Breathe In and Relax

“Sometimes the most important thing in a whole day is the rest we take between two deep breaths.” ~Etty Hillesum

“Breath is the power behind all things… I breathe in and know that good things will happen.” ~Tao Porchon-Lynch

Fear is like a crimped garden hose

Discovering what it really means to become a blogger is an exciting endeavor. However I’m discovering, as a neophyte in this realm, I have some inner fears lurking. I want to offer something substantial. I want to provide thought-provoking material. And then fear surfaces:  But… but… what if I am not good enough… what if no one likes it… what if it is of no use… and what about… what if… !?

As I have learned to do with fear, I relax and breathe through it. Robert Frost wrote, “The best way out is always through.” That’s true with walking through forests, as well as in moving through situations that we find fearful. I choose to notice the tension that fear creates, take a deep breath in, and consciously relax with a deep exhalation. Watch tension subside. Repeat as required.

Fritz Perls taught us, “Fear is excitement without breath”. As someone who went through giving birth twice, I can personally attest to the tremendous power of breath in overcoming fear. Ask yourself, Am I really afraid, or just incredibly excited and forgetting to breathe through it?

An amazing lesson witnessed by all people who go through a birth is that it’s natural for humans to tense our muscles and stop breathing when we feel fear. We tighten up and hold our breath. Ancient triggers are at work. However, these triggers can and must be overcome. A woman birthing must recognize her natural reaction to fear and pain, and decide (remember) to consciously relax, breathe deeply, and be in her power. By being soft. Relaxed. It feels like going against everything the fear is screaming at us to do. However all humans can override this ancient wiring. Women have been using this natural relaxation birthing technique for millennia, and it still works today for any one who wishes to use it.

In a moment of fear or stress, notice the tightness in your body. Feel how your muscles have tightened and your breath has become shallow, or even held. We tend to hold our breath when we feel fear. Ancient programming. Perfectly natural. However let’s decide to rise above our ancient biological wiring and choose to relax. Take a deep breath and let the fear wash over you. Your eyes are clear and you can see the situation from a brighter viewpoint. Relaxation gives you strength.

Alan Cohen wrote that fear is like a crimp in a garden hose. We hold the flow of energy back, and feel blocked. But in an instant we can decide to open up, release our hold on that folded garden hose, and let the force of life flow through us.

Breathing deeply and filling our lungs oxygenates our blood and provides a physiologically calming effect. So let’s remember this when we are in fear, pain or stress: Deep breath in. Deep breath out. Relax the muscles. Feel the tension releasing.

This is worthy and important work. Studies have been proving comprehensively how damaging stress is to the body. Yet these studies tend to invoke fear and often fail to provide solutions. My humble suggestion: Remember to take a deep breath. Choose to consciously relax your muscles. These simple steps add joy and health to our lives.

I have been breathing through my fear of becoming a new blogger. I am opening that garden-hose crimp. I choose to breathe through any fears of inadequacy or imperfection. Through breathing and relaxing I can return to my Truth: Just be me. Write the things I want to share, from a place of honesty and integrity and love. And from this place of calm fearlessness I know that this blog is meant to be. It is a story of me. To you. Namaste.