Hello Dear Ones:
My Life with No Breath
I thought I was doing the best I could. Even if I didn’t absolutely love my job, I was grateful to have it. On the other hand, I did absolutely love my two kids, even if sometimes I couldn’t stand them.
I thought of myself as fierce, then, because I pushed through every day and, by my standards, I generally succeeded. I got stuff done and woke up to do more the next day.
This was me at 50, still pushing my way through each day. Do more, check items off my list, ignore the pain, fall into bed and hope to sleep (but sleep was elusive), and get up the next day and start it again.
I was grateful, though, for the yoga classes I went to at the end of each day, before coming home to take care of my kids and my household. That’s where I felt my first breaths. Looking back, I can see that the magic of yoga class – and the breathing I did there — pretty much stayed in my yoga class. I didn’t know how to take it home with me.
FierceOver50 and Our Special Need for Breath
Sure, everyone needs to breath more fully and more freely. But what is special about our FierceOver50 tribe?
Think about it this way: Your car skids on the ice and your heart starts pounding in your chest, but you know what you do. Hopefully, you gently work the steering wheel to get out of the skid and continue on your way. Your heart stops pounding, you return to a state of calm and comfort, and you continue on your way.
For many of us – and definitely for me – we live in a near-constant, highly habituated state of being in the middle of a skid. But we aren’t able to correct the skid and return to our natural state of balance.
Our response has become chronic and one key symptom of this chronic stress response is a rapid, shallow and immobilizing breath. This sort of breath cuts us off from the wisdom of our body and causes us to dissociate – to separate – from our bodies. When we’re in a skid, we hold our breath. We can’t feel and we can’t react appropriately.
🎏🎏Our breath, when full and free, is healing. It grounds us. It helps us respond in difficult situations. It helps us think, feel, and act fully in our best interests.🎏🎏
Skid Marks on Our Brains
We women, who have been carrying these skid marks in our brains and in our breath, have to work doubly hard to unwind the tracks that these tires have left on our brain. We are now stuck in fight, flight, or freeze and these habitual patterns create inflammation, which in turn, invites disease and worry.
And, the worst thing about this situation is that we think this chronic stress response is normal. Yes, I’ll say it again. It feels normal to us.
Coming Back to Our Breath
Here’s the good news. Responding to our breath is free and not very difficult once you know what to do.
But now, I define “fierce” differently. We are taking care of ourselves first. We are creating boundaries and, yes, we are breathing now.
Breathing changes our physiological response to fear, pain, and numbness. True, it’s automatic but our breath is also under our control. You can learn to use your breath to let go of worry and pain. And, you can use breath to brighten up your thinking. It makes you smarter, more compassionate toward yourself, and more loving towards others.
Let’s Breathe Together For a Few Minutes
In this short video, I want to share with you a bit more about breath. First, I will show you how to breath for energy and how to breath for calm. Then, I’ll show you what a complete breathe looks like. And, we’ll practice it together. Got a few minutes?
Love and Gratitude,
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