I've been doing a lot of reading on productivity, vulnerability, living a full life, and becoming the best version of yourself. It has been truly enlightening (and just a little [read lot] bit painful). The deep realizations of the soul are tangents I could ramble on about for days. The awakening of spirit, self awareness, grace, forgiveness, personal growth...However, in this moment, today, I want to share one simple thought.
Remember to breath.
I was talking to a friend the other day about creativity, life choices, and The Sopranos. The last of those topics led us to the subject of therapy**... something I am considering more and more... not because I feel like I am broken (don't worry), but because I think it is a healthy life practice (having an unbiased third party to talk through your struggles as well as your strengths seems incredibly empowering to me). While on the subject my friend mentioned that she has been seeing a therapist for years, which I told her was amazing and brave and admirable... She smiled, shrugged, and then told me of how much it has helped her, how much it has enlightened her, "I mean, in our first session she looked at me and told me to take a deep breath... so I did. She then asked me if I was aware that when others are speaking to me I hold my breath and become tense! I had never thought about it before but it was so true. I was giving people control over my well being simply by talking to them, I would stop breathing in this weird weighty anticipation... it is amazing what breathing deeply can do for you, it is empowering to say the least."
In Thrive, Arianna Huffington talks about the power of breath and how it can "pull you into the present" believing that, "conscious breathing is a way to become fully present hundreds of times a day." I want to be fully present hundreds of times a day! Whose with me!? Can I (I mean... Ariana) get an AMEN!?
When I am stressed I do yoga, it is often the repetition of breath which pulls me back to a place of calm. Meditation is also an amazing way to find 'healing' through breath. These things force you to slow down, to calm and center yourself, bringing clarity to mind, body and spirit. This is not some 'new age' idea, it is ancient wisdom that we have simply forgotten in an era of notifications and overly scheduled lives. The power to change lies within ourselves. We may not be able to change everything, fix all of our problems or be perfectly 100% who we ought to be all of the time... but we can breath, we can bring ourselves back to reality and make the choice to move forward from a place of calm. So breath...
"Inhale the good shit. Exhale the bullshit."
* Image via: They All Hate Us
**this exerpt from Lena Dunhams book is brilliant... also it made me feel differently about therapy... currently I feel all roads are leading to me laying on a cushioned couch pouring my soul out to a stranger.