Breakingdown, Breakingthrough

- by Margaret Coyne -

12th Holotropic Breathwork Workshop - 3-3-'96

This may well be the last Workshop at this Centre and I'm feeling very sad about leaving the place that has for the past year, become my spiritual sanctuary.

Arrived at 9.00am. even though I knew that the door would not be open `till 9.30am. I sat on the top step and did my TM, after which I felt extremely peaceful and wholly in touch with my surroundings.

Today we did not have our usual session room as another group were using it. Instead, we used a small room next to the one that we use for our tea breaks, etc. I felt very disorientated and back in the mind of my lost inner child, needing the security of the old session room. In this confined space there were eight of us. Abby was my partner.

Went into the "new" session room at 9.45am. After the usual introductions and discussions, the first session got underway just after 10.00am. Abby was first to "breathe". She was quite happy with her experience, but needed a lot of bodywork on her back and neck, which I was allowed to help with. She was ready to leave at 1.40pm.

After lunch went back into the room at 2.15pm, and by 2.25pm. we had settled down to begin the afternoon session. During the relaxation exercises I was happy to allow my mind to wander and remain open to the experience which lay before me:-

"After about five minutes of mouth breathing (I usually breathe in through my nose and out through my mouth) I begin to feel my hands form into fists, then the usual pins and needles set in. It must be around half an hour later when I begin to cough up blobs of mucous into a plastic bag which Abby holds open for me. I continue like this on and off until eventually, having got rid of all the sludge that had been suffocating me, I am once again free to resume my journey.

The breathing has taken me back, as always, inside my mother's womb, where I continue the struggle to be born. The effort is so great, I just give up the fight, sinking into a deep depression.

This state is short lived though, and with renewed vigour, I begin once more to propel myself down the birth canal, kicking out in anger and frustration. It's no good. The barriers have been erected yet again (my mother's muscles tighten around me) and I'm forced to abandon any further attempts. Defeated and depressed, I seek refuge in sleep.

I wake to the gentle touch of Abby's hand on my shoulder and immediately return to the breathing. Within ten minutes or so, I'm a young infant, screaming with hunger and desperately trying to suck on some huge elusive tit. Each time I rise my head to grasp it, my upper arms are immediately restrained by some powerful force which prevents me from devouring the life-saving milk.

I cry out in utter despair at the realisation that my terrible hunger will never be satisfied. Once more I retreat into myself for comfort, only to find a cold black emptiness. This state remains with me for quite a while, during which time I become increasingly pissed off with the music because of, what I feel to be, the inappropriate use of classical pieces.

As I begin to emerge from my journey, I am gripped by a deep sadness which causes me to cry quietly to myself. After some time, I think I sleep.

I open my eyes to find Lynn kneeling beside me, and after briefly describing my experience, I show her where I hurt in my upper tummy. She applies pressure in that region and while she's doing that, gets me to do some deep breathing. Nothing happens for a long time. I'm beginning to think it's all my imagination, when a sudden urge to scream builds up inside me. With Lynn encouraging me, I let it all out, then relax and repeat the process all over again a few moments later.

Now she suggests I try to push against her hand with each release. As soon as l lift my head and scream, I almost pass out from a blinding dizziness which leaves me totally shocked. I try once more but the same thing happens, so I decide I've had enough. Lynn just gently massages my tummy, and suggests that as my energy levels are very low, I should rest for about fifteen minutes. I feel dreadful. Eventually I feel well enough to get up and discover I'm the last to leave."

Back in the little room I was still feeling very light-headed, so I rested for a while before drawing my Mandala. This time it showed a tiny baby making his way down a tunnel-like shape, and also another baby with his arms clamped down by his sides. This image made me sad.

We returned to the session room at 6.30pm. Again, everyone was very open, but I held back. Following lots of hugs and kisses, we left at 7.l0pm.

I arrived home around 8.45pm. extremely tired, and still feeling light-headed. Wasn't very hungry, so having had a couple of baked potatoes and a cup of Camomile tea, I went to bed around 11.00pm.

Some Insights and Additional Feelings from 10th/11th Holotropic Workshops

17th Feb, '96:

While in the bathroom got a feeling that I was a snake. I was only aware of the upper part of its body and I seemed to be stretching my head and neck in exactly the same manner common to snakes.

At around 1.00pm. was suddenly aware of a possible explanation for my almost lifelong need to give birth, and also my strange tendency as a child to feel envious of babies and young children.

There was a definite feeling that in a previous life, I either tried to kill or did kill my baby. I probably carried out this atrocity in the period just before or immediately following the birth. If I had used an instrument to induce labour in the hope that in doing so the baby would die, then that could account for my morbid fear of anything being inserted into my vagina. So perhaps my lifelong desire to give birth was a desperate need to, at last, bring a full term healthy baby into this world. My sadness, whenever I saw children receiving care and attention, was probably just me being resentful at not having received the same love myself as a child.

It seems my purpose in this life is to either heal the pain from the past, or most likely, to carry out my life sentence of punishment in order to make restitution for my terrible crime.

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