This article appeared in Community Contact, a Montreal, Canada based Caribbean newspaper in March 2023.
Have you ever noticed how often you hold your breath throughout the day? Are you aware holding your breath impedes your body’s ability to process the information (feelings) moving within it?
This is the first in a six part series of articles, based on my book, Breath Sensations Words which invites you to become curious, and consider shifting how you perceive and engage your world. We will explore the power of breath, the sensory cues in your body, and how the words you use, internally and externally, have the power to shape your reality.
Breath as a Highway
This week’s focus is on something you may do outside of your awareness… holding your breath. Breath is the highway which carries information throughout our body. Typically, when something we label as “bad” happens, we tend to hold our breath. It’s part of our habituated, reflexive response. It’s also a safety mechanism.
We hold our breath to not be heard, to stay quiet. Holding our breath may also be associated with “holding our tongue”… an intelligent response to keeping our thoughts inside of us. The potential damage this can cause is felt when we begin to experience health issues. Holding our breath creates an energetic signature which gets stored in the body, and can manifest itself in the form of disease.
Holding our breath stops the information in our body from moving freely within us. What’s the information? All those feelings/emotions that we try to avoid. This is not good/bad/right/wrong. It’s just the way we were taught, either explicitly and/or through observation. It’s an intelligent response.
Consider taking a moment to think about the past week. Are you able to identify moments where you held your breath? Are you holding your breath right now? The main thing here is to begin the process of noticing. Not to judge.
As a culture we have learned to hold our breath as a way to stay safe. It’s been passed down for generations. The good news is, once you begin to notice that you are holding your breath, you then have the ability to make a different choice.
That choice takes the form of engaging a different breath. Using the elements as the base, there are four breaths, Earth, Air, Water and Fire. Each one engages the information (feelings/sensations) in our body differently. The Earth Breath is grounding. The Air Breath is about our beliefs, values and attitudes. The Water Breath invites information to flow. The Fire Breath invites you to claim the intensity which lives within you. In the next article we will explore each of the four elemental breaths, how to engage them and the potential shifts that can take place.
Until the next time!
Lisa J. Weiss, Transformation Maven, Speaker and Author offers programs for individuals and organizations seeking to break old patterns, communicate more effectively and connect more deeply. She invites you to Shift your perspective, Transform your relationships, and Evolve your world. Over the many years of working with individuals and groups Lisa has found that most of her clients tend to focus on the body, the mind and the spirit separately. In order for healing to take place all three need to be engaged simultaneously. Her book Breath Sensations Words, available on Amazon, is a gateway for you to deepen your awareness of the mind, body and spirit in real time.
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