The Power of Breath

Take a deep breath. It’s become a trademark phrase in my house. Until I had Matthew, and everything that I didn’t want to learn in high school biology actually became relevant to my life, I had no idea what breath actually did for us…besides keep us alive.  I didn’t know that certain types of breath actually make a difference between surviving and thriving; that a breath, a hold, and a slow exhale actually tells our body that everything is ok. Boy, would that have been good for me to know earlier in life.  Children teach us so much though, and I’m grateful for what I have learned about calming both of our systems.  

Being the podcast fanatic that I am, THIS PODCAST, on trauma and healing was fascinating to me.  My creative brain sees connection in so many things, and I’ve been wrestling with the irony that what we seek sometimes is sensory deprivation, because there is always so much stimulus around us (both human and technological), but what we actually need is breath to be able to take in life at our own pace.

As a child, my favorite sensation was to be deep underneath the water; no sound, no air, no weight…liquid heaven. Back then, I wished I didn’t need breath, I thought I would have stayed under forever.  I love to glide through the water, I know how to push for the wall, not turn my head for air, and shave off a tenth of a second. I’ve always been proud of my ability to hold my breath, and see how far I could make it. But I’ll never forget that Wednesday morning swim, after I pulled Matthew out of the pool two days before. The feeling of needing a breath wracked me with guilt, the pool tried to swallow my tears, but I came up panicked and sobbing for the feeling that I imagined he had felt. Healing that trauma has taken a lot of work, and breath, to release, and there is still more to do, for both of us. 

My healing process has sought out the expertise of so many different types of therapists...yogis, body work specialists, traditional therapy, even body work in the water. I can feel it when I am in the presence of a healer, it’s in their hands, their eyes, and their voice. When I think back over my life, I have always sought them out.

Healers are gentle seekers, never boastful or pretend to know it all. They are humble, hard workers with passion for what they do…truly my favorite humans to cross my path.

They are booked solid, doing what that love, and are healing the world, one appointment at a time…I love to shine light on their important work.

Trauma comes in many forms. and, because of my experience, it will never be belittled in my family. I’ve learned though, that it isn’t honored by hovering, shielding, or extra attention, as tempting as that can be for a parent, especially if you have seen your child in harms way, or even emotionally suffering. Healing from trauma asks for presence, a lack of judgment, and a listening ear. And then, if necessary, we can seek out the professionals to take it from there.  

We are all living out our stories, and although we can be mindful with our choices, there are so many things spinning in and out of every day that we never anticipated, asked for, or could have avoided. So, as they say, it’s not what happens to us, it’s how we choose to react that makes the long term difference. 

We can’t outrun trauma, it asks to be worked though to live our best life. From our earliest days, what happens to us stays with us, and has the ability to teach or torture.

If we try to ignore it, it will wake us in the night, reside in our bodies, and eventually, the numbing forces of addiction and self harm will take over and massively reduce our potential and our happiness. We were all meant to shine too bright than to not recover from what this world throws at us. No more holding my breath, back to my mat, I’m choosing to breathe and heal, and hoping to bring the next generation along with me.