I have had two deep learning experiences around breathing. My first was at my birth; instinctual and automatic, an innate learning that I didn’t have to think about, I just did it and I was good at it. 😊
The second time I learned how to breathe was a completely different story. It wasn’t until I started some new spiritual practices and received insight from others, that I realized I had been close to suffocation for a long time.
When we first come into this world, our infant selves know how to take big, deep, full inhales and big, deep, full exhales. If you watch a baby or young child breathe, you will probably see their cute little tummies move with their breath. They don’t have to think about it, they just do it.
I don’t know exactly when I stopped enjoying those beautiful inhales and exhales.
What I do know is that a few years ago I was barely breathing and damn near close to suffocating.
After living life for so long in my stress response, I was doing the bare minimum in the breathing department. A lot of shallow, chest breathing and holding my breath. Both of which I had no clue about until I started paying attention.
“But honestly, I have a full life, I’m busy, I’ve got things to do and who pays attention to their breath anyways? I’m alive so obviously the breathing is working out for me.”
I have read that breathing is the language of God. So many times, I’m not sure just how to communicate with God and as I breathe deeply – long, slow, intentional and sometimes loud breaths, I am able to have a conversation with God like I never could with words and quiet listening.
I have now found deep enjoyment, presence and wholeness in my inhales and exhales.
To be completely honest, sometimes I still find myself chest breathing and even gasping for air. I stop paying attention, experience stress, overwhelm, anxiety and my body takes over going into fight or flight mode.
Breathing is so much more that a physiological action for me. I define inhaling as cleansing, filling and expanding. I describe exhaling as release, letting go, relief, detox and lightness.
I inhale while reading, listening and taking things in. Inhaling is consumption of some sort.
Exhaling happens when I am writing, talking or creating.
I have found it essential to be aware of what I’m inhaling and exhaling.
Am I inhaling too much stimulation, anxiety, toxicity?
Am I exhaling resentment, fear or judgment?
The quality of my breathing represents my internal environment.
As my breath becomes more full, open and expansive, so does my life.
As my favorite yoga teacher, Adriene Mishler says,
“Lots of love in, lots of love out”
Comment below………. What do you want to be inhaling more of?