Breathing Difficulty, Holding your Breath, The Parental Disapproval Syndrome

cat holding breathSometimes when you poke around you find stuff you didn’t want to find, didn’t want to know, you’d rather not know. But if you know it, if you are willing to face it: you have a new lease on life… So read it.

This article will lose a good percentage of my readers, it’s so sacra-religious, it’s so profoundly upsetting.

I am guided to watch movies, especially hit TV series. It is hard to tell what I am going to see, while I am watching them, hours after hours, on Netflix, but I know how it works, and I know that unless I start to see stuff that my life isn’t giving an insight into, I will not be able to distinguish for you all the ways that the enslavement, that caused you to be miserable, does its job.

This article is about the family. It’s about how family is used to enslave you.

The best way to go about looking at it, so that you can see something that you haven’t seen, is to imagine that your family is a crime family. I know it isn’t, but you can imagine that… you may not want to, but you can.

On the surface are the slogans: the family is the most important thing, one for all, all for one, but when you look, it is not true.

The family is suddenly not a bunch of people that decided to make life easier for each other. No. The family has a life of its own. Much like a country. You only have obligations, you have no rights. No right for free choice, no right to vote, not really, no right for your own life.

every family is a crime familyThe family owns you and if you don’t cooperate, they will annihilate you.

You are told what’s right and what’s wrong, and if you want to live outside the right and wrong of the family, you better move far away, change your name, and be in federal witness protection, or you are as good as dead.

Am I exaggerating? Yes. Intentionally.

That is what I had to do through those TV shows to see… I could not see it otherwise.

Each family is a unit of the BIG family, that we may call society, but it is like society as Illuminati, or the Nazi party… or maybe even the Communist Party in some parts of the world… where you got personal favors if you ratted on personal family member…

But, from our point of view, the most important dynamic to see is what I’ve seen called: Parental Disapproval Syndrome: the mechanism that tells you, as soon as you are born, to give up thinking that you are an individual, give up that anything you want is important, give up that you are OK, maybe even perfect the way you are.

The family doesn’t want you to have any opinion, any life, any individuality, because it is only interested in you as a tool of power.

Hurts, doesn’t it?

When a student of mine asked me to muscle test if she should have a third child, I was really troubled… The muscle test said “no”. She wants a third child and that would be the end of her career for a while… I guess she doesn’t want to be punished for being an individual, for wanting a life of her own, for being a person.

So, what do you say to a student like that? I wept, but I didn’t say a word. It is not my job to fight her family, to fight for her freedom. It is her job.

I lived in Israel for a few years in the early 80’s. Most of the people I interacted with grew up in a kibbutz, which is a settlement where they work like a family.

I never wanted to live on a kibbutz, because I want to get paid for the work I do, and in a kibbutz it is just like a family: they give you clothes, food and shelter… regardless of your individual contribution.

But there was one thing that stayed with me: they have separate housing for the kids: the children are not reared, not raised by the parents, they are raised by people that supervising them is their job.

The generation that grew up in a kibbutz is emotionally a lot healthier than the next one. No angst, no anguish, no anxiety, no seeking, no searching: they are level-headed, know who they are, know what they want.

Not like you, right? Not like the 30-years-ago myself either… I must admit.

Here is what Parental Disapprovement Syndrome is:

The Parental Disapproval Syndrome (from John Darling’s Rebirthing book)

We can’t speak with certainty on this point, but it seems likely that, before civilization and the nuclear family, that we were raised with the participation of scores of adults in a tribal setting, so we weren’t overly impacted by the mindsets of just two adults, who might be very harmfully neurotic and pass on a lot of dysfunctional Personal Laws they had assembled in their minds or had passed along by equally neurotic grandparents.

But we’ve been dealing for 10,000 years with a different animal, for better or worse, based on two people Falling In Love and finding The Right Person, the person they were destined to meet and love unconditionally and get to know in depth and devote themselves exclusively to the good of their own children, made from their own two sets of genes, with little regard for the other children around them. So, if your parents aren’t super- devoted to you, you could be in big trouble and will be an At Risk Child, with substance abuse to kill the pain and loneliness, then rebellion (anger at them for lack of love) and running away, etc.

