rebirthing Breathwork to gently bring them back to feelings without overwhelm, recovery without self loathing, hope without silence. In 1992 my brother went to prison for pleading guilty to abusing his step daughter for 5 years. I had to forgive him, but closed the door on future contact as he was not ready to take responsibility for his actions. I left a contact number but no call has been dialed. Not my stuff.

I sometimes wonder where he is, whether his alcoholism rebirthed his life or whether amends have been made. Sometimes we don’t need to know.

Please Release Me

One of my pre-teenage memories of shame involved a launderette. I must have been 12 or so and Mums copper ( an archaic washing machine ) at home broke down so we trooped off to the local machine wash. My first embarasment involved both of us not knowing how to operate the machine – convinced that the whole launderette was watching us fumble. The shame of it all. The pain of public failure. Then THE most shaming thing happened. My mum opened the machine front loader and we both STARED at a very clean and hot used condom sitting all on it’s own in the metal drum. Silence kills. Do we remove it? or move to another machine having put the money in?

We called the service lady and shame clouded over in a flash as she fished it out with rubber gloves for all to see. Heads ducked down, papers read, windows were scoured and lips pursed. On another occasion when I was 16 we had moved to a new house and friends of my parents stayed for the weekend so mum & dad gave them their bedroom and so they slept on the PUT-U-UP in the lounge. In the morning I helped them fold the bed up and we STARED again at a torn Durex wrapper on the carpet. Can you imagine? They were still ” doing it “. The shame of it all.

In their book : Letting Go of Shame/Understanding How Shame Affects Your life – Ronald & Patricia Potter-Efron explain about shame being a universal emotion. ” Shame temporarily disconnects people from each other. For example, women in America and many other societies will often modestly look away when they notice someone showing sexual interest in them, even if they are interested in the other person. The message they may be giving ( only under certain circumstances, of course ) is that their sexuality is too powerful to openly express in public. Similarly, people will ordinarily avoid eye contact when a situation threatens to become too potent ”

This made me think how we interchange with each other on the London underground trains, the place where no-one speaks except crack heads, beggars or anyone from Spain.The British culture prefers to ” look away ” to avoid upset, confrontation or shame. Now good old British shame is no different from American shame or Swedish shame ( however – the Italians ARE shameless – look at the revolving governments ) and if fear is universal then shame follows close behind.

John Bradshaw talks about the core of codependency being ” toxic shame ” developed and nurtured from family of origin. Until we release our innermost shames we can never be free. We create our own prison cell. Anyone in 12 Step Recovery will understand 4th Step value or simply the release of sharing. This is all therapy is – letting go with love. It is also about booting out judgement and guilt – the mafia of the mind.

Next time you get on the Underground ( tube train ) use it as a meditation space. Watch and see who avoids your eye contact, be observant and recognise that you are part of these peoples lives, you hold a place, there is no separation of humanity. By observing others you observe yourself and by practicing the art of full eye contact when listening or speaking, you find more clarity within yourself. This is the antidote to shame. And next time you like someone who stares back at you in a sexy way – for christ sake SMILE not hide away. It costs nothing.

I am not suggesting you travel the tube or walk the streets with the smile of someone with the look of community care or just found Jesus but I am suggesting that you focus on each opportunity to drop shame and fear. Shame takes a long time to dissolve so erase the hasty cure with small bites, note each day where and when shame arises and use that powerful mantra FEEL IT, CLAIM IT, DUMP IT. Recovery is not about how much shame you have but how long you hold on to it once noted, so find a spiritual launderette to wash, spin & open up your heart to light.

Time Waster

You may find you spend hours each day, or lie awake at night, worrying about your situation. You may torture yourself worrying where a certain person is and with whom.

