A regular practice in my life has been remembering to consciously breathe. Yea, yea I’ve never actually forgotten to take those simple breathes that supply oxygen to my cells – but doing it in a very intentional manner is one of those things that was actually shut down during my childhood.
When I was younger, I clearly remember some of the adults in my life taking big exhales during times of stress, and being the empathic child that I was I quickly absorbed all the “yuck” they were exhaling as if I were an extra absorbant sponge. As one might guess, it didn’t feel so good. I remember at one point making a conscious decision that I would try very hard never to make noise when I breathed so as not to affect others around me.
Fast forward 20 years and I quite frequently found myself feeling my body all locked up, headachy, stiff, unenergized, etc. It took me several years to realize part of why I felt so terrible was because my breaths had turned into shallow inhales, and only when absolutely neccessary. Eventually, I finally made the connection that the decision I had vividly made when I was a child, to take silent breaths, had turned into something so much more. I had completely pushed any consciousness out of the way I was feeding my body what it needs to support not only my cells, but also my spirits’ ability to connect into my physical being.
When I started my meditation practice and began taking classes at the Center I would frequently hear the teachers taking loud intentional breathes to incite the students to do the same. This was something I resisted, even then, sitting in meditation giving to no one other than myself. Once I began thinking about being a teacher I remember thinking “Yea, but I’m not going to take those loud breaths for everyone to hear, I just can’t do that!”
During my clairvoyant training our class was going to have a group breath session led by Juli Somers, and I was in so much resistance to it that I actually, unconsciously, manifested a 102 degree fever and had to miss class. Once I finally started to put things together I realized how much I dreaded allowing myself to release during intentional breaths, especially when there were others around, and I decided to schedule a breath session with Juli. This was an event that changed my life. These sessions, where one releases whatever they are holding at an unconcious level, via guided and intentional non-stop breathing for an hour, quickly became very addictive for me. I utilized this form of release throughout my pregnancy and am so thankful for how it helped me to move through things that I was working on during this time.
Even today, as I understand how important the breath is for the mind, body, spirit connection’s health, I still find myself holding on and resisting those glorious lung movements when things get frantic. So, daily I am trying to catch myself when I feel my chest contracting and take a pause to take a deep breath in and then loudly exhale.
Unlike when I was a child surrounded by those wise adults who knew that they needed to purposely breathe to work through their stress, but unwise in the knowledge that they were blowing it right into my path, I strive to breathe in an intentional manner. I utilize my energy awareness tools, to ensure that I am not expelling what I am releasing to those around me who might unknowingly absorb it, as I did when I was a child.
My intentional breathing has now become something that actually evokes delightful giggles from my son. Hooray for breaking old patterns! Ahhhhhh…..