Leonard Orr, the creator of rebirthing, says the Parental Disapproval Syndrome is the mother of all syndromes, the steamer trunk of all baggage — an engine of neuroses that few escape, even with the most well-meaning of parents. I mean, we all want to love them and, of course, do our therapy and learn all the “stuff” that arose from their parenting and, of course, forgive them and say, as so many do, “they did their best with what they knew at that time,” but a cold look at the dynamics of the nuclear family shows a relationship where the parents have ALL the power and the kids have none.

So, right off, it’s a question of power. Not love. Even if they love you lots, they still have all the power. In tribes, children very early on create their own children’s societies and disappear into the boonies for long periods and set up their own hierarchies of power and functioning and, thus, do not have this exclusive power relationship with just two people a lot older than them — people who can’t play with them well and have this bizarre and unbalanced power relationship. Without them in modern life, hey, you’re toast. You will die and You know it. If they pack up and abandon you, you will be at the mercy of some strangers, with a good chance they don’t love you a lot and might molest or ignore you. It’s instinctual. We know we’re vulnerable — and the reaction to that is going to be anger. But we can’t show this anger, well, not till we hit puberty and start to realize it won’t be long till we’re free and we know we can survive on our own, so we start sassing them big time. But as children, we suppress and build defenses and we DO notice that they ignore us and don’t know us completely and never will.

It’s hard to discern and grasp the Parental Disapproval Syndrom (PDS) in the deep well of our subconscious mind, because it means we have to see the unhealthiness and dysfunction of even the best nuclear family and what it did to us — and what we did with our anger at these supposedly benign and caring beings. It’s there. This is where we learned to compromise on the truth of who we are and began building our mask, our faux self, our alternate, acceptable persona, in order to get the love of two people who had power over us.

We betrayed ourselves to get their love — and survive.

This is the original “split” in our personality, the creation of the schizoid event, the real Original Sin, which, indeed can be compared to the story of Adam and Eve in Eden, where, to and behold, we see the first couple being good boys and girls and being unconditionally loved by a parent (mom god is missing, because this is a patriarchal religion), and the kids are going along with the program but then they break the code and do what they want (eat an apple of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil), and guess what? The Parental Disapproval Syndrome (PDS) descends on them big time. They don’t just get a spanking and sent to their room; they freaking get kicked out of their home and disowned and must endure suffering forever (labor only by sweat of brow, pain in birthing, wife subject to the husband, etc), so you have, enshrined in the Origin Story in the first chapter of holy scripture itself, the model of conditional love of parent for child in a nuclear family, resulting in the major trauma of permanent disapproval.

After being naughty, Adam and Eve didn’t get to integrate their new behavior, new freedom, new thought forms into their true, core, conscious mind and being so they could be one, happy, functioning, authentic person. As the representatives of humanity, sent out into the cold world, bereft of parental acceptance and love, they may have been able to retain some of the original Personality A but they had to create a Personality B, which would be acceptable to “Our Lord,” but in practice is rarely acceptable, always conditional ever striving to perfect our “soul” and be acceptable in the eyes of God, as scripture puts it. This is the model for Parental Disapproval Syndrome (PDS) and it’s dysfunctional. It’s painful. It represents a divorce in the soul.

To get along, we all have to turn our backs on the clearly divine and sane Personality A that we were born with — and create a Personality B that we think will be more acceptable to our parents and it’s a painful divorce of the soul submerged in an outer personality. The personality becomes a constructed machine with which we interface first with our parents and then everyone else. We rationalize it that you gotta go along to get along and put on a happy face and tell people what they wanna hear and all that — and that’s Personality B talking. It’s not the real you. Our supposedly loving parents are carrying out the work of God in the Garden of Eden and rewarding us for “good” behaviors, as carried out by Personality B and punishing us for “evil” behaviors of our instinctual animal self. In fact, all our instincts are actually sane and good, and were all “lawful” in a state of nature, but had to be adjusted to suit the needs of the power hierarchy in a civilized world.