You may go over and over the past, reminding yourself of the pain, or recounting every detail in an episode or project you have on-going, projecting a problem before it appears. Living this way is addictive for many – it’s called OBSESSION. There are all kinds of obsessive fixations, using WORK as the only way to feel good about oneself is one example, needing peoples approval is another or continuously thinking you are right is not an obvious fixation, but we all know someone who refuses to be wrong. In fact they are obsessively RIGHT.

An athlete can be obsessed about winning but this may not be an unhealthy fixation because the obsession holds a positive destination. Worrying about a friends health holds no purpose at all except to show them that you care at the cost of losing your own marbles. ” I was worried sick “, what’s the point of that? A total time waster. Showing you care holds many a stance, and can often be a subconscious game of manipulation and control. Caring for a sick friend healthily can mean just being available, or telling it like it is, tough love if required. I was told in my early days of recovery by a woman who genuinely cared for me, enough to say ” stop whining looking for sympathy “. It wont work. If that’s what you want look in the dictionary between shit and syphilis, that’s where you will find sympathy, and she was not wrong.

But Obsession does serve a purpose, even if it gives an illusion of power and control over life. Some people even see worry as an essential task and a visible sign of consideration. Scheming revenge, planning punishment and holding onto pain and resentment is a full time career for some people we know. The purpose of obsession is to be worn out by it, in final surrender of this futile practice. Letting go is not natural to the serial wounded. Fear of loss of control and the rise of omnipotence delivers compulsive behaviour, because the ego insists you ” do something ” rather than feel helpless, yet helplessness is the path to forgiveness and peace. Victimhood of the past or present moment stops you from solving the past or present moment simply because we have been trained to fight and struggle. Even the first sentence of Scott Peck’s THE ROAD LESS TRAVELLED says ” Life is difficult”. It goes on to further : This is the great truth, one of the greatest truths ( The first of the “Four Noble Truths” which Buddha taught was ” Life is suffering “. ) Peck goes on to say : It is a great truth because once we truly see this truth, we transcend it. Once we truly know that life is difficult – then life is no longer difficult. Because once it is accepted, the fact of life is difficult no longer matters. And worrying about it – even less.

So the purpose of obsession is to transcend it.

Rehab will tell you that you can’t get well until you realise how sick you are. To paraphrase Peck : Once you let go of the problem, you find solution, which is why we need to let go of obsessional time-wasting demands that serve no purpose at all – like worry. Pecks conclusion to life as a series of problems is DISCIPLINE. Not the cold shower treatment or a scarcity diet but simply the simple adage that ” discipline is the basic set of tools we require to solve life’s problems. Without discipline we can solve nothing. With only some discipline we can solve only some problems. With total discipline we can solve all problems “. Discipline simply means “to focus”.

In order to run the race of our life many think we need to be tarnished with an obsession, the obsession to get in the driving seat to tackle the Life Road head on, driving like a lunatic until we crash. It may be a minor scrape or a complete turnaround of the vehicle, no matter, the fact is that you have survived the journey to eventually become a back seat driver. Never to get in the front seat again.This is the magnificent obsession, the one to hold and cherish as a spiritual athlete, no longer needing to be in charge of the steering wheel. Yes we need to do footwork, which includes trust, but the destination is irrelevant.

Marianne Williamson wrote in her book A RETURN TO LOVE : ” Gods plan works, yours doesn’t “. This is why it’s wise to focus on the moment and not a goal in 5 years time.  It doesn’t stop me creating goals, it’s good to focus on a project, but it does stop me worrying about the destination. When I look back over the mind blowing moments of my life they were never of MY creation – a phone call, a social connection, an opportunity all ” came my way ” while I was doing something else. On one level I created it, but only because I was willing to receive without demand.

My favourite lesson in A Course In Miracles is “I will stand back and let Him lead the way”.

Him” can be any spiritual energy you choose, I choose Haidakhan Babaji as my Master influence, my business manager, my mentor. He drives, I sit and witness the journey free of worry, free of timespan and free of anxiety. But it does require discipline to banish the ego and its mischief to avoid spiritual demand. This is the real work.