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The Gift of Breath

Last week’s therapy session left me a lot to mull over. I left there with a lot of questions, a lot of doubts, and a big ol pile of ‘I don’t know’. All in all, I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with any of it. However, after a week of sorta mulling it over (only sorta, because my schedule has been hectic with the move) I’ve not made a lot of progress. However, there is something I can say with complete certainty:

I love the act of breathing.

When I was first told to breathe when my brain started to freak out, I kinda laughed. I scoffed at the idea. “Really? My brain is on OVERDRIVE when this happens, and you expect my breathing and counting to ten to solve it? Please.” I spent a lot of time after my last session talking with people on how I could get my mental flurries under control. And ironically, every single suggestion that was given to me made me laugh. I scoffed at all of it. I thought it was all stupid. Even some of my most trusted friends gave me advice that I mentally laughed at. I really couldn’t understand why I was so adverse to fixing my issues. However, because one of my friends was really adamant about how it would help, I decided to do it anyways, even though my brain was totally telling me that this was entirely stupid and a waste of time.

So I began to breathe. I also began to try my friend’s technique of relaxing and focusing at night. And I can say that the few times I’ve done both of these (see statement of hectic schedule above) has made a difference already. Many times I will feel a surge of emotion coming on, and I will begin to breath and count. Sometimes, I won’t even get to 5 before I feel better. There are times when I will be on two, and my mind will try to go back down the emotional path, and I’ll have to start over again at one. It’s not perfect yet, but it is helping.

Breathing is awesome.

I think this raises an interesting point, though. Sometimes your brain is wrong. And last week, my brain was totally throwing a temper tantrum about breathing, about focus, about giving up the emotional roller coaster that I had been on for the past few weeks. Now mind you, I’m not out of the woods yet, but I think it’s a step in the right direction. And this whole point really sticks in my mind, because I wonder where I’d be had I not listened to my friend. Did what she said and actually tried everything. Many times in Kemeticism/Paganism, we hear a lot of people talking about doing ‘what feels good’. “I don’t do that, because it doesn’t feel right to me”. Well what if your brain is making you feel things that are counter productive? What if your mind is being a three year old who wants candy, and will make you feel (and therefore do) things that are unproductive until you give it that candy? Watching my reactions this past week has really made me think about this.

I haven’t made a lot of ground on my other assignments, but I think the mental clarity will really help me to start understanding the other things on my plate. Slow and steady wins the race. Oh yeah, and don’t forget to breathe.

 

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