Sondra Ray

Sondra Ray was one of the early pioneers of Rebirthing Breathwork in the mid 1970’s and creator of The Loving Relationship Training ( LRT ). I joined LRT in 1988 and began a 3 year adventure with Diana Robert’s London Rebirthing 2000 Training in London assisting Sondra in London & Madrid. Diana brought Rebirthing to the UK in 1980, was Sondra’s organiser in London for over 20 years and as LRT Trainer supported Europe in creating LRT Centres. She has remained an avid supporter of my work and style of teaching, especially around codependency and relationship recovery.

. . . but this is, in Sondra’s words, how REBIRTHING . . . is for everyone.

”  Rebirthing is Sacred. Once I thought it was a scientific process. Once I thought it was therapy just to heal my birth trauma. I did not understand it all then. But one thing for sure, I NEVER thought it was silly. I always knew it was the hottest thing on the planet. That is how I always felt about it, right from the beginning.

Rebirthing is like a sacrament because you are partaking of the Holy Spirit. Rebirthing is more than just breathwork. It is taking in Divine Energy into your body in such a way that God is making love to you.

Rebirthing is Life-giving. It can even bring Youthing of the body. It brings spontaneous healings. It brings joy. It brought me everything I ever wanted.

That is why I became one of the first Rebirthers in the world.

I wanted to spread the news to everyone. The only reason someone might not want all of that would have to be fear; fear of letting go, fear of danger, fear of death, or in general fear of slaying the ego. People may fear rebirthing because of these ideas in their heads, and yet the irony is that Rebirthing will REMOVE those very fears. You pump them out on the exhale. Rebirthing continues to take away my fears and the fears of my clients and friends who have stuck with it. We consider it a wonderful life long spiritual path.

To me, it is one of the ultimate gifts from God. Rebirthing is Drinking the Divine. It is also drinking the everlasting nectar of Immortality. When I took Rebirthing to Russia, the doctors there scientifically proved that it produces rejuvenation of the body. So Rebirthing is like discovering the Fountain of Youth. It is having the gentle breath of bliss and the power of vitality charging the body.. It is the thrill of thrills and the serenity of peace at the same time. In this simple breathing process, one can permanently release tensions in the body, symptoms of pain and disease, fears of failure, fears of success, fears of love, fears of death and the beliefs and programming of old age. It will wash out misery . It is the ultimate Cosmic Bath!

Rebirthing is for everyone. No matter who you are or where you are on the path or on the planet. It will take you higher than you ever thought you could go. You will enter the Banquet Hall of Eternity. You will wonder how you ever lived without it. You will drink the everlasting nectar of joy and your heart will awaken to eternal passion. Rebirthing is something you will want to do for life. Eventually , after your rebirther says you are ready, you can learn to rebirth yourself. Initially you should plan to have ten sessions with a rebirther of your choice. You will hear people talk about dry rebirthing and group rebirthing. Dry rebirthing is done lying down on the bed or floor (clothed) next to your rebirther who guides your session.

Group rebirthing is done in a large room where a group of people (who have been well prepared) lie down together with the guidance of a very experienced set of rebirthers. This is best done during a two day workshop. You should continue dry rebirthing until you have worked out the bulk of your birth trauma and a breath release has occurred. Then you can learn to rebirth yourself.

Barbara Marciniak says that awareness and use of the breath are the essential KEYS for understanding and developing the higher mind during this astounding spiritual evolution. She states that we can use the breath to stabilize ourselves to have more energy to enhance our immune systemto create beneficial brain waves to activeate transcendental knowledge from the Source to reach higher frequencies

Besides all that one must add to heal ones body to release tension to have better relationships to rejuvinate. “

Love Sondra

www.sondraray.com

The starburst group breathe (above) was part of The Australian Academy of Rebirthing & Breathwork 10th Anniversary Conference in South Australia 2010, where I was invited to be Guest Speaker. All participants were experienced and completed a Rebirther Training with the Academy. However, you do not need to know about Rebirthing in order to experience it in a group, or connect with Sondra’s descriptive language. I am inclined to avoid her style of vernacular, preferring a more earthy approach, but hey . . . we can’t all ride the same bike. As my work is often confrontational – flowery language is curtailed – but generosity of experience, strength and hope is not.

