Don’t forget to Breathe!
It is actually quite ﬁtting that the thing we do most naturally without eﬀort, thought or even consciousness is the very tool that gives us life. Life is meant to be eﬀortless. The very act of breathing reminds us that we rely on an innate wisdom to survive, to expand ourselves and animate the human experience. As we learn to breathe consciously we are learning to use this wisdom to our advantage – to allow it to deepen our understanding of ourselves and help us attain a peaceful presence.
In our work, you are required to practice a minimum of 20 minutes of diaphragmatic breathing daily.
Learning to deepen the breath from our usual shallow use of it is the starting point for unearthing suppressed emotions. A deep belly breath not only gives us a chance to step fully into our bodies, but in so doing- gives us access to any thought, feeling or physical sensation that can be blocking us from feeling completely at peace with ourselves.
We will use this tool as a practical way of grounding us, revealing our internal discomfort and to ultimately soothe ourselves.
A daily practice of deep belly breathing is also foundational work for developing a more prolonged and disciplined meditation practice – it will become easier to sit for longer once you can master the 20 minute exercise. In addition to the inner discipline you are cultivating, the stillness and presence created by the breathing is instrumental in developing our intuitive abilities – learning to tune in and listen to our inner voice is essential to living an authentic life.
Some things to consider:
The way you do the breath work is the way you do life… if you cannot be still, are ﬁdgeting in your body, ﬁghting racing thoughts and ﬁnd it diﬃcult to take a deep breath then you are likely carrying around this inner chaos as you try to navigate your daily activities. Our inner life is always a reﬂection of our outer circumstances, so use the practice as a way of seeing what areas of your life could use some peace. It is very normal for the practice to be diﬃcult at ﬁrst.
In a later section we will discuss ego consciousness, its driving force and the insanity it propels in all of us. Simple daily breathing can be very useful in disarming its tenacity and allowing us to see it for the false identity it is. Do not be discouraged…keep practicing daily even if you must start with 5 minutes at a time and gently work your way up to 20 and beyond. Once you transcend the diﬃculty of being still and breathing deeply, you will start to see the beneﬁts instantly.
For the purpose of our work together, it is completely ﬁne to listen to gentle and inspirational music (no lyrics) during your practice. Music tends to have a calming eﬀect making the practice more pleasant and easier to do.