When I did my training with Leonard, in one of my first training sessions with him, he taught me that more important than learning any technique was to work on yourself. To be a good breathwork therapist, you need to have gone to the places that your clients are wanting to go to. When you haven’t, you can’t hold space for them to go to the deep places, to release trauma, to support them to surrender to whatever comes up – even when it might be terror.
You will freak out and you will be stopping and hindering the process, not facilitating it.
You have to go there, it’s not possible to powerfully hold space, if your clients are going somewhere that you haven’t been. You need to have gone there yourself, so you can guide them. This is a stripping away of your ego, so if you think that your holding space for someone – allow yourself to imagine, that maybe you’re not and allow yourself to go that little bit deeper in your own process.
Especially people who already are therapists, have a look at how much you can drop into your humble vulnerability. Because this is where you are going to serve people if you decide to work with them in the breath. You are not going to serve them by being armoured and tough and strong. You are going to serve them by being super-vulnerable, present and aware of your own process.
I allow myself to be vulnerable when working in 1:1, groups and especially in a retreat, I allow myself to be super-vulnerable. I do breathwork for myself whenever I feel overwhelmed. I am so blessed that I have this technique and I can go and do it myself now. I can breathe for myself. Whenever I realise that I am off-balance, I have to go and look after myself – and this is critical that you are present for yourself – and you know how to support and to look after yourself.
Leonard Orr always said that the rebirther or the breathwork therapists energy field has to be higher, vibrating at a higher level than their clients. So because you’re going to be processing a lot of their stuff. When you finish working with them, your’re going to need to go off and work with the Air, Water, Earth and Fire and Ether to purify yourself.
This is why we teach these ways of working with the elements, to purify. Some of you will be thinking, “But I never process other peoples stuff”. Wow! That’s amazing!! I can’t do that, if you are thinking that – can you show me how? I challenge you to show me how, you are never processing anyone elses stuff – because I have never seen anyone be able to not process anything from someone else for whom they are holding space.
What I’ve seen is, actually people not connecting with their buddy and not holding space. If you want to connect with someone and be super intuitive and be in touch with their processes, see what’s going on for them, tune-in, be there with them – you are processing their stuff – totally. You’re in there with them. So when you finish and step out, you have to fully connect with the land, purify yourself, jump in the water, sit by the fire, do a breathe for yourself, connect with yourself and connect with spirit.
This will need to be your practice, all the time, every day if you are working as a breathwork therapist – and while you are working with your buddy holding space for them.
This is why I always have an outside bath and a fire at my home. I bathe outside with the fire every night, especially after working deeply with people. I purify and take care of myself and that is the number one aspect of being a good therapist.
It’s not about being skilled in technique, it’s not about how good you are at listening, and remembering their traumas, and helping them through them. If you are pure; purifying yourself and breathing all the time and your vibration is high. You are going to be amazing. You are going to be switched on, tuned in and right there with them. You won’t miss anything.
As soon as you start to feel a bit heavy and dense. I do after I have done an intense days work with my clients – you are going to take yourself off and start breathing, or jump in a bath or a river, sit by the fire, or fast for a day. Work really strongly with the elements.
I’ve had some cautionary experiences working with a couple of my mentors who were incredible people. They actually went mad. One of my other mentors has been in a psych ward twice. This was simply because they didn’t factor in and practice the self-care and they got to a place where they lost their self care practice and slowly became sick.
There’s only a very small number of actual true gurus in this world. Everyone else is still workin’ the path, you know?. So I really want to support you in that, I feel very strongly that this teaching is about your own journey and your own self care. Also, knowing where your limitations are and knowing you don’t have to be perfect and angelically pure; to do this work, to hold space for people.
You can still be struggling in certain areas and that’s beautiful because you are human and your clients will know that about you.
Don’t expect yourself to be perfect, don’t be aiming for perfection.
Daily purification practice sheet: