Lately I have been trying something new. Breathing. It sounds so simple, something that doesn’t or at least should not take thought. Breathing. It’s a sign of life and helps us cleanse. In fact our bodies are designed to release 70 percent of it’s toxins through our breath. INCREDIBLE! Now bare with me on this post, it started as talking about breathing and how great it is, but I soon realized my breathing and meditation are completely intertwined.
Now the challenge I set up for myself was to take time everyday to breath, meditate rather. In through the nose as my belly goes out, hold, slowly exhale as my belly goes in, repeat. No distractions, no phone, no people, just me. Anxious, uncomfortable, twisted me. My goal was, simply put, to become the master of my own breath.
What I do:
Sometimes I have calming meditative music playing or incense burning, sometimes I’m outside, it doesn’t matter. For me sitting down for long periods of time, especially without distractions is not a comfortable or easy task. I allow myself to think, and when the thoughts are overwhelming I ask my brain to refocus on my breath, on the very moment at hand. For the time being focus only on now, when I’m calm again, or feel ready I can revisit the thoughts that seemed too much to handle. I let my body and mind decide when it’s time to stop. Some days I really have trouble doing this for more than 5 minuets, and you know what? That is OK! Some days I’m so anxious and have so much energy I think I need to tire myself before I take time to do my breathing. That is when I challenge myself the most. These days I work to calm my mind and body and sit with the feelings of uncontrollable energy, anger, excitement, fear, whatever it is, and just breath.
What have I learned:
- It can (and really should) be done EVERYWHERE. Now if you know me, you know exercise is important to me, and something that has helped me a lot. I like being outside, I love the feeling of the sun on my skin, the freshness of the air filling my body, the creatures, and plants I come across. We live in a beautifully broken world. While I walk or bike I breath deep, and think a lot. I process in my head a lot. This isn’t always the best though because I have a way of talking myself into circles.
- Writing is something that helps me find clarity. It’s important for me to do often, and to get everything out on paper I can organize my thoughts freely and come to new realizations. Now in order to let myself write freely I also let myself, not always but often destroy what I have written. It may sound odd, but for me it works.
- I have learned how to compartmentalize
- My brain, when left to it’s own devices is well I’m going to be real it’s a dark and scary place.
- my soul, at its very core is beautiful, though at times very idealistic. And it’s OK for me to say that.
- I often lack motivation, and easily become frustrated and overwhelmed.
- I have a lot to learn, and honestly I’m still not in a very good place, but I’m certainly better off than I was even just this summer.
- Yoga is great for WAAY more than just exercise
- More and more I’m realizing how much this little guy means to me:
What I hope will come:
I want to continue healing. More mental clarity, and I really want to get deeper into my yoga practices. Since it’s winter and I struggle to tolerate cold I do a lot more hot yoga classes.
The Next Step:
BREATHING. Consciously breathing when I’m working, walking, typing, panicking, always. Until eventually it is second nature.
Here is a gallery of some pictures I’ve taken while walking, they are all camera phone photos so try to imagine how beautiful everything is in real life
Ultimately the goal is
I love this song it makes me think that maybe, one day things will change. Maybe just maybe I’m not beyond help. That doesn’t seem to be a popular opinion these days though… Oh well.
Life is a struggle and for me this year has been far from an exception. The past few months to put it nicely have been hell, but things seem to be looking up. Too bad I’m awesome at making poor choices for myself. I’m still having fun with my friends and all partying, bowling, hanging out, and enjoying the simple things:
I have made countless mistakes in my life and I have learned from them, but sometimes I wonder what it will take for me to REALLY learn. I also want answers; why did things happen to me, why did I choose to do certain things, and most importantly what snapped this year to make it go so frickin’ down hill? I’m trying to trust in the Lord, but in all honesty I know I’m not really honoring him with my actions, and for that I feel even more guilty. I want death to be explained to me in all of its complexities and I want to know where and why I feel the way I do about it. One of my patients passed away this week and another elderly lady I used to provide respite care for passed away, and it was then that I broke down and finally started grieving the loss of my Grandfather, who passed over 7 years ago. On the upside I moved apartments! I will post pictures after the holiday.
Embrace your sorrow, breath into it, forgive yourself, be compassionate, serve others. By recognizing your great sorrows and living openly with them, they will not take over your life.
I just read the book Unattended Sorrow, doctor’s orders. It had some good points but honestly went on forever repeating itself. The person reviewed the book on amazon and in one paragraph summed up EXACTLY what the book was saying, only the author used 225 pages, and a lot of reiterating the same point. Maybe for some struggling people, this book could really help. It has a very Buddhist outlook which is great, but I get more comfort in trusting the Lord and reading his word.
Burning with rage, she sat there like fire to cold dry wood. Yearning for freedom, for peace. She sat there longing to walk among the trees, surrounded by the green grass. The fire grew stronger as the logs piled on. Trapped in a dark cell, in a cold haze of emotions. “FREEDOM!” she screamed, “FREEDOM!” To truly feel alive she needed to be surrounded by green, in a tranquil state, no longer numb but at peace with herself and her world. As one log turned to ash she felt slight hope, the green was visible, though the fire still needed to die. She needed those logs to turn to dust. Slowly she blew the ashes away. Though the fire still burned strong, she held onto that hope for one day that Red would be Green.
Its been a long couple weeks and I’m scared to move forward and exhausted on so many levels. I hope you all are doing better than I am. Happy weekend!