I have been concentrating on my breathing, more than usual over the past week or so. Growing up I swum nearly every day, so got in the habit of breathing in and out through my mouth. It’s kinda difficult to breathe in through your nose when you are doing butterfly and there is water everywhere.
The breathing through my mouth at yoga is the first exercise, and even then it is only ‘out’, after that you have to breathe through your nose. No matter what position you are in, head squashed onto knee, thighs or whatever, you breathe slowly and calmly, preferably with a smile on your face too. Then at the end of the class we sit on our knees, spine straight, hands on our knees and breathe out. Hard, forcefully, pushing our tummies in and out, the in-breath happens automatically while we concentrate on expelling air out through our mouths.
When I am out walking, I am on my own, so again I am concentrating on calmly breathing through my nose. When I lie in bed and my mind is rattling nineteen to the dozen, I concentrate on my breath, it helps calm me down, it helps remind me that I am in bed, now is the time for sleep. Not stress.
Whatever else is happening to the external me, no matter how hard my mind is working to convince my ego that I am struggling. When I breathe free, I am free. When I close my eyes and relax, breathing comes naturally, when I am stressed it is ragged, hard work. My very body is fighting against me as I try and live here, now. Not in the egoic thoughts that tell me I am crap. I am all I ever need to be, right here, right now, this breath. Not the last one, not the next one, this breath.

One thought on “Breathing

  1. It is interesting to relate to breathing and how important it is. I had an experience this week that churned up the most awful experiences I think I have ever had at work. In my career (to date) I have been a strong leader and able to (in my mind) leap tall buildings in a single bound. Until that is when you are invited to speak to senior managers, usually with little notice and little time to prepare.

    The last two times this has happened to me has resulted in the senior managers letting me know in their words that I didn’t need to come to work the next day because they had released me to find alternative employment. Yep, that’s right, twice made redundant, on the spot, walked to the door with a deed of separation and final pay slip. Thanks for coming dickhead but you aren’t actually required any more after putting all these procedures and policies in place we can get along without you.

    You wouldn’t believe that on Wednesday evening I got an email from my boss informing me that the Board wanted to see me tomorrow when they met. It was just for a chat he said, no need to prepare anything, just come in when you were called and we will get into it. My chest tightened, my breathing stopped and I thought here we go again, things always happen in three’s.

    I sat almost paralysed at my desk for the entire day thinking of how I would tell my wife it had happened again and not to worry. I looked on Seek and My Career, logged into my resume and updated it, it was going to happen for sure. My boss had had enough and I was going to go. You wouldn’t believe that the Board actually wanted to catch up, have a chat, tell me I was doing great, ask me if I needed anything and where a saw myself growing in the next 12-months.

    I didn’t hear any of that, all I was waiting for was the words clean out your desk and bugger off.

    I couldn’t feel anything, I had to make myself breath because I actually couldn’t fill my brain with any more thoughts of the impending doom I was about to realise. For nothing…..they actually wanted to catch up…. I mean actually find out how I was going. I had led myself down a path of natural destruction because my reality was when the senior managers want to see you, you’re fired. I had to ask one of them to ask his question a couple of different ways just to understand what he was saying. And I still didn’t understand it. Finally one of them realised I was totally in irreversible melt-down and said thanks for coming in, you were great. I stood up, walked out in the wrong direction, had to double back just to find the door out of there.

    Later I sat with my manager and actually couldn’t speak about it or actually anything for about ten minutes. I had worked myself up into such a state only I could settle myself down. I took one breath, then another, and finally my words stopped shaking and I could relay what it means to me when I am invited to a Board Meeting.

    He was good and went over and over how important I was, how much I matted to him and did his best to drain my anxiety and replace it with reassurance. Did it work, well I am writing this with a tear in each eye and needing to concentrate on my breathing so I suppose not, I’m not crying but empty and drained are feelings that come to mind all too quickly. (What a week).

    The moral of my comment is probably a lot fold. I needed to tell someone what an awful week I had and how I felt about it. But I also needed to let you know that even though you feel as bad as you think you will ever feel, when you let someone know about it they won’t climb on your back, they will hold your hand and let you know that there are some things in their lives that are too high or too deep or too far to do alone as well.

    You are in a place at the moment that seems too deep or high or far, but hold the hand of someone who cares about you; and many of us do and you can fly.

    Lets fly next week…


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