Take a deep breath.

Just Breathe.

Anytime we are feeling any kind of stress in our lives, this is the first advice we’re given to help alleviate the tension and stress in our body.

Sometimes it’s extremely annoying.

But there’s a reason people tell you to breathe. It’s because it works.

The breath is the ultimate life force. It’s the first thing you do when you come into this world and the last thing you do. That’s so very symbolic to me. And yet, we don’t tend to think much about our breath.

Well, this past Friday, I thought about my breath. For 90 minutes that’s all I did. Inner Journeys Breathwork out of Calgary was facilitating a breath workshop at Studio Om Lila and this was my second experience with this amazing practice.

Breath is powerful. When used as a tool for deep discovery it has the potential to open up portals of discovery for you. Staying focused on it for longer than you normally would, it becomes trans-formational.

My first experience was very emotional. Strong emotions rose and fell in me throughout the practice. It was cathartic. And really hard, to be honest. The breath pattern felt unnatural and I felt awkward. But I definitely felt alive and energized following the practice and for the next few days I still felt the effects.

This time, though, my body felt all the effects of the practice. I had tingles and shudders and warm flushes. It was so deeply physically felt. The breath pattern was much easier to adjust to now that I had already had experience with it. And so, here I was feeling all physically delicious and breathing the breath thinking, I am a breathwork wizard.

Then it happened. Out of nowhere, it felt like my breath looped around and began to flow backwards. That sounds so weird, but that’s exactly how it felt. While it flowed before circularly from right to left, it now felt like it was coming from the wrong side of my body and my body got all confused. It tensed. It said no. It fought that weird breath for almost the remainder of the practice. But I got the message. Because that’s what happens with breathwork and being that present and focused on the very essence of yourself. Things that you miss when you’re not present become written across the sky of your mind.

My mind writing said this:

You need to realize that the feeling of control is a myth. Trust is the absence of control. Sometimes you need to do things backwards or inside out to what you think you’re ‘supposed’ to be doing. And it feels so awkward. So you keep trying to sneak back to your comfort zone but realize that nothing grows without a little challenge. A little stress. It feels weird, but it’s working. It’s just different and different is okay.

That’s when I was told it was safe to be me. That I was to receive from the heart.

See? Transformational.

Now, I’m all about integrating and not just consuming information. I’ve decided that I’m going to do the opposite of what I think I’m supposed to do this week and see what happens. Not like rob a bank and take off for parts unknown kind of opposite. But to be really conscious about not getting stuck in a pattern that feels so comfortable that I feel zero challenge or growth.

Because I believe that we are whole beings and that every area of our life is connected, this started with ditching the workout I thought I should be doing in favor of one that was more fun and took less time so that I could get home and write. Simple things like that.

Simple things…ha! Nothing has been simple about this experience. I thought I could surface it you know. Oh…I’ll do an easier workout….that will be something different for me. That will be doing something backwards to what I thought I should do. I’m almost ashamed of writing that. How patronizing. Blech.

No. doing things differently means having hard frigging conversations. Instead of nodding my head in agreement because I’m too scared to let my feelings out because it feels like hot breath in my lungs doing the same shit that I’ve always done. I’m going to breathe into my womb space and ground my feet deep and low, feel into my heart and say what I need. I’m not going to be disrespected or ignored. And I certainly won’t tolerate any more toxic energy. I’m going to listen to what my heart says and what resonates in my pelvis. I’m going to trust those body signals more and the mind a little less. I’m going to stop talking when I think I should speak and talk when I think I should be silent. I’m going to come from that inside out space a little more and step out of the comfort of surface level bullshit. Because that’s what’s creating fire in my lungs and heaviness in my heart. The inability to be uncomfortable for growth.

This breathwork. It’s trippy.