Learning How to Breathe (Blog #2)
Learning How to Breathe
Warning to all language advocates: some of the words or expressions in my blogs may "curl your ears". And actually, repeating is programming!
Just take a deep breath, putting your analysis and judgment aside to save the following concepts in your cellular memories.
I must confess I've flipped this blog article around a couple times. Talking about something that changed my life to a 180-degree turn, and whose power goes beyond words – in just one page – quite a challenge!
I’m talking about Breathing.
Breathing: a fundamental and autonomous metabolic function that has infinite power through all spheres of our life and that a few of us master or even show any interest in.
Life goes way too fast! We haven't got the time to take the time to do something that already takes care of itself!
A slice of life...
As far back as I can remember, up until 3 years ago, stress has always been an integral part of my life!
I was suffering from insomnia. I was being constantly bombarded by an endless stream of thoughts I didn't know what to do with. So that’s why I used to bring them into some wonderland tales.
Unfortunately, in most cases I was getting the worst version of the story. One where my friends would talk behind my back, reject me. One that would revive my wounds of abandonment, injustice, betrayal or even humiliation. (If you wish to learn more about that topic, I recommend the book on healing your 5 wounds by Lise Bourbeau).
At school I was rebuked for my daydreaming, for not listening, not being able to focus, disturbing others...
If ADHD had been in vogue in my days, I would probably have been overmedicated. My maximum focus capacity was barely reaching 2 minutes.
Unfortunately, I can see the same pattern happening with teens. The only difference is that they have one more tool to aggravate all these lovely symptoms; the smart phone. (By the way, in my spare time I'm a substitute teacher in high school, so I see a lot of teenagers!).
They’re asked to stay focused, keep silent, and stop moving for several hours a day. But do we take the time to teach them how to do so? (By the way, no one to blame here because most adults don't know how to handle it either).
The problem does not lie in our inability to focus or to be in the present moment but in the lack of instructions in the matter. (I'll leave it at that for now).
Let’s get back on track. The Key to Happiness: LEARNING HOW TO BREATHE!
EVERYTHING we experience comes from the way we breathe. Our whole way of life relies on it. Our ability to focus, to remain calm even through chaos, to be in the moment, to let go, not to judge, not to criticize, not to be dominated by our Ego, our desire to uphold our beliefs, to be impulsive, emotional, angry, to show empathy and compassion, to connect with people around us, to love each other, to make love while connecting with each other, for real, without pretending. EVERYTHING is connected to breathing. YOUR life on Earth depends on it. It’s as powerful as that!
The interesting thing is that the vast majority of our suffering arises from our inability to breathe.
It's in your best interest to beat the path, and asap, so that everything falls into place. You shouldn't have to endure your life, you can choose it, with every breath!
But – and there is a but – if you want to be good at somethin’, you must practice, practice, practice and practice. There’s no other way out at the moment. You actually have to choose YOURSELF, get on with it and practice!
(Choosing oneself... that's an interesting concept too. I'm choosing myself, great! I plan plenty of nice things to take care of myself, and when comes the time to take action, attention drifting starts to hit. Procrastination at its best)!
All this to say that our primary duty as humans is not to work or go to school or whatever we’ve been taught. Your first task is to LEARN HOW TO BREATHE so that the magic of life can flow, through your breath, into your Human Being. (By the way, take the age excuse out of the equation right away, because there is no age for that!)
Explore your breathing in all its forms. Try plenty of different techniques every day. Open up your body from the inside, create space within, train your respiratory muscles.
I’m leaving you with this very simple technique, inspired by soldiers in combat.
Square Breathing Technique (4/4/4/4):
"Inhale through your nose and into your belly, for 4 seconds. Hold at the top of the breath for a count of 4. Gently exhale through your nose, without pushing, for 4 seconds. Pause and hold for a count of 4. Repeat this cycle for 5 minutes every day. Best if you can do it morning and night so to anchor yourself in the present moment and push your thoughts away."
My time is up, enjoy the ride!