The saying goes, “when in doubt, breathe out.”
The other day, I drove home from the beach and wondered what I could do to make my life better than it already is.
Yep. You read that correctly. I asked myself how it could get “better than it already is.” Meaning, I caught myself thinking my life is already pretty good and it could only get better.
In the last 18-months, I have learned a lot. It’s sad that it took Suzanne dying to wake me up to what life truly has to offer. Unfortunately, that’s basically what happened.
Today, I sat in my home office and wrote a script for a visualization exercise I am recording for the group of men I coach. I mention this for two reasons.
First, the script is all about envisioning our perfect, true self. Second, it’s about getting in touch with that true self, and truly embracing and loving that person no matter what that vision looks like.
The script is based on something I recorded for myself around a year ago. This version a is little longer, a little better, and a little more in-depth than my own because with hindsight, there are other things I would have added anyway.
The reason I chose to write about breathing, and specifically exhaling, is because it is something that we (humans) can take complete control of using our conscious mind. But, we also never have to think about breathing because our unconscious mind manages to keep us doing it whether we notice or not.
Meditation And Breathing
This recording I created for myself came about for one reason.
I discovered, in the wake of my grief, that controlling my breath (both in yoga and in meditation) was an exceptionally easy way to reduce my fear, anxiety and stress. Then, by creating this relaxing, breathing centered visualization I became a better, calmer, more present person than I ever was; even when Suzi was alive.
The understanding that breathing can change our physiology–especially the exhalation–is not new. I learned it in my first ever yoga class, and I know Suzanne knew it as well (she was a yoga instructor and always used to tell me to “breathe” when I was angry).
She was right. And, the wisdom she gained in her training has helped me in so many ways, too.
But breathing is much more than simply a bodily function that maintains our life force. Breath, and our ability to use our exhalation to calm our nervous system, is such an important biological function. When we focus on the breath, we can stay present. We can reduce stress, anxiety and worry.
Personally, I started using breath work and create a space where I could dive deep into my sense of intuition and find my way into my heart. It was during the recording of the visualization I realized that being truly present, being conscious using breath, made it easy to dive deep into my heart.
Breathing and exhaling have become the keys to being present. And being present is what makes my life better. So, I guess the answer to my question is keep being present to my breathing. Keep exhaling long, slow, deep breaths and that will continue to make my life better.