The Family Way

Codependency can be about not knowing where you end – and others begin – physically, emotionally, intellectually or spiritually within the family. There are no healthy boundaries.

Maybe you don’t know what you really stand for except your job.  Go to a party or social gathering and people will ask you who you are, what do you say? Are you someones partner, a middle-class professional career, a fraud, a celebrity, a nobody, a carer, a rescuer, a FAKE?

When does your work identity end and the real you emerge?

John Bradshaw writes extensively about Adult Children of Dysfunctional Families and is the name to look for on Amazon. Here is a list of dysfunctional traits that stand to be corrected.

Then you will see why people in therapy say it’s the best investment they have made and why people brought up in a home of emotional supression, family secrets, rows and confrontation refuse to blow the lid off. But then if you don’t, something else will in later life, the memory will return to double you up in pain to stumble.

Abandonment issues * Delusion and Denial * Family Secrets * Isolation even in a crowd * Constant Worry * Control Freakery * 24 hour Guard Duty / Hypervigilant * Internalized Shame * Lack of Boundaries * Grandiose behaviour * Reactive & Reenacting * Numbed Out * Fixated Personality * Out of Touch with body & feelings * Faulty Communication * Withdrawn and under involved * Never Satisfied * Compulsive Addictive * Intimacy Problems * Over involved fixer * Abuse Victim * Lack of coping skills * Confused Identity * Depression avoider via Activity * Judgemental Perfectionism * No trust * Loss of your own Reality * Inveterate Dreamer * Spiritual Bankruptcy – lacking non-religious faith of any kind * Equifinality

EQUIFINALITY ?  – No matter where you begin, you end up in the same place.

Functional they may be but mobile phones are the current tool to practice lack of boundaries. In a dysfunctional family respect is vague, faded and obscured. In a train carriage or a restaurant table boundaries are broken left right and centre, becoming a curse of modern life that we bare because we think we can’t live without them. We put up with it in much the same way we put up with family dysfunction. We become exhausted with asking, people not listening, not respecting etc that we numb out ( see list above ). When a child is abused in the home the body remembers.

Every time you feel shock, you hold your breath. Next time you have sex check whether your breath is held. Every family memory you carry into adulthood including verbal abuse, put downs . . reside within, gasping for air.

These are just a few examples of lack of boundaries. Today’s task is to consider your own.

To help you do this flick through these links until you find something that resonates.
Then use it as a starting board to write down where dysfunctional boundaries have occurred in your life, they may be your own, your co-workers friends or family. Once you realize where a boundary has been crossed, take steps to correct this. Therapy is an advantage in learning to do this but often a simple explanation to someone, eyeball to eyeball, with a balanced tone to the voice can correct an action seldom to repeat.

Take all of me . . .

People seem to have got it into their heads that it’s a divine right to find a soulmate or lifetime partner, often feeling cheated by the world if they don’t turn up. Not so many decades ago a woman ” left on the shelf ” was a visible sin. A man who hadn’t married was deemed sad, gay or both. A son or daughter who stayed home looking after a parent was seen giving up the chance for love – for duty, and thus praised.

This romantic vision of being snatched by love, held tightly hostage is fueled by books, movies and musical lyrics. This illusion of wholeness is as rancid as old butter. Anne Wilson Schaef, the most progressive exponent of relationship recovery in the ’80s & ’90s said ” The realization of the extent of our relationship addictions, both individually and as a society, is shocking. However, there is no need to get depressed, because we can do something about it.” This following quote from her book When Society Becomes an Addict : Understanding The Social System, Reclaiming Our Personal Power – is food for recovering serial relationship addicts. You know who they are.

”    Dependent relationships are the norm within the addictive system of society. Addicts of any kind are invariably dependent or counter-dependent. Counter-dependency has been described in psychological circles as a reaction against extreme dependency. Counter-dependent people feel so dependent on others that they must convince them ( and the self ) that they do not need anyone at all and, hence, act so as to say : I don’t need anybody “. An addict , to recover, must recognize the need to rely on oneself and take care of oneself. Recovery is the realization that one has the ability to do this AND the ability to stay close to others without being dependent.This realization contradicts everything we are taught. From an early age we are told that dependency is the road to intimacy, and that two people cannot get close to each other unless they become mutually dependent. Two people are deemed intimate when they have reached the stage at which neither can function without each other. We call this the perfect union, the perfect marriage.

What I have observed, however, is that dependency DESTROYS intimacy.

The person being depended upon feels sucked dry, and the person doing the depending comes to resent the other. The relationship that once made both of them feel important and needed and secure eventually leaves them drained and exhausted. Over time they may even come to hate each other. In other words, the mechanism does not work the way we are taught it will work. “

What struck me re-reading these words from my bookshelf is that we have only just recognised that our banking and financial system no longer works. We have allowed our lives to be run by addicts in suits and we are paying the price. How long will it take for society to realise that old relationship demands no longer work either. Do you wish for a dream of lifetime hostage or prefer to be set free to explore interdependent relationships where two people exchange intimacies while setting each other free,to experience wholeness and authenticity not entrapment and dependency?

Whole interdependent relationships are possible but you need to address the issues that hold you back from receiving TRUE LOVE, the love for self and another human being without conditions – including staying. Unconditional love means nothing less.

Discuss at leisure.


I vont to be alone.

There is some debate as to whether Greta Garbo actually said ‘I want to be alone’ in the MGM film GRAND HOTEL. She is famously quoted as saying : I never said, ” I want to be alone”. I only said ” I want to be left alone . There is all difference”. Pedantic or not, Garbo knew that the devil was in the detail. Being alone, being lonely and being isolated are all different strands of the seemingly same string. Tried and tested recovery material states that an addict alone is bad company. I guess that is because the ego as companion can weave many tales from the committee in the head, while convincing you of the value of self-sufficiency.

Corinne Sweet in her book OVERCOMING ADDICTION writes an excellent piece on this.

” Isolation is the root of all addiction. We can feel that nobody understands us, nobody really cares and that we have to fight our corner on our own. Isolation means retreating into ourselves, not believing that anyone is out there for us, and that everyone else had it easy. When you give up your addictions, for good, you necessarily have to give up isolation. This means looking around yourself and asking for help. This can be terrifying, especially if you have always done everything for yourself and don’t believe other people are there for you. You may feel that other people could not cope with your needs ( or deny them altogether ) because you don’t want to risk being disappointed. You will only stay free for good if you decide to give up your isolation – no matter how desirable it seems to hang on to it – if you ask for, seek out, even demand, continuing positive support. “

For those who can afford to be alone without self harming, eating slabs of chocolate in one go or risking boredom might suggest that recovering obsessives & compulsives aren’t safe to be left alone, when in fact the recovery process teaches the difference between being alone, feeling lonely or teenage bedroom isolation. If only the rest of society has access to such learned material we would all benefit. In a relationship men are often accused of ” being moody ” when half the time they want to be left alone, need space to be alone and can’t express it so they just clam up. The most healthy relationships have a holiday period built in so each partner can holiday alone, be it a week or a weekend. To most people that’s not ” being in a relationship “. What’s the point of giving your ALL to someone and they want to lie on a beach ALONE. It’s not what they signed up for.

Well the point of this interdependent arrangement is that we do need space alone to re-find ourselves, to create courage sometimes to tell our truth to ourselves first, and then the partner. Every relationship needs air in it, but many are in a unsteady relationship because of fear of being alone, which is another kettle of fish – a kettle called codependency. This misguided vision of romantic love works well until they leave you, then you have to play the hunting game all over again to feel whole. So the prospect of traveling alone, living alone or working alone is as fearful as a gambler missing the bet..

So the thread of today’s blog is to recall the last time you went somewhere on your own.

