Living each day much muchier
The only ‘me’ that exists is this very breath that I take now. Me is how I feel in that breath and the choice in front of me to do something to nourish or undermine the next one.
That sounds pretty new age and woo woo but bear with me.
This isn’t a new truth. Yogis through the ages have encouraged us to return to our breath. In fact, it may well be the oldest truth there is. I wish it was more self evident though.
I can’t speak for you but every time I heard that, I’d sit there in the silence feeling awkward and thinking ‘yep, so this is me breathing, where’s my damn epiphany?’
Actually, that that IS the epiphany.
I read a powerful blog post recently. The writer is a personal trainer who admits that she feels like a fraud. Her back story is one of triumph and the kind of deep understanding that only comes from experience, but she admits that she doesn’t feel it because it keeps changing all the time. In the article, she brings the definition of herself back to her current breath.
I’ve been all kinds of Lauras. Some I’ve liked and others I barely recognise. I’ve let other people tell me who I should be and I’ve failed myself loads of times. I bet all of us have a long list of people we once were as well as an ideal self we’d rather be. They stretch away in either direction, past and future, not quite fitting us anymore or taking way too much effort to create.
Somewhere, in all of that, is you.
You aren’t your belongings, or hobbies, or the relationships you have or want. You aren’t your new year inspired self or even your bad behaviours. You are especially not the negative patterns that drive you