”The more my body is free to
respond to my breath,
the more I am free to
respond to my life.”
Our breath is the lock and the key to our emotional healing. A held breath in the face of fear locks that fear within us just as a full and deep breath is the key to releasing negative events from our past. Within our breath we have the ability to heal the scars of traumatic events. No matter how subtle or overwhelming, no matter how deep, or how much you depend upon or loved the other person involved. A basic function of our breath is the ability to breathe through and release any fear or negative belief that limits our participation in life. Releasing such traumas opens us up to relieve greater joy and deeper compassion into our lives. Living with a greater sense of freedom and joy boosts our immune system and our energy levels. We all have the ability to achieve great levels of clarity and wholeness. Such an ability quietly awaits our choosing in the depths of every breath.
Third Avenue Palyhouse.- 2003
Listening and responding in each moment wile we roll through the past into and beyond now. What a wonderful way to live our lives. Free from fear or limiting thoughts. In contrast, many of us spend time and energy wondering or worrying about the future or the past. For many “living in the moment” is a thought or a wish. How can we open our attention to the here and now? How can we experience deep listening and responding? Improvisational Drumming has helped me with all of the above.
It is amazing how focus can change when a group of strangers connect and share several deep and clearing breaths. There is a circuit that is completed when we connect physically and share our breath. By doing this we can align the disparate rhythms we find within our selves and or align many bodies together for a task or project
One summer I was framing a house with friends. At the end of the day three scraggy V’s came a honking overhead. As we stood among the roof rafters the honking amplified as three V’s broke into chaos. The spike in honking persisted as the massive group made three distinct attempts to merge into a single massive V.
To our amazement after the first two failed, the third attempt was a gift to witness. In the blink of an eye chaos shifted into order. The honking mellowed as the community settled into a huge and grace-filled V. In this way we can breathe the dispirited parts of our selves back together or help unify a group through breath and drumming. The breath makes the connection the drumming plays with that connection. This is a fun way to set and affirm active responses based in respect and dignity.
Each time I lead drummings, at some point wonder drops in as a group of recent, non-musical strangers respond and listen having fun making lovely music. Together we thrive and grow.
The misty heat of the hot tub embraces my body. Floating on my back, my arms open to the sky. Grand oaks lush with leaves sift brilliant blue. I begin a deep full breath laden with the moist life of the fertile woods. The more I take this sweet air into my body, the more I am given to the air itself. Crisp sounds of the woodland rush in as my ears are resurrected from waters muffling embrace. Bird-songs float down from the rustling leaves. Lungs filled, I feel renewed as if I had been born of this water, into this life-filled forest.
In a flowing movement my breath’s tide turns, releasing air from my body. I melt into the waters warmth. Slowly the water comes to surrounds every fold and follicle of my body. Muffled sounds of waters’ embrace pull me further from the vibrant life of the forest. Eyes close as water begins to gently push on my lashes. I let go, releasing my life.
A deeper sense of withdrawing grows within me. Energy flowing out into the water quickens as I sink deeper, now fully embraced in this womb of water. Only my nose left open to the air. I melt into this moment, the deep peaceful sleep of winter bear’s cave.
From this depth of silence, it was love that saturated my heart. Thirst for life brought the flow of air back into my lungs, awakening from a bath of love. Excitement flared within me as blissful curiosity for light and air rose up within me, once again, reborn.
If we are health conscious about finding the right amount of activity that keeps us agile or developing local food choices that optimize our bodies function, we than may be interested in optimizing the effects of higher oxygen intake. Our breath offers us a spectrum of movement. On the shallow or still end if it, challenging persistent health issues can often be found, along with lack of movement in life and body. Deepening our breath, maximizing our oxygen and letting our bodies respond to our breath supports a healthy energetic life clear of shadows.
What informs our thoughts or our repetitive self talk? Influencing factors can be the moments we were abruptly invited out of innocence by the ones we depended upon the most: harsh words at a tender moment, adopting unloving opinions that were heard over and over again?
Gradually breathing are way through unresolved events we slowly reclaim innocence. As we stop referencing fear and trauma new neuropathways form around trust and love. As thoughts change so do our dreams and visions. Returning to innocence we realign with golden threads tethered to our core purpose.
When I cut my finger my body heals it voluntarily. If an infection enters, my fever will automatically burn it off. When events from early life leave me fearful or numb, it is my breath that waits for my choosing.
The ability of our breath to heal our emotional and spiritual scars is a fundamental function of breath that constantly awaits our focus.