Breathwork is a convenient but misleading term. Yes, there is ‘work’ involved in the breathing that I and my clients and fellow ‘conscious breathers’ indulge in – the work of awareness, being with whatever is there in the moment, allowing what needs to come up to be seen, acknowledged and integrated – but this becomes second nature over time.
And there is also breath-play and breath-deliciousness.
Among all the wonderful modalities I’ve experienced and benefited from, what sets conscious, connected breathing apart for me is the visceral, whole experience and the feelings of life being breathed through me. It’s the complete package, and the most natural therapy I know of.
Breathing consciously has taught me so much about life. It’s like those old ‘Everything I know about life I learnt from my dog’ (cat, pot plant, you name it) emails. Except I don’t have to feed and water my breath or take it for walks. It’s just there, looking after itself and me, as long as my lungs are in business.
Through ‘working’ with my breathing, I have seen that everything is a metaphor for everything else; that every nuance of my breath, my relationship with it, my feelings about it and the feelings it brings to the surface is a reflection of how I see and live life itself. Each breathing session is a microcosm of the whole experience I’m currently living, to be mined for understanding, healing, pure fun – or all of the above.
All these years of breathing consciously have allowed me to fully re-connect with my body and its wisdom and to experience my body as a communication device, giving valuable feedback that allows me to notice exactly what needs attention in my life.
Through consciously experiencing my inhale and exhale, I get to be aware of how I receive and give, and have the opportunity to make the relationship between them whole again, into one balanced, unbroken flow. This affects everything that flows in and out of my life, including money and love.
My breath is even helping me to learn to revel (maybe awkwardly at first) in the not-knowing what comes next, and the opportunities to trust that present themselves. The in-breath automatically flows from the out-breath, and life knows what it is doing.
Probably the most precious thing I’ve gained from adventuring with breath, and the life-energy that it carries, is my own spiritual understanding.
I’ve gone from suspicion of ‘God’ and all that term represented to me, complete with formulaic beliefs and other people’s interpretations, to a personal, loving and extremely helpful relationship with ‘the one and the many’, the masculine and feminine and all other apparent opposites reconciled in a constantly available source of Love and Knowledge – whew, best way I can describe it. Basically, breathing consciously has led me to a solid spiritual connection that can no longer be denied.
Through conscious connected breathing I can notice how I really feel about the life flowing through my veins and my energy body and be completely honest about where I stand with it all.
And I notice my stance toward life often shifts, as life or the breath bring new experiences or more old stuff to the surface, to be made peace with – sometimes with just a few simple breaths – and integrated into a new, improved relationship with the world around me.
Who knew that all of this could come from just breathing in and out? Certainly not me when I first started. And the best part is that it’s freely available to all of us that breathe; a love affair with life.
* Thanks to Robo Android of Flickr for the photo (cropped).