It sounds like such a simple thing but, some of us struggle with this more than others.
For me, learning to breathe has been a life changer of sorts and getting Covid, was the doorway .
In a previous blog, I made reference to James Nestor’s book Breath – the New Science of a Lost
“No matter what we eat, how much we exercise, how resilient our genes are, how skinny or young or wise we are – none of it will matter unless we’re breathing correctly…the missing pillar in health is breath. It all starts there.“
“…the basics of restorative breathing …slow and long techniques are open to everyone – old and young , sick and healthy , rich and poor. They’ve been practiced by Hinduism , Buddhism , Christianity , and other religions for thousands of years, but only recently have we learned how they can reduce blood pressure, boost athletic performance , and balance the nervous system“.
During the summer of 2020, I experienced a lot of discomfort.
“Last night, I woke up in the middle of the night struggling for my breath. This is a first for me. I layed there for a while trying to catch my breath and calm my nerves but ended up losing it. There are moments when my lungs just won’t fill up with air like they used to and it can feel really scary. Thankfully, my husband Sergio is always there ready to support me and had me doing yoga poses in the kitchen at 1am! I eventually managed to settle down and fell into a deep sleep and dreamt terrible things about the pandemic but hey, at least I was asleep”. excerpt from Blog post – December , 2020
What I’ve learned since then is that it’s important to allow discomfort to happen.
Why do we as humans experience discomfort?
“As much as we try to safeguard ourselves against it, discomfort is a part of life, especially in times of uncertainty. Difficult emotions can rise to the surface. Discomfort in the face of the unknown is a natural human response. We like to know, to feel like we are being prepared and in control and when we don’t, difficult emotions can rise to the surface. When the future is unknown-able, these things that make us feel comfortable have been taken away from us. Uncertainty can make us anxious…..This is an uncomfortable emotion. The only way to release the emotion is to feel it fully “. Allowing Discomfort- Devi Brown Chief Impact Officer and Chopra Certified Educator June 13, 2022
Resist nothing !
According to Eckhart Tolle, “the result of long periods of resistance, which is reflected in the body as tightness, as holding on, …the state of resistance obstructs the otherwise harmonious energy flow in the body, which is what can be called ‘chi’…It obstructs that (chi), and so many illnesses arise as a result of obstructions in the energy flow through the body…as you begin to dissolve resistance to life (which he refers to as the present moment), you also have to pay attention to the accumulated residues of resistant in the body, sometimes accumulated over many years”.Resist Nothing – on-line course with Kim Eng August 2021
When we allow ourselves to be fully present in the moment, we are opening ourselves to discomfort and allowing it to release. The key to surviving discomfort is to adopt an open and curious attitude.
Be fearless !
Six weeks ago I experienced my first episode of vertigo ….yikes! I was doing yoga and as I rolled up my spine to a seated position, the entire room started to spin. It’s nothing like I’d ever felt before….paralyzing. My automatic response was fear. I was having an FFT, as Brene Brown likes to call it, a “First F…ing time” and it was terrifying ! I forgot everything that I had learned about grounding and centering and screamed for help. Total panic mode at its finest. Sergio to the rescue 🙂 He was there to walk me through it. Slow, conscious breathing.
The next time it happened, I was familiar with what it was. I remained calm and breathed through it on my own. It was still an uncomfortable feeling but, I let it take its course without panicking. Thankfully my vertigo mysteriously went away, as suddenly as it came. I felt gratitude for everything I have learned about relinquishing ownership of suffering. Not me not mine !
As my friend Ayya Sati Saraniya explains so beautifully, when she shares the story about the time she swallowed a black-fly – Don’t Own the Second Arrow ( Spotify August 20, 2021) ….physical suffering is do-able …mental suffering we can learn how to overcome – trust the process.
You can’t control what happens to you. But you can control how you react or respond.