There have been plenty of moments in the last 8 months when I have really felt like I was LOSING it – falling apart and generally becoming a little (lot) deranged! I have many tools that I have learned over the years but one that I always fall back on is simple and always available…my breath. My last post included some focus on breathing but this focusses only about breathing and how vital it is as a tool for relaxation.
When Tyler was three months old (or thereabouts) and going through a growth spurt, reflux…who knows what… I tried, fruitlessly for two hours to get him to sleep while my daughter was participating in her first school event with her dad and I could not be there. I am sure that my resentment and frustration were greatly fuelling Tyler’s inability to sleep and the more worked up I got the wide awake he was!
Eventually I fell back on my bed with him on my chest and cried. And then I started to breathe. I breathed out all the resentment, frustration, guilt and many mixed feelings that us moms seem to carry (no offence to the many hands-on dads who also get right into the muck of parenting but for some reason dads just do not seem to carry the same huge amount of emotional turmoil (particularly guilt) that women carry!) As I let go and felt my body begin to relax I felt the mirroring in Tyler’s body and he soon fell asleep. I continued to breathe and focus simply on the in and out of my breath as I sat there with my angelic, soundly sleeping babe in my arms.
As time has gone on there have been many moments – most of them involving an over-tired little baby boy and an equally overtired mom- when I have returned to my breath to pull myself back to the moment and let go of all the emotional strain and the related tension in my body. Somewhere along the line I started to visualise myself reaching up to the heavens/universe/call it what you want and breathing in the white light of love, healing and peace through the top of my head. I then shifted my awareness to reaching down to mother earth and pulling in the red light of her grounding, nurturing and stabilising energy with every breath. As I continued I felt myself being encased in a bubble of energy and peace and love just holding me and supporting me and felt this bubble expanding and contracting with each breath. This is a visualisation I now use regularly with my breathing and there are times that I also simply feel the presence of the many, many angels and guides who surround me. I feel them behind me and around me holding me with their love and care. It’s amazing how this helps me to feel less alone in the difficult experience I am having. Of course, the experience then also feels less difficult.
In BodyTalk the act of breathing is about connecting with life force – accepting and breathing in what life is all about at that moment – including the difficult lessons that we are given. Many people whoa re fearful and anxious never really breathe in fully for fear of accepting life and what it brings. Breathing out is about releasing – tensions, beliefs, fears and anything preventing us from going with the flow – and accepting life as it in at this very moment. I often catch myself holding my breath or breathing very shallowly into my chest versus deep into my tummy and I realise that, once again, I have been resisting whatever is happening – judging it (so difficult, unfair, impossible etc) and wanting to change it.
Parenting, more than anything else I have ever experienced has taught me the value of going with what is happening and not judging it and not trying to analyse or change it. Parenting, more than anything else I have ever experienced is about getting through a day one breath at a time and being present with that breath as you just allow yourself to flow with what unfolds. It is just so much easier that way….