As we relearn to breathe, we become aware of our feelings and our own opinions - sometimes for the first time in our lives. We find that as we have the confidence to consider change we begin to question the way that things have been, we begin to formulate the way that we would like things to be and then to plan how to go about achieving this. It all takes some time, but along the way we may have flashes of sudden understanding which catch us by surprise and also lead to changes we would never have considered possible. One of the strengths of Rebirthing is that it helps us to see situations without judgement; when we no longer have an emotional investment in the way things turn out we are free to try new ways of tackling old problems. For example if we would like to be vegetarian but are worried about the difficulties it may cause and embarrassed about asking people to provide meat-free dishes when we visit, we may find that once we trust ourselves that it is the right thing for us to do, lots of people enjoy the challenge of making Vegetarian meals, like the excuse for doing something they’ve been meaning to for ages and enjoy the discussion it provokes. We may find the most unexpected encouragement, and also respect - coming from others because we have begun to respect ourselves.
Once we have begun to challenge personal beliefs, we find that we don’t accept things just because they’ve always been that way anymore. We may challenge family beliefs (I am the clumsy one), society’s beliefs (It’s unnatural for a woman not to want children; The man ought to be the breadwinner; It’s not OK to be single and satisfied) and even cultural beliefs: this last one takes a lot of courage - challenging the inevitable (Everyone has to die; Fire always burns; Old people always get sick and helpless; We are the only sentient beings in the Universe). The interesting thing is that you will find that somewhere in the world these things are not assumed.
I would like to make a point here that just because we are questioning something (or indeed beginning to question everything), we do not need to change it. It is good to look at what we are choosing to do and to see it as that - a choice. It may appear (from the outside) to be what we have always done but if we are choosing now to do something we felt obliged to do before it feels completely different on the inside. How we feel about what we’re doing is important, whether we are being true to ourselves, our beliefs and satisfied that it is a worthy way to lead our lives.
Freeing ourselves from traditional ideas can be so liberating. Just questioning the idea say, of physical death at roughly the same age as our parents (it’s so common that insurance companies bet on it by basing their premiums on the assumption) - can mean that we feel that there is all the time in our lives to do all the things we really want to. I remember the feeling I had when I first entertained the idea( reading ‘Physical Immortality’ by Leonard Orr) a mixture of excitement and enormous relief/relaxation; I needn’t rush anymore. There is plenty of time to do all the things I want to do. And sure enough, when I had taken up this idea, I read that medical doctors say that the human body is designed to last for 150 years. Well, that’ll do for a start while I work out what I really plan to do... It really doesn’t matter whether we live for an astonishing length of time by western standards or not; once the idea is mooted, we have gained from entertaining the idea. Then, as Leonard Orr says, we’d better stick around and see if it is true ...