There is an underestimated resource within all of us. It is the breath. It is so easily overlooked because it is what we all do, all the time. We take it for granted. If we start to appreciate and breathe consciously, we will relax more and let life flow. It is when we relax that true healing takes place.
The Importance of Breathing
The importance of breathing has been taught through many practises and religions. We are often reminded to breathe when under stress, and although this simple reminder is available, most of us forget its importance and significance in healing our own illness and in creating what we want in life.
If we look at the simplicity of the breath, it is fair to say that it gives us life or at least supports life, for without it we would die. Looking at life and nature there is a natural ebb and flow, birth and death, similar to the in breath and the out breath. The sun comes up, then sets before the new day begins. In between all this there are events and processes in life that can potentially disturb the natural feeling of flow and you experience blocks in health, career, and relationships. All the while nothing really changes. The sun still comes up and goes down. A new day waits. And so it is.
Why then do we allow blocks and barriers and create resistance in feeling the natural order and joy in the process of life?
The Breath as a Tool
We are often our own worst enemy and forget that within lies a very simple and efficient tool. It is our breath. Our breath can teach us much about life and our own internal processes. It teaches us and brings to awareness where we hold tensions or stresses. Just by observing the breath like the Buddhists have done for thousands of years, we are training the mind to take a back seat and not react, judge or place a perception on the pain. When the mind is out of the way, healing happens at a remarkably fast rate.
There is no intention in removing the mind because this is impossible. The mind is so important and there to work for us, even though it often seems to work against us. By breathing consciously, attention is directed to a natural flow in life instead of getting sidetracked with the thousands of potentials (positive or negative) created in the mind. We are by nature creative beings who express through action. This is something the mind cannot do. The breath however can. The breath is a being, moving force that never stops. It also creates an opportunity for the mind to rest and not worry so much. The worry of tomorrow takes the energy away from today.
Using the Breath
Our natural state of being is constantly healing. Our mind’s perspective sometimes misperceives and creates beliefs contrary to this. Therefore the perspective we take can reduce our pain. By relaxing the mind and body with calm breathing we can experience relief from physical and mental stress. It is our mind that perceives fear and because the emotional centres of the brain are very close to the part of the brain that receives actual physical pain signals, we often experience discomfort and even fear depending on the context in which the pain was felt. Pain cannot be separated as it is always experienced in an emotional framework. All we need to do is understand this.
In the example of a man being shot and a doctor saving his life, the doctor or the patient do not indulge in intellectual discussions on why he may have been shot before the doctor removes the bullet. In simplicity, it doesn’t matter where pain comes from. We either feel it or we don’t. We are either content or discontent. We are either in peace or agitated. It doesn’t matter why, or where it came from. We can simply breathe and choose to be well, in peace, in joy and calm.
Take Time to Breathe
Take some time in your day to connect with the breath and see what it does for you. I suggest making it deep in your belly so you can feel your skin and muscles expand. Play with your imagination and while you breathe, invite something you desire in your life. Feel it, see it, hear it, sense it and smell it. Don’t worry about how it will come. Let it go and keep breathing.