Bookmark This for the Days When You Forget to Breathe

Trust the process. Breathe!

Photo by Eli DeFaria on Unsplash

Life sometimes gets overwhelming…maybe more than sometimes…and you forget to breathe. 

You forget to participate in the exchange that is essential to life…to take in life, allowing it to go through and move through you, giving your cells energy and purifying you — in exchange, you release the things that are not needed letting them out in exchange for more life — repeat.

Breathe…take in the life that’s so freely given to you.

Just like you have to breathe to stay alive, you also need to ‘breathe’ to keep your soul, heart, dreams, and humanity alive.

A (very) quick Physiology detour

When you inhale (breathe in), air enters your lungs, and oxygen from that air moves to your blood. At the same time, carbon dioxide, a waste gas, moves from your blood to the lungs and is exhaled (breathed out). ~National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute

With each heartbeat, the heart sends blood throughout our bodies, carrying oxygen to every cell. After delivering the oxygen, the blood returns to the heart. The heart then sends the blood to the lungs to pick up more oxygen. This cycle repeats over and over again. ~

I bet you trust this physical process even if you don’t see how it works. In the same way, you have to trust the process of life and your non-physical systems.

There is always an exchange

You are always taking something in through your senses and you’re always processing ‘the data’, interpreting them, and releasing some form of energy into your life that moves you to action or drains you of strength.

For instance, as you’re taking in the words on this page, you’re filtering them based on your past experiences, current knowledge, values, hopes etc and you use your power of perception to interpret and give ‘life’ to the words, giving them permission to influence and affect you in one way or the other. 

Depending on how you use your power of perception, and the energy released by the emotions attached to your interpretation, you can produce actions that empower you and those around you, or give in to despair, unable to move.

A great deal of this exchange is mostly automated and subconscious, but it shouldn’t be.

You have to be intentional about your life

You have to be intentional about the exchange that happens in your life. Be mindful and aware of what you are producing. Are you releasing more love, or is it anger that comes out often?

Are you living an inspired life and moved to take inspired actions or are you just going through the motions, being tossed around by events outside of you?

One of the deliberate efforts we take to keep ourselves physically healthy is by using filters — water filters and air filters. 

In the same way, you should have a filter in place to process the data coming at you, and analyze and reject the things that do not serve you. Be intentional about what you take in and about what you let go of. 

Can you imagine if after your body processes the food that you eat, you decide to not visit the loo to pass out the waste? 

That’s what it’s like when you hold on to attitudes and emotions that don’t serve you, instead of using them as feedback on areas of your life that you need to pay attention to. 

Stop holding on to the fire and wondering why your hands are burned.

Trust the process that as you intentionally take more life in, you’re being purified and energized. 

A lot of us old on to the ‘carbon dioxide’ of life — fear, resentment etc — we take them on, build our identities around them and give them permission to affect our energy levels for life such that we end up contributing more toxins than nutrients. 

The life exchange is an intentional process that begins with trust.

You want to get to the point where that exchange becomes seamless, where you are very in tune and notice when your ‘breathing’ becomes shallow and strained.

Keep your ‘heart’ and ‘lungs’ healthy

Your physical heart and lungs work hand in hand to preserve your life by providing your body with oxygen and nutrients and removing carbon dioxide and waste products.

I call imagination and thought my figurative ‘heart’ and perception my figurative ‘lungs’. Together they produce the energy that keeps my life functioning and helps to get rid of unhealthy mindsets and attitudes. 

Simple tips to enhance your perception and keep your imagination healthy

1️⃣ Improve the quality of ‘air’ in your environment: Be intentional about surrounding yourself with people and things that enhance your well-being. Engage in activities that build you up and guard your peace. 

2️⃣ Don’t internalize external ‘irritants’: opinions of others, labels and unwholesome words. Don’t give them the power to rob you of yours.

3️⃣ ‘Eat’ healthy: Be intentional about what you take in and internalize. Read, and listen to, wholesome ideas that leave you energized and better.

4️⃣ ‘Exercise’ your mind: Often test your ideas, mindsets, and how you perceive the world by exposing yourself to different people, different ideas, and situations. Be open to other perspectives so that you can grow and have stronger convictions to anchor your life on.

Don’t forget to breathe deeply

When you forget to breathe, you’re not taking in enough life. Instead, you’re holding on to chaos and anxiety, trapping them inside with no way to escape, causing you harm. 

Just like the damage caused by smoke inhalation may sometimes be missed until it’s too late, so is internalizing and holding on to the ‘toxins’ of life. 

Take time to breathe. Breathe in Life, take in Joy, take in Hope and let go of the pressure from external expectations, resentment, fear, and shame. When you hold on to these, your body, your mind and your life bear the consequences.

Let go, unclench your fist, and trust the process of life. 

Things happen for you, not to you. The end goal is that you become a physical manifestation of all that was placed in you. 

You were meant to thrive internally, to be filled with so much life that you are life-giving to everyone and everything around you. For this to happen, there has to be an exchange where you take in life and let out everything that’s killing you from the inside.

This reminds me of a simple but powerful song — Don’t Worry Be Happy by Bobby Mcferrin — the part I like most says

When you worry you make it double, don’t worry be happy.
Bobby McFerrin 

Here it is for your listening pleasure

No matter what’s happened or happening in your life, worry, resentment bitterness etc won’t make it better. Instead acknowledge, accept, breathe — let go of what you can’t control and work on what you can.

Back up your actions with faith that everything works in your favour even on days when it doesn’t look like it is. Just maintain the exchange of life. 

Every time you breathe, imagine taking in the life you need for everything not just for your body to function but for your mind, your heart, your soul, your life.

Also, the more life you give out to others the more your capacity to receive increase.

Do your part

In the same way that you have a part to play in keeping your physical organs healthy, you also need to understand how your life system works, how you process your experiences, what you allow to shape you, how you form your opinions etc and keep it healthy.

Remember: you have the power to reject ideas and thoughts. You don’t have to internalize everything you see, feel or hear. Clear your filters so that only life flows through. 

Take every emotion as feedback and not something to be overwhelmed by.

There is life all around you, you only need to enhance your awareness and perception of it. Everything you need is within you.

Breathe — let go of the murk, take in life, repeat. 

It’s a ‘trust’ process. Trust the process.

You can figure this out. You don’t have to pander, you don’t have to sell your soul, you only need to trust, be inspired by life, and take actions based on that.

Until the next perfect time
~ Deola

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