Picture of Barry Male Be all that you are and all that you can be...

When you are born, you're making a fresh start - a new beginning. Your purpose is to survive, to grow, to learn. You will experience different things, some of which will support and nourish you and some which will not. Beneficial experiences will help you grow and develop. Negative experiences will stunt your growth. You are very small and open and vulnerable. If you have painful, frightening or traumatising experiences you will have to protect yourself. You do this instinctively. You may do what you can to block off the source of that which is causing you distress. You may attempt to armour yourself against it. You can only do this using your energy and your consciousness, as that's all you have. If things get really bad, you may have to separate from your physical body altogether, to avoid the pain.

And so your life proceeds in the way that it does. If you are fortunate and have an abundance of nurturing experiences and few distressing ones, you will become strong and healthy and able to go out into the world with confidence to shape your destiny. If the reverse is true, that will not be the case.

Whatever the circumstances, we struggle, we cope, and we do the best we can with what we've got available.

It may be that, many years down the line, you feel a need to try to do something about the pain, the deadness, the disconnectedness or what isn't OK inside yourself, that you continue to struggle with. It may be that, over the years, you have added layer upon layer of protection, together with layer upon layer of unresolved and unreleased pain, shock or trauma. You may have become adept at holding on, blocking, enduring.

Most self-help approaches involve adding layers of positivity, which you find difficult because, despite your best efforts, you always seem to be undermined by something deeper and stronger. The 'you' that you experience yourself to be has become separated from your original, tender, sensitive self by all the layers that surround it.

There is only one way forward, and that involves going back to who you really are, by releasing everything that is in the way. But how to do that, when everything was done instinctively and you're not even conscious of what there is?

The most important thing is that this becomes the most important thing for you. Through your conscious commitment and your conscious intention, you tell your unconscious what is wanted. Then you need to take some action. You cannot release with your conscious mind what is held in place unconsciously. But you can provide a mechanism - a process that is present whenever we breathe. When we breathe, we connect with the outside world: we open and draw air and energy into ourselves. When we exhale, we let go of what we no longer require - stale air, toxins, carbon dioxide, negativity. We need energy to change. We need to let go to become ourselves.

The practice is to sit quietly and to focus inside your body on the area of most discomfort: then to breathe into the discomfort and to exhale/let go from the discomfort. It will help to set a clear, realistic intention before you start. That is the start of the process to wholeness. Allow yourself to feel what you feel, to experience what you experience. Don't TRY to do anything. Trust the process. Allow the wisdom of all-that-you-are to run the show. Keep allowing yourself to let go every time your breathe moves out of your body - it will carry away a little of your pain every time. Re-connect with the physical after about half an hour, when you have finished. Do this every day.

Then you can add the positive self help. Don't hang on to things that belong in the past. Allow yourself to be changed, to feel different from what you're used to. It takes courage - it can feel scary. It works. One day you will be entirely free.