Breathwork and the Beginnings (updated 7-1-20)
As most of you know, I tried the pranayama breathing meditation in 1989, and my life has never been the same since.
After doing the healing work for twelve years, I took a group of people to Sedona, AZ for a Labor Day weekend retreat August 30 – September 3, 2001. During the weekend I was asked if I would teach people to do this work. I (reluctantly) agreed to teach them, and the first class was scheduled to start mid September.
Then September 11th occurred. This tragedy brought the timing and importance of the first class into even greater focus for me as a healer and teacher.
Healer Training Origins
Healer Training Level One was born out of eight weeks of meeting each Sunday afternoon for three hours. The first segment of the class focused on teaching the breathwork meditation. Then we worked on developing intuition, connecting to guides, and went over the use of other healing tools such as essential oils. We discussed working with couples, ethics and integrity, I introduced an energy clearing exercise, we reviewed music and sound healing - gongs, didgeridoo, drums. Many different elements came together to create the course.
As the class developed and evolved in its early stages, it became clear that the breathing meditation was only one part of the healing work.
And there was one other piece of the puzzle that revealed itself in those early days; those who had a well-rounded understanding of the work they needed to do in their personal healing were better prepared to help others.
Not only does the Level One class teach the basics of how to do the healing work, it also creates a deeper and more personal understanding of how to cultivate and grow self-love.
Once I had established the first Healer Training, I thought my work was done. But you can imagine what happened next. Yep. I was asked to expand the teaching even more.
So, Healer Training Levels 2, 3 and 4 came into the world.
Healer Training Level Two emerged soon after HT1 to take the healing work deeper, and the curriculum came from my continued observations on the energies that were keeping people ‘stuck’. This course was created with the expectation students would be working with the breath as part of their daily practice to refine one’s intuition and clarity.
The most important aspect of HT2 is its focus on exchange, which I define as, “The flow of consciousness given and received as energy, respect, value, appreciation, and love. It can also refer to goods, services and money.”
Of all the classes I teach, this one has the tendency to be the grittiest and activates the most volatility in people.
Because I address topics like financial (and energetic) debt head on. I ask people to sit, write and breathe into the areas of their life where they don’t feel loved, appreciated, seen or heard.
Because the reality is most do not have a good understanding of exchange. If exchange is off then we need to go back to step one and revisit self-love.
Where HT2 takes the student deeper into their own healing journey, Healer Training Level Three was created to help direct the focus of the individual outward to group energies and dynamics.
HT3 has a wide application as we all have to work and fit into groups somewhere in our lives, and we use the template of the breathwork circle to train and discuss these group dynamics.
I have watched many people expand and grow into their potential as healers and leaders in this class. It’s a joy to teach.
And finally, Healer Training Level Four was created as both a deep review and certification of all that has been learned throughout Levels 1-3, and a celebration and ceremony marking the completion of a journey. Those who finish Healer Training Levels 1-4 are certified under my name to work with individuals and lead groups using the breathwork meditation I teach as a central tool.
I created the structure of this course work to develop and support the individual who has the desire to heal themselves and others, and I have had the pleasure of sitting with thousands of folks from around the world in these Healer Trainings.
I have also kept a mostly ‘hands off’ approach when it comes to how students evolve into their own healers and teachers. My go to phrase in the past as people have borrowed most of what I teach is: “I think the world is a better place with more healers and more consciousness in it.”
I have realized for a long time people have an innate need to express, change and make things their own.
This last sentence gets me to the crux of why I’m writing this.
There are a lot of people out there that I have certified to be healers. I know they do good work with individuals and are excellent at leading breathwork healing circles.
But I have not certified them to train others to teach breathwork.
Even though many have taken Healer Training classes (sometimes repeating courses numerous times), there are only a handful of people who I have certified to represent me as teachers of the Healer Training - Level One class. There are a lot of very specific details that I cover in the trainings, and the healing work is far more than just breathwork.
I’ve had people take classes from me and go on to name their classes “Healer Training”, “Breathwork Training”, and many variations in between. I’ve been okay with most of this for the last 18 years, but as I am watching things grow, I’m creating a boundary, and I am defining these boundaries around the work I do and around the people I have certified to teach for me.
I am finally making this distinction after many years because as breathwork has grown and evolved, so are the people showing up wanting to lead and teach others. Some of these folks may have little or no training with me, and/or very little knowledge to teach others. I’m feeling the need to draw peaceful lines in the sand to say, “I’m not responsible for these teachers.”
Also, it has also been brought to my attention that some folks are working with plant medicines that vary in legality. I don’t sit in judgment about the use of these plants, but I do not approve or support using them in any way around breathwork, or breathwork groups. I firmly believe in the power of the breath by itself. I’ll leave it at that.
If you have a question about someone, or a question about the structure and methods of their teaching, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll let you know if they’ve had any training with me and if I would recommend them to you.
Folks have repeatedly asked me why I have not trademarked Breathwork or created a ‘catchier’ name. The work I do is not about the marketing or trying to create any more commerce than what I have experienced in all of these years. It’s not about what I can charge people or profitability. It’s about the exchange.
Ultimately, I do not have a patent on spirituality, or even the work I teach. When people talk to me about marketing, I tell them I have an MBA with a specialization in marketing, and I do not need to package what I do in the modern day sense of marketing. These are some of the benefits about being a reluctant healer; I agreed to help others and make this work my primary focus back in 2001 because it became apparent that this was something I had to do.
This journey has been amazing, and I’m grateful for each and every experience I’ve had along the way.
Lots of love,