He who only half breathes, only half lives
He who only half breathes, only half-lives (Ancient Proverb)
Today’s guest post is written by Donijka, a psychotherapist who provides online support to clients through the Irish Online Counselling & Psychotherapy Service.
“Breath is life……it literally is. It is the beginning of life, it sustains life, and when it is gone, no life remains. Yet so many of us take it for granted. It’s only when something goes wrong with our breathing, or if we require specialized breathing training for sports, singing or a medical condition that we even think about the way we breathe.” (Sophie Gabriel ‘Breathe for Life’.
Become Aware Of Your Breath
Breath is life, so how are we with our breath and how does that reflect how we are with life? Take time today to become aware of your breath. Notice the rhythm and how that changes depending on what you are doing. Notice how your body responds, how it moves with the in breath and out breath. Notice where your breath goes. Is your breath shallow, does it just fill your upper chest, does it even only feel as though it reaches the base of your throat? Does it go right down your body, filling your lungs? How does your mood affect your breathing.
Notice Your Breathing Without Changing It
If it is shallow, with the breath not reaching all the way down, how does that relate to your way of living, are you allowing all of life in or are you just letting enough in? If there is tightness and difficultly breathing, how does that relate to any tension and difficulty that you have in life?
If you gasp the air in, how does that relate, is there a fear that there won’t always be enough?Notice the rhythm of your breath, the in and the out, are they similar or is one easier than the other? Is it easier in life to take things in than to let things go or vice versa?
If breath is life do you allow that in to fill your body? Do you allow life in fully, accepting the paradoxical fragility and power of the breath, and of life and in that yourself, as a part of, and a vessel for, that fragility and power? Notice then how you would like to change your breathing, to deepen it, to allow it in easily and fully and translate that into words for yourself about life eg. “I let life in fully and with ease, I release my fears and tensions and accept the wonder of my being”.
Our bodies are amazing and we can learn a lot by taking time to deepen our awareness and to listen to the messages they send us. Our bodies give us feedback all the time, we just have to be tuned in to receive them.
Donijka holds a BSc in Honours Psychology and a post-graduate diploma in counselling and psychotherapy. In addition Donijka has experience within the field of online support through her voluntary work with an Irish based suicide prevention website.Donijka’s experience in relation to her training and deeply held beliefs about the ability of each individual to harness the power to heal themselves, combined with her experience of the very real need for online support to be embraced in a safe and professional manner made online counselling and psychotherapy a very natural progression.