Have you ever felt as if there is a “void” in your life, as if, something was missing? Perhaps, or maybe you have finally found the perfect plug to fill your void. But, what if no “plug” was needed?
Having a chronic illness, I can look back on my life and realize: I once was a girl with a very large void, finding anything and everything to fill it, so I didn’t have to face it. To face it, simply means to be present. To stand, still, and say, “This IS okay.”
Our schools, our culture, our parents, none of them provide guidance in walking this path because for the most part, they haven’t. Most everyone is caught in the cyclical loop of fill, fill, fill; whether it be shop, shop, shop, work, work, work, drink, drink, drink or pill, pill, pill. We have unhappy housewife buying her happiness with her husband’s long hours at work. We have people who don’t care to live anymore so they drown their pain with poisons and powders.
What’s the common denominator here? All are choosing to give up their right to live presently in the moment. They are choosing addiction over acceptance. So what’s this great hurdle of being able to live life presently? Personally, I believe we have become tremendously disconnected with our true nature. From this slice of the cosmic umbilical cord, we inherently feel the pain of this detachment, turn away from ourselves and reach for a quick fix.
So, how do we reconnect? The late, great thinker, author and explorer, Terence McKenna, would often say, “Go back to the last time of sanity.” Why not look back on our worldwide culture and try to understand our human story as well destiny?
Most cultures have practiced and still practice breathing techniques to affect personal well-being. Most western cultures would rather sell you a quick fix, currently creating a sealing plug, but later, leading to more pressure and continuous patching. If we look to our more ancient cultures in the east, we find most of their spiritual exercises revolve around the breath. Even linguistically, the word for breath, soul and spirit were all once the same.
It’s about time that the western culture as a whole put their pride aside and learn the ancient gems of our eastern brothers and sisters. Luckily, through techniques such as yoga, we Westerners are waking up to these easy and transformational teachings. Even in Chinese Taoism, much attention is put on the breath, whether it is in their qigong style exercises or their following of the seasonal flow. For instance, in Autumn, it becomes the time that “One must keep the lung energy full, clean, and quiet.” However, the idea here isn’t about putting your lungs to work. Deep Diaphragmatic Breathing, or Belly Breathing, should be practiced to receive a multitude of benefits (see video below).
Breathing deeply using your diaphragm creates an over-all state of healing. We are instantly shifted from the “fight or flight state” stress response to our calming “rest and digest state.” Oxygen fills our lungs completely, thereby allowing enough oxygen to travel throughout our bloodstream like never before. Deep diaphragmatic breathing is also one of the best ways to stimulate the lymphatic system, which eliminates toxic byproducts. Studies have also shown that slow breathing has the power to decrease pain. Even your mental state will become affected by this simple awareness on your breath.
As we breathe in new air we breathe in new life. We finally become present. We teach ourselves, this is what it’s all about. I don’t need another of “this” and another of “that”, I fine with what’s here, right now.
A place I love to find myself, again and again, is out in nature. Even toward the evening hours, when you wish to realign, just listen.
Listen to the orchestra of the gentle, crawling creatures of the night. The crickets are singing, but have you been listening? As I became more aware of my breath, I became more aware of my surroundings.
“These bugs sounds like beta-beats,” I thought to myself. “A constant, repetitive loop of high frequency sound with the power to effect and transcend your mind.”
Their celestial chirp trumps the constant “hummmmmmm” from my computer “drum” which makes my brain go numb and make-me-feel-dumb.
It’s worth the effort to occasionally turn off and tune IN. And voila, the void is faced and filled again and again.
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Interested in getting in tune? Transition from computer to reality with these breathing techniques for optimal health and heightened awareness:
6 Breathing Exercises to Relax in 10 Minutes or Less from Time.com:
Alternate Nostril Breathing – To harmonize the nervous system and hemispheres of your brain:
Kundalini Yoga Practice:
Nervous System Yoga with Spinal Energy Series starting @ 30:10:
For the Kundalini Spinal Energy Series: