- Jennifer Guerrero
The road to wholeness.
Updated: Sep 29, 2020
3 years ago I would say I was at a real low point in my life. I had no direction, no real security (emotional or financial), very little ambition. I was stuck in a low-frequency loop of self criticism, depression and well, not so healthy coping mechanisms. For as long as I could remember I had carried with me this long deep sadness and pain that I could never really shake. Several attempts at therapy and later meditation helped but that undercurrent never really went away. I also tried to unconsciously, and sometimes consciously drink, smoke and one-night-stand it away. You can already imagine how much that helped.
The only thing that had ever really sparked a shift for me had been breathwork. At this point however, I was still learning a lot about breathwork. My Capricorn brain was still running the show and I was trying to “figure it out” rather than allowing myself to experience the breath with an open mind. (Ha! Now I can see how that was also resistance in some ways, but we'll talk about that later.) I remembered my very first breath session and the clarity that it brought. It had a direct reference to a specific childhood trauma, and reparenting myself with compassion and self-worth. I was nowhere near as skilled or aware as I am now, but that breath 10 years ago essentially set me out on a long journey of understanding how to work with my inner child.
Because I didn’t have a childhood of healthy boundaries and loving support, I had no idea what a healthy relationship felt like, to myself or another. I didn’t know what self-worth was about. I didn’t know what self-respect was about. Hell, truthfully I didn’t know squat about love, self or otherwise. All I knew was my childhood was filled with traumas, abuse, shame, and neglect. Not one adult in my environment knew how to take care of themselves, respect themselves, and no freaking way did they love themselves. We know how that works right? How we treat others the way we treat ourselves… Yeah. That. Imagine how I was treated if the adults in my life were drug addicts, alcoholics and criminals. If you had asked me 3 years ago, I would have said “I was fucked up. Broken, and damaged.”
It was around then, 3 years ago, that I started to wonder if I could have a different truth. I wondered if regardless of the foundation that was laid down for me, if I could have a life of healthy relationships. I wondered if I could ever find that place so many others were looking for, Happiness. Could I live a different life than the ones whose DNA I carried? By no means was I an addict, nor was I a criminal, and I had gotten away, far away, from those people, but could I really achieve anything in life? Or was I destined to “amount to nothing” like the all-knowing grown ups had predicted I would?
At this point in my life, I was 31 and it was looking like “they were right about me.” Dead end job, no savings, a failed career, a failed marriage, and a slew of toxic relationships… This crushed me. I knew I wanted something different for my life, for mySELF, and nothing I was doing was getting me there. Something had to change. I wanted to feel loved, supported, and confident. I wanted to live the life my heart desired. I wanted FREEDOM. I wanted to feel EMPOWERED. I was done with the victim narrative that only excused my stagnating and sabotaging behaviors.
I didn’t know exactly what I needed to do, but I knew that different outcomes meant I had to make different choices. The one thing that brought me any semblance of what I wanted was found in breathwork. There was no road map, no user manual, no formula. Only my gut. Breathwork felt right, so that was my starting point. I had no idea what I was getting myself into.
I spent the next two years committed to breathwork. I lived, slept and BREATHED breathwork. I found a path to self-awareness and self-exploration in the breath. The more I breathed, the deeper the work became. The euphoric, psychotropic, cathartic breaths I had experienced before started to be few and far between and shit got dark for a while as I explored the long corridor of my subconscious mind. A corridor is the easiest way to describe it. Imagine your unconscious mind as a corridor and off the corridor are rooms. Each room holds an experience, and the furniture, paint, and decor in that room are your behaviors, thoughts, beliefs and emotions you gain from an experience. Given the experiences I had in my life, especially in my childhood, I had some dark, scary, messy rooms. I had spent my life keeping those doors shut and locked, never going inside. My sabotaging behaviors like the drinking, smoking, and sexing were just attempts to walk past the room faster. Or distract myself from really looking inside. There was NO WAY IN HELL I was going back in that room! NO!
I struggled. Alot. The breathwork would carry me along the corridor and put me in front of the rooms I needed to go into in order to change my life. The breath would put me in front of the door and say “go inside.” To which my trauma brain would respond “NO FUCKING WAY!” This was maddening. It was like I was in the middle of an internal war. On one hand, my higher self knew exactly what I needed, but I was resisting. It felt very much like a parent trying to take care of a child in a tantrum.
Ah! The spark! That was it! This was all about my childhood anyway right? This was it! To some degree I was a child having a total fit on the floor. I didn’t have the tools necessary to communicate my needs, or to do certain things for myself. I struggled with dependence and independence. I was scared, needed comforting, needed encouragement. I needed a PARENT!
And so, it was through breathwork that I discovered that my path to creating the life I wanted was taking me down a road to inner child and reparenting work. It wasn’t a shrink, or a guru that came to me and said “Your problems will be solved if you…” I had to figure it out for myself. I had to learn to LISTEN to myself and identify what my needs were. Beyond what anyone told me they were.
Let me state here, that yes, I had a guide and the support of a community as I did this work. It was absolutely crucial and necessary. I wouldn’t have been able to do the work I did alone. There was a limit though as to what I could gain from others, and what I could gain from myself. Early in my work, the outside perspective was important because it allowed me to understand how my perception was just that, my perception, not my reality. Later however, as I grew to understand and know myself more, I began to know what was best for me, in a way that no one else could know. I did reach a point, after several years, in my work that I had to part ways from the guides leading me. Which is perfect and beautiful! They took me to the point where I could walk on my own. They helped me learn to ride the bike. Training wheels, and holding my seat, steering for me, it helped. I now know where I want to go and don’t need that type of guidance.
It wasn’t until I started to combine this understanding of the internal dynamic happening when the breathwork would take me to the scary rooms along my corridor that I was finally able to break through the deep patterns that were keeping me STUCK in life.
Now, I have my own business, healthy relationships, and a clear understanding of what my needs are and how to meet them.
I didn’t know it was possible to truly live the life I always dreamt of! I didn’t think I would ever feel EMPOWERED! And yes, HAPPY!
I’m just like anyone else, not famous, no special advantages. I got dealt a shitty hand in life, BUT, I am totally winning this game! In fact, I’m raking in the chips on this table! And now I get to help others achieve the same clarity to live a fulfilled life of PURPOSE.
If you have any questions as to what it is that I’m doing, feel free to email me - I’m an open book!