31 Days of learning to breathe: Unlearning to breathe
Wait! What! Un-learn to breathe? How is that possible? It is very possible if we stop and think about the way we've been living life.
When I was in Jr. High, it was discovered that I had nodules on my vocal cords. It is usually attributed to vocal abuse (umm..not sure how I was abusing my voice really, but I had them). I did tend to have a lower, raspy voice, etc. and so for whatever reason my mom took me to the doctor and sure enough, they were there. It was determined that they would treat mine through speech/voice therapy. Every day during band, I had to get up and walk out to go to therapy...not real confident building for an insecure young lady. I had to re-learn how to use my voice correctly, I had to un-learn the way I talked, or the "bad" or "harmful" habits or behaviors I had picked up and learn to adjust my pitch, loudness, breath etc, in order to have healthy vocal cords. It's not easy though, because typically, just like breathing, we talk without thinking about how we are using our voice. It's kind of second nature. We just open our mouth and what comes out, comes out. I never paid attention to the pitch, the breathiness of my voice.
So you see, sometimes we don't realize we are doing something that is harming us, sometimes we don't realize that we aren't breathing correctly, or in my case, using my voice correctly. We don't see a problem. We don't see that what we are inhaling and/or exhaling is toxic to not only us, but to others. We don't realize that we are running around like chickens with our heads cut off hyperventilating. We don't realize that we aren't stopping long enough to take a deep breath in and inhale the fragrances around us. Do you breathe through your nose or mouth? For whatever reason, I struggle to breathe through my nose. I don't know why, but I just feel like I'm not getting enough air when I do. Sometimes I'll lay there in bed and try to focus only on breathing through my nose. I've become more dependent on breathing through my mouth. It's easier for me. It's become a habit. Not a bad one, but it definitely makes breathing any other way difficult, almost like I'm suffocating.
Think about anything that you might need to un-learn that impacts the way you breathe, that keeps you from feeling or being alive. Remember we are talking about literal breathing, and figurative breathing. Are you constantly feeding yourself things via your eye-gate or ear-gate that contribute to the way you breathe? Maybe there are things going on that cause your breathing to always be fast and erratic, maybe you need to unlearn negative words, thoughts, etc. We'll hit on those things later, but it's good to start thinking now. To just be more aware.
With Joy Unquenchable,