It took me ages to go to the cinema or theatre alone. It’s essential to get rid of the johnny no mates concept, people are so absorbed in their own self obsession that they aren’t interested in who is sitting in row D. Trust me. Learning to be with yourself alone, to give yourself attention, to use the space for solitude or meditation of any kind will serve you well in future. Taking a train ride to the nearest stretch of water, kicking stones on a beach or witnessing ducks play is all part of your further education.

Now if you will excuse me, I vont to be alone.

Happy Endings

Who knows what people will turn into once settled into marriage or civil union – will he wander, will she go off sex?

These fears are small beer indeed compared to the fear of finding another drunk, addict or gambler for someone who has the unhappy knack of fishing for fools. If Dad was a drunk, some women can have the inner magic of finding a drunk male substitute to love & marry. If Dad was a gambler it’s easy to find a man whose unpredictable behaviour feels ” just right “, after all it’s the excitement of not knowing what’s going to happen, that keeps your spirit alive.

If mum was depressive and snappy because her doctor stopped the prescription drugs it will be easy to find someone to spar with on the emotional front because it’s just what you are used to, and what you are used to becomes a blueprint for survival.

Take a look at any old school group photo of smiling kids. Can you guess who will turn out to have the longest marriage, the shortest life, the addictive personality? When a recovering person decides to check out their addictions, attachments and codependencies it’s easy to think that they are the ones having to work hard catching up with the rest of so-called respectable society. Many years ago I read a corporate report that stated “recovering alcoholics make better than average workers”. How can this be? A very small percentage of the population look at themselves, most spend time observing the habits of other people but drunks, drinking or in recovery, discovered that observing other people only made the situation worse. Resentments build and excuses flow to justify and enable a continuing addictive pattern, not exactly the route to personal responsibility, amends made and feelings checked, that is suggested for emotional balance. Learning to respond, rather than re-act to other peoples behaviour is vital for continued codependency recovery.

Recovering Alcoholics in a 12 Step Programme make better than average workers because they adhere to a new way of working after experiencing personal rock bottoms, act out gratitude on a daily basis, realise the need to demolish the ego and when they are wrong promptly admit it.

How many people in your life do that?

When the wedding pics are taken it’s hard to imagine the abuse that can follow or the fear of abuse returning. Robin Norwood’s book WOMEN WHO LOVE TOO MUCH way back in 1986 pioneered the realisation that good girls can choose bad guys, again & again. Recovering people also need to be aware of there own track record before they started observing themselves in detail. The reality is that no one knows whether you are going to get hitched to a drunk again, or find another person to rescue, someone who uses you as their own private bank but you can take steps to weed out the obvious candidates. In my experience it always pays to tell the truth FASTER. When selecting friends, lovers or future partners, always be clear about what you want ( by stating what you DON’T want sometimes ), and being upfront, rid yourself the desire to clam up about the past, buying into shame. Though focussing on the present moment can be taken too literally, if denial is companion. People who have grown up in a family where someone dominates the energy by anger, alcohol, depression, drug use, verbal, physical or sexual abuse need to be extra aware of relationship pitfalls. Being aware of a new friend or partners behaviour does not mean double checking everything they say and do, so lighten up, nor does it work to seek perfection. However as a recovering addict/alcoholic/codependent I would not want a relationship with anyone whose parents had similar backgrounds to my own addictive patterns. This is because I don’t want to be a teaching tool in a relationship, I would rather choose someone without an addictive background or be without a coupling. The whole point of fixing yourself is that eventually you find people who don’t need fixing.

I hear many people say ” we are working on our relationship ” as if the relationship is a therapy session. They say that love brings up everything unlike itself – I get this – but many relationships are simply a protection from the past, thus they remain in constant conflict in order to ” learn the lesson “. Maybe the lesson is GET OUT NOW. In most cases I would advise those people to fix themselves instead of the relationship, when this is done you put out a different vibration – one of interdependence – and start attracting totally different energies around people places and things. This is when REAL recovery begins and it starts with you saying NO more often, billing in time away from a partner and acting out frequent updates within the relationship.