WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU TOOK IN A FULL BREATH?
May I take some time with you? Breathe with me.
When was the last time you took in a full breath? Not a weighted sigh, a draw in after a heavy break, but a full, intentional breath? One where you watch your chest rise and fall? An act of selfless love that the Universe has granted you to receive?
Do you remember breathing? Not a breath carried through anxiety – a short flutter when you remembered to stop holding your breath in anticipation. A solid breath, one where you hold at the top and sip through your lips to fill the remaining slots of your lungs.
May I take some time with you? Breathe with me. Rest one hand on your belly, the other over your heart. Remind yourself that you hold the power to pull in every ounce that will fill you. If anxiety or depression meet you here, grant them permission to leave. Anxiety tends to suspend our breath while depression lays across our chests, making our breathing shallow. Take your space here. Take one deep breath in. Count slowly to eight as your fill your chest and pull in from your diaphragm.
Hold. Two beats.
Exhale. A solid breath. One not forced. One fluid, unbroken breath. With your exhale, release the tension. Release the fear. Release the expectations.
Deep breath in. This time, imagine yourself being poured into. Be it water. Coffee. Tea. Whatever sustenance brings you joy. Imagine with your mind’s eye watching this liquid fill you to the brim. What color is it? Is is warm? Cool? Thick? Savory? Sweet? Pay close attention as you reach your brim. As the last drops fall into your being, what does your face hold? A smile? A look of relief?
Hold. Two beats.
As you exhale, I want you to imagine pouring yourself back into your being. Here, there is no pouring from your cup. Instead, you give of your saucer, saving what’s in your cup for you. We meet ourselves again at the edge of each breath like a reintroduction. So many forfeited their lives or had them stolen for us to forget how to breathe. Life both slows down and accelerates our breaths. Bring yourself back to center as only you can. Exhale in full into every drop is accounted for. Repeat.
As many times as you need to remind yourself how to breathe again.