I wanted to know who I was, why I was here, how to heal my heart, and ultimately where to find some peace of mind.
I'm sure you can relate.
This period of intense suffering was the most challenging chapter in my life thus far. I didn't know where to turn or how to free myself, but somehow I was certain that life was not meant to be so hard. Thankfully, after years of self healing, study, and spiritual practice, and now having worked with thousands of people in my private practice and group events, I am both grateful and humbled to have found answers to the questions I desperately craved to understand, as well as liberating solutions, which transformed the overwhelming suffering in my body, heart and mind.
One of the most empowering lessons I learned was around the significance of my breath and its potential to unlock every block in my body, heart, mind and life. There are countless theories and techniques available in the world of healing and spirituality but, after exploring many of these, I found that everything I was restlessly searching for outside of myself already existed within me, here in the present. All I needed to do or, more accurately, all I needed to understand, was this: If we can learn to be present to our breath in any given moment, we can find our way back to the peace, health, happiness, fulfillment, and freedom that are already alive within us. Ultimately, each inhalation offers a pathway down into the depths of our being, where unlimited space and stillness are always patiently waiting.
Our breath is like an anchor that has the power to keep us centered during the most turbulent of times. Regardless of how strong a thought or an emotion is in our experience, we'll always find a wealth of joy, clarity, and love deep within us.
It is only through our breath that we can immediately step out of the illusory past and future into the truth of life in the here and now, where happiness and peace are eternally present no matter what's occurring. By intentionally dropping our awareness out of our heads and following our breath deep into our bodies, we can find acceptance, harmony, and courage in any situation.
I've found the primary reason why most of us breathe at very shallow depths - specifically into our throat and upper chest - is because we've repressed and stored so many uncomfortable emotions deep within our body that we ultimately fear feeling. But when we consciously focus our attention on breathing slowly, deeply, and fully - into our belly and then into our lungs - we allow the energy that's become trapped in our head as confusion and obsessive thinking, as well as the energy that's become trapped in our heart as anxiety and stress, to literally melt and drop, and then fill our body in a balanced and harmonious way.
To truly find the peace that exists deep within us, we must eventually make the challenging but necessary journey into the very deepest parts of our being. At some point in our quest for lasting health, happiness, and fulfillment, we must find the courage to feel all of the hurt, anxiety, anger, insecurity, fear, guilt, and shame that we've shoved so deeply into the cells, organs, and spaces that make up our physical body.
The more deeply we breathe, the more deeply we feel, and it's only through feeling life deeply and fully that we allow ourselves to heal completely. In fact, there is a direct correlation between the fullness of our breath and the fullness of our lives, because we can only live our lives as fully as we're prepared to inhale the life force itself. Quite simply, the more fully we inhale the life-giving energy of oxygenated breath, the more well we feel and the more we actually enjoy being alive each day.
Understanding this particular dynamic is one of the most vital keys in finding the source of peace, health, happiness, fulfillment, and unconditional love deep within us. In every moment that we do not inhale deeply and fully, we not only allow our old emotional wounds to fester and become toxic, but we also allow ourselves to pile additional pain on top of the already stagnant discomfort that we've unintentionally created, or left unresolved.
When we look at the process of breathing in this light, it becomes clear that each moment actually offers us an opportunity to love ourselves, heal ourselves, and fulfill ourselves by making a conscious choice to focus on inhaling the breath of life as deeply and as fully as we can.
Through intentionally breathing into every space inside our belly, back, chest, shoulders, neck and throat, we can fill these areas with the life-giving and life-healing energies that are infinitely available, everywhere, all of the time. By focusing our attention on inhaling as deeply and as slowly as we can, we simultaneously allow our awareness to expand beyond our head so it may fill every cell and corner of our being. The natural byproduct of this process is a deep, tangible, understanding of our unity with the ocean of energy and oxygen that fills all of the spaces and environments around us.
Simply through breathing in life as wholeheartedly as we're able to, we begin to remember that we're not separate from anyone or anything that exists. With mindful, deep breathing we eventually reawaken to our oneness with both the universe and all life, and we also rediscover the infinite potential energy and life-giving force that exists in every particle, atom, and molecule that surrounds us and gives form to our being.
All of us tend to make life much more complicated and difficult than it needs to be, primarily because we reject and deny so much of what we think and feel. In fact, I've found it's this pattern over time that creates most of the stress, struggle, and sickness that we experience in our lives. Thankfully, though, life actually becomes significantly easier when we stop resisting the flow of energy and emotion as it pulses throughout our being here in the present moment. In fact, once we learn to surrender fully to whatever we're thinking, feeling, or experiencing, we naturally release our inner fight and accept whatever is occurring within us and around us without struggling at all.
It could be said that the single most important key to aligning ourselves with the harmonious flow of life itself is to master inhaling life deeply and slowly. By intentionally cultivating this practice daily, we can accept life as it is and allow life to unfold organically and enjoyably through our every thought, emotion, and experience.
Personally, I have found that underneath all of my thoughts and emotions there is an ever-present source of peace, stillness, and vital energy. When I consciously choose to follow my breath deep into my body, I can find my way back to the inner freedom and happiness that I desire in any moment or situation.
As we welcome our experiences fully through our breath in each moment, we become one with our experience and thus quite effortlessly put an end to our suffering. Simply by accepting our unity with all that exists here in the present moment, the pain we once felt from feeling isolated, insecure, mistreated, or unloved eventually just melts away into the loving silence from which it came, and all we're left with are the joy and bliss of our liberation.
Blake D Bauer is the author of You Were Not Born to Suffer
Blake D Bauer is the author of You Were Not Born to Suffer