In these times of turbulence and trauma, there is one simple exercise we can all do that helps to heal our bodies, dissipate our fears, and increase our sense of well being and belonging. Yes, of course, it’s breathing.
Many of us recognize this incredible phenomenon, and yet it is hardly mentioned outside of New Age conversations and recognitions. Breathing. When’s the last time your doctor, if ever, suggested you take deep, aware breathes to help with a particular ailment? Right. Likely never.
Most of us go through our lives with little recognition of this healing effort. So simple, so mundane, and yet so wondrous. Indeed, it is the one practice that confirms our existence as biological beings. It’s what gets busy when we exert ourselves. It is the force of life itself manifesting within us.
One of the reasons this aspect of living is so neglected is the applied context of the old cultural system. In a world where we are presumed to be isolated and alone, with past and future constantly pressing us, where living in the bubble of our individuality is the norm, ignoring our breathing is to be expected.
But that doesn’t make such neglect a good thing. Far from it.
Physiologically, breathing provides the oxygen for our cells and body processes to do their thing. On inhale, oxygen into the lungs is transferred to our blood stream, and from there to every point in our body. The exhale removes wastes and toxins from our system. It’s a remarkable and constant process.
And yet the rewards for conscious breathing are much deeper. We must deepen our view to see how this is so.
The deeper view is Life itself, this incredibly vast entanglement of awareness and energy that we all live in. Life happens only Now, and while we each of us hold our own space in this physical existence, we all necessarily share this time. Indeed, this is the only time that exists. In the temporal frame, Now is total. We all share Now. We are all Here together.
Stuck as we are in our busy little heads as we often are, our reality seems foreign. Our thoughts and worries seem far more real to us. Our emotional duress, even from events decades ago, can seem more real to us. Our belief codes, these powerful notions handed down to us by parents and culture, seem far more real to us. We have all these stories about gods and politics and the nature of things. Not true. Only Now Is True.
Check in with the animals and plants surrounding us. Where do they exist? What do they ‘do’ outside of this present experience of Life. Check your phone. When does it work, take photos or take you to some fresh clickbait? Check in with your favorite quantum physicist. Where do all these quantum entanglements happen. When does the observer affect the experiment? Yup.
So let’s circle back to our breathing. Of course it only happens now, and the impact of recognizing this truth brings grounding. Breathing connects us to this reality of Life in a way not possible through thought. In fact, thought tends to disconnect us. Thoughts reinforce the bubble mentality of being alone.
But focusing on our breathing – such a sweet way to spend this moment, to be with our bodies, connected with mind and spirit. Such a sweet bliss within this simple act as it works to help heal and find ourselves. And has we find ourselves, we find each other.
Hmmm. If thoughts tend to reinforce a bubble mentality, perhaps I should stop trying to use them to support this recognition of our common place in time.
Breathe into Now.