Last week I had a conversation with someone that had just been to a counseling appointment. She was sharing a few intimate details about the conversation and then she told me about the moment the therapist asked her, “are you aware you aren’t breathing?” I instantly became aware that we were both holding our breath because she was in active fight or flight mode recalling the emotional raw details, and I was right there with her, listening and engaged.
It struck a nerve in me that I didn’t expect. At first, I thought, of course the therapist would ask that. Our bodies do put breath on hold when the sympathetic nervous system is activated. Long after the conversation, I kept finding that, in certain moments, the question - are you aware you aren’t breathing? - popped into my head like a big, colorful banner floating behind a jump plane in the sky. It wasn’t hard to miss. At first, I thought it was odd; an unconscious after thought of the conversation and nothing more. But then it kept happening. So I decided to start paying attention.
Noticing when it would happen, I took note of the conversation I was having in my head. I became the observer of my thoughts and quickly realized that many times throughout the day I was actively in fight or flight in my mind. And, of course, I was in fact, not breathing. I’m grateful to my guides for this tricky little lesson although I’m sure they are getting a good laugh. They startle me every time they scream in my mind.
Are you aware you aren’t breathing?
It is still happening, the not so gentle reminder that I’m stuck in my mind and not in the present. When it happens, I take full advantage. I do a ten breath reset in order to flip my nervous system to rest and digest. Since I’ve been getting back to practicing breathing, I’ve been a lot more present and aware of my own emotions and those of others.
Did you catch that? If you aren’t breathing, you aren’t connecting. We spend most of our time disassociating from our bodies by not breathing that we pretty much walk through life like a zombie; or worse, wait for someone else to tell us how to feel. Living an indigo life requires connection. Connection to self, to others, to universe. You will never live a rich, abundant, and wild life if you don’t start breathing. It really is as simple as that. Our bodies are pretty magical.
How often are you not breathing? Have you ever really thought about it? Carry a small notebook and start making notes every time you find yourself holding your breath or breathing so shallow its just enough to keep you alive. You might be surprised at the results.