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