I mentioned many times before the importance of breath. It is the first thing we do when we are born, and it’s the last thing we do before we die. It supplies us with oxygen to keep our bodies and organs functioning, but it also supplies our mind with oxygen which calms and regulates our emotions and fears. When I feel fear or am anxious around something I know from practicing yoga that I can breathe through it, that the act, and even just the sound of my own breath, can walk me through a difficult situation with calm and ease.
I used to hate the silence, I would always have something on to make noise if I as alone, whether it was the TV or stereo, I hated the quiet because the voices in my head would get so loud, I was constantly trying to drown them out, but I was also drowning myself out, not able to hear my own truth and what I needed through the outside noise. It took a lot of work to learn to sit in silence, to just listen to my breath, and to not only physically sit there, but to enjoy it. When I sit now and listen it’s a reminder that I am here, that I am present, that I am the one who is important, that I need to make sure I get my needs met, that I am the one that needs to make sure I have what I need to live the life I want to live. I find comfort now in my breath, and listening to it calms me down. And when I lose it, I know something is wrong.
When I get stressed out, angry, or scared, my breath can get shallow, and when it does my brain starts firing off a million things at once, none of them positive, helpful, or wanted. When I don’t get enough oxygen my thoughts goes back to the way I used to be, the negative, reactive, revengeful me, the me I work hard to put behind me, but that women lives in my shallow breath and comes to life when I’m not getting the oxygen I need. So when I say, “breathe louder than your thoughts” it’s to push that person out, our breath pushes out the old and brings us back to the present, of who we are today, of who we want to be, and to a place where we can make good, rational decisions that honor us and who we are. Our thoughts can get really loud, they can scream at us, especially when we feel disrespected or terrified of our next step, but when we breathe, truly breathe, deeply, those voices quiet down, they cannot live in that place, they cannot survive our deep breathing and flow of oxygen, they die and go away.
No matter what we are faced with when we choose to stand tall, to dig in our heels, and commit to doing the next right thing using our breath as a weapon against fear and all of those things that try to take us down, we win, we win because we are walking past those fears and bad thoughts to do what’s right for us, to do things different, and to do the things we are meant to do. When we breathe short and shallow our instinct is to run, to lash out, and stop what’s going on, but as SLAYERS we take things as they come, we don’t run out of fear or uncomfortableness, we take things on and go after what we think is right, or what we want, we breath in and we move forward.
Next time you’re faced with a difficult situation, listen to your breath, remember that breath is you, it is life, it is the strength and fire inside of you, listen to it and find your strength, find your calm, and find the courage to push on. Your breath can be louder than your thoughts, it just depends on which of the two you are giving your power to. Power up your breath SLAYER and SLAY on.
SLAY OF THE DAY: Do you notice when you get anxious, fearful, or stressed that your breath gets shallow? If not, pay attention next time, and see how you feel as you focus on breathing deeply. Do you notice your thoughts calm down when you take deep breaths? Do you see how, in a situation where you feel uncomfortable or frightened, deep breathing can help you get through those situations? Focus on your breath SLAYER, when you feel anxiety or anger crop up, put your hand on your abdomen and breath in for 4 counts, pause for 2, and then breath out for 4 counts. Keep doing this 10 times, and see how this changes you. Not matter what our thoughts tell us, we as SLAYERS focus on the facts, when we breathe we can pick them out of the bullshit and do what’s best for us. Breathe on and SLAY on.
S – self L – love A – appreciate Y – you