May The Force Be With You

9 Jan

The other day, while encountering an irritating, nonsense situation that I should have been able to brush off as nothing, I found myself sucking in my breath and then blocking it. Instead of taking in a full breath and then exhaling it, I did the exact opposite. I restricted the flow of my breath. And as I did, I got increasingly uptight, pissy and filled with a sense of entitlement. Of course this did nothing to change the situation.

Lately I’ve been aware that I restrict my breath throughout much of the day. Of course I’m alive, so I’m automatically breathing, but I am not doing so consciously, nor am I allowing my breath’s full flow. Quite frankly, this is blocking the Force.

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This is not a new pattern for me. When I first was exposed to body oriented practices such as yoga and meditation, I was astonished to discover that if I breathed more deeply, emotions flooded through me like a damn that had burst. Everything I had repressed and pushed down over the years unleashed when I did start fully breathing again. And so I realized that breath was essential to the healing process and I made it a priority.

But I have taken my breathing for granted. No longer in need of releasing as much pent up emotion, I’ve stopped paying attention. But breathing is also connected to our vitality; to our ability to move throughout the day efficiently and in a present joyful manner. It is also a conduit to the Divine.

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I know Darth Vader engages in that stalker type breathing, but for the most part, throughout time and cultures, the word for breath has also been associated with spirit and wind. Our breath sustains and nourishes us if we tap into it and use it effectively.

Take it in and may the Force be with you.

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