The philosophy of parenting is big on giving kids lots of direction and lots of consequences if they don’t follow directions. This is put forth with the belief that, if you don’t tell them how and when to do everything — and overcome their rapacious native instincts — then they’ll be selfish monsters who will harm others and themselves. Parents need to “shape” children — and the more conservative the parents are, religious and political, the more they enforce this shaping and obeisance to authority. But rules are for parents, so they won’t get plugged into their shit about how their parents sat on them and demanded a behavioral set that parents could live with. The fact is that a lot of children are still breathing fully and freely -and this makes non-breathing parents get “plugged in,” as rebirthers term it, to their repressed anger and hysteria when they underwent the demise of Personality A and got booted out of the garden of instinct.

That’s an important point: when you start breathing, you start aggravating those who don’t. You also communicate, simply by your freed-up breath and radiance, that you are not toeing the line, marching to the tune, bowing to The Man automatically or respecting your parents for all the suffering they went through in trying to shape you into a person who could survive in a hierarchical, fear-driven system.

In rebirthing, with a freed-up breathing system — and taking responsibility for what’s in our minds — we reclaim this old story and assert that Personality A is OK.

It’s scary and sounds like an invitation to anarchy, chaos, raping and pillaging, but, actually, as you rebirth and reclaim your native sanity, it becomes abundantly apparent that we’re built for a life that’s evolved in love, cooperation and creativity. Our instincts have to be functional or we never would have evolved in nature to get to the door of conscious, intelligent, civilized life.

The problem with the Parental Disapproval Syndrome (PDS) is not that your parents were bad and wrong; it’s that the story lays buried in the subconscious, acting out its harm, especially in problems with authority and intimacy with the co-parent when you have kids. If you have buried anger for mom – and then mom (the other parent) becomes your lover, well, you have this resentment for mom and here You are laying naked in bed with her and up comes the Oedipal conflict; as the mom-energy, she’s a dominant authority figure and loses a lot of her sexual appeal.

So, go ahead and breathe, feel the rage at your parents, make it legitimate and breathe through it, letting buried feelings ease into the slipstream of your breath — and let is assume its place in the backstop- of your many lives. If you keep this story bottled up inside you, at some point, the only escape from it seems to be…getting to heaven, which can only happen if you get rid of your body.

I think John Darling’s view is tame… and the truth is much closer to the Crime family view… or the Mormon Church, or any other cult…

Now, a little more about breathing. As an empath I see all kinds of non-breathers, many ways one can hold their breath. I also see that many diseases and conditions are directly from non-breathing. Not just from the lack of oxygen, though it is very important, but also from the fact that in order to hold your breath, you must hold your body stiff.

map-of-emotionsDepending on the type of original emotion you are blocking, guilt, shame, love, generosity, love of freedom, desire… you will hold your breath differently. The breath is very precise, and the holding is very precise.

The muscle and bone alterations, due to long term holding the breath can cause you to have heart troubles, mental/intellectual troubles, actual physical pain or the bones and the muscles, emphysema, lung cancer, breast cancer, are the conditions I have seen that were directly connected to the holding of the breath.

There are two ways to go about re-claiming your breath:

  1. Rebirthing. It’s a breathing technique. I have as much trust in its efficacy as in the efficacy of meditation: not much. Why? Because people are not aware, and then forced breathing is just that: forced breathing. Just like meditation is just sitting, and trying to force something.Without the capacity to bring awareness to feelings, the breathing, to thoughts, nothing will happen. And because most people think awareness is a function of the mind, they can fool themselves.Awareness is the non-body, non-mind, non-soul, non-ego, non-subconscious function of the human, the part that is connected to All-of-it, that we can call The Observer, The Witness, and to get to that you must be able to locate it and look from there.

    As long as you are protecting stuff with your mind and your breath, you will not be able to do that. This is why my favored method is the second way…

  2. Distinctions. Distinctions are a unique way to approach reality: it is through holes or frames that give a special view of life: through a filter, but a specific, designed, precise filter. The name of the filter is the distinction and you get different views of reality, just like when you use different dies on a tissue sample: you get to see different layers of it.I am fondly called Distinction Maven by those that know me, because my favorite thing to do in life is create or discover distinctions through which you can see something about yourself and about life that can set you free.One of the newest distinctions is the Pebble… and although the name is a total misnomer (i.e. it is a bad name) it sheds light to why people, even after tens of years of transformational work, are low vibration, and miserable, holding their breath.

