So many of us spend our lives with our breath held in, even though this is slight and barely noticeable most of the time, this restriction impacts us on every level of our beings, for it is a sign that we are unable to live free and be free. There are many things in life that lead us to the point of holding on to the breath; we cling on to the air as though holding it in our lungs will somehow numb the pain or ease the challenges we face. It is akin to moving quickly through a narrow pass; subconsciously we choose to breathe in order to make it through unscathed. Of course, such an in-breath rarely makes a difference in the physical world, but energetically we reduce the space we fill and, over time, this can lead to us growing increasingly out of alignment with our Selves and with life.
This breath-hold is so subtle that most of us don’t even realise that we are doing it, but when we become aware of this action, we begin to see just how it holds us back from filling our lungs and our souls fully with life. Whilst life does not always work out as we would chose, opening up our hearts and souls to living authentically by being true to our Selves matters, for it is a sign of our willingness to lean into the discomfort and the restriction of the ‘breath-hold’ in order to allow our energetic or vibrational Selves to grow and expand once again.
When we connect to the Art of being Authentic, we let go of the need to chase horizons or to be the best in order to validate our Selves or our lives. When we open up to being authentic, we realise that chasing anything depletes or diminishes us for we are already Whole, complete and magnificent; exactly as we are.
The call to authenticity is a powerful one. Being genuine and authentic takes courage, strength and vision, for it confirms a powerful awakening and a willingness to truly embrace life. For many, the breath-hold has become second nature, but for those who continue to awaken and stir, we realise that this is no longer the best way to live for we need to breathe freely now in order to connect fully with our Selves and our lives.
Intuitively each of us has a sense of the life that we know we were born to live; for many the pathway to such a life feels long and arduous, and for many more it simply feels out of reach. Yet when we breathe and allow ourselves to connect fully to life, we begin to see that it is our perspectives of life that ultimately shape and define our reality, for once we accept that we are living consciously in the present moment and our hearts, minds and souls are vibrant and free, then we realise that we are already living the life that we were born to live.
It is important not to feel a sense of frustration or even guilt for holding our breaths though, for it is a part of being human. Sometimes, life’s tough and it is in-built into our DNA to find ways to survive. Of course, survival, whilst natural, does not necessarily equate to flourishing, and we seem ready now to step beyond the breath-hold in order to blossom and flourish once again.
It is only natural to try to hold on to our breath, for it is life giver and nurturer, but our breath is a freely flowing force, and, like the true flow of the Universal Whole, intuitively we know that it has to be free now in order for us to connect fully, completely and wholeheartedly with life.
Being authentic and genuine is not a guarantee that we will no longer face challenges in life, but it will stand us in good stead to ride the challenges with strength and faith, and it will also allow us to feel fully alive and interconnected with both our Selves and the Whole (which are one and the same).
True happiness does not come from being a success or from being or doing anything in particular, it comes from being our Selves. When we open up to living authentically and embracing our uniqueness, we know that we are home...
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Holding your breath is akin to putting your life on hold.
This is SO very true. I first realized I did this when I found myself holding my breath for long periods of time right before 9/11. I didn't know why at the time, of course. (I had just been to the WTC 2 weeks before.) Now I catch myself doing it when I'm stressed or not centered. Now I will watch for it all the time. What a metaphor for living!
A truly great article... thank you so much Sarah for such wisdom and inspiration. :)