I am starting an experimental class teaching the Pebble distinction next week, and in the meantime I lead free Pebble workshops. The workshops serve a double purpose:

  1. Find people I want to work with in the course. I don’t work with people that are not ready, even if they want to work with me.
  2. See a larger variety of pebbles to sharpen my way of getting to it… it is so hidden it is really difficult to get to it, and even when you are close, you suppressed it so much that it is very hard to name it. I need my empathic ability to watch your breathing, your emotions, your micro-expressions energetically… the hardest thing I have ever attempted.But without it you will never be free.

To sign up to one of the remaining Pebble webinars, go to You will be asked to pay a dollar so I can weed out many people I would not want to work with.

If you have ever bought anything from me, including a donation, just email me for the direct webinar link: it is my pleasure to send it to you.

UPDATE: I just went a level even deeper, and saw that the Pebble, most likely, is the emotion/value you have already given up as impossible. It may look, in the world, either so rare that it might not exist, or looks fake…

I got in touch with my feeling that I have completely given up on CARING as impossible. The amount of hot tears pouring out of my eyes were a testimonial to that. I got lucky: I am watching a TV series on Netflix that has real caring as its core… who would have thought that… except that guidance works exactly like this.

Come to the Pebble webinar if you are ready to crack the code, or at least begin cracking it. I don’t promise instant result.


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Author: Sophie Benshitta Maven

True empath, award winning architect, magazine publisher, transformational and spiritual coach and teacher, self declared Avatar

7 thoughts on “Breathing Difficulty, Holding your Breath, The Parental Disapproval Syndrome”

  1. I am a “good boy” by nature, and as a survival mechanism. My strength is saying no and keeping still and out of sight. I need to say yes to a few things…

  2. Maybe, Johnny… but your way of speaking is a lot like slash-slash… so this IS a mechanism, and you are right, very few yeses… My hunch is that while you are keeping still, you are playing possum (dead) and are disconnected from all-of-it.

    I have been experimenting, back and forth, so I can teach what I do… bring it from unconscious competence to conscious competence, and I think I am getting ready to actually teach it successfully.

    If you can wing it, you should come to the Pebble course: it will be based on this new knowledge that is teachable. Scroll down for level 2…

  3. I don’t conform very well with my parents idea of what’s right and wrong. I tried when I was a child, but as I started to see that they had an opinion on everything I did and no matter how “good” I tried to be they still bitched about something, I began making my own life and did what I thought I needed to do regardless of their opinions. I finally came out of the closet in my late 20’s and told them, like it or not, I’m living my life as a lesbian. I’ve been judged ever since, told they would never accept me and several times threatened that I was “going to hell”, whatever that means. I’ve grown numb to my feelings about my parents. I don’t dislike them, but I’m not sure I can say I love them.

  4. Deneen, I had a similar experience with my parents with regards to love.

    I turned a leaf and started to be independent of them, when I worked to have compassion for them. Maybe that is the next for you. They say that until you are complete with your parents, you are not able to be an individual: some major parts of you are still craving their approval.

    I wanted to prove to my parents that I deserved to live. That I could be successful. That I could be someone they can be proud of.

    When I finally managed to have compassion for them, it all disappeared… because it needs to. As long as you want anything from the horizontal world, appreciation, love, approval, you are subject to the misery the horizontal world is. And happiness, joy, fulfillment is only possible when you are really, fully, and totally independent… as in NOT dependent.

    Then you can have relationships, friendships, loves, but you don’t depend on them, don’t depend on their view of you.

    And that, my friend, is the highest state attainable by a human.

  5. Sophie,
    This is another example of part of what we were talking about in the Playground. I got tired of never pleasing my parents so I gave up trying. I hardened my heart to their constant judging.
    As for compassion for them I can see that as a possibility. I would be willing to learn that lesson. And my heart soars at the idea of living a life where I don’t depend on others view of me. I always say that I don’t care what anyone thinks about me and I’ll do what I want to do, but in reality that is total B.S. I do things I want to do sometimes without caring, but usually it isn’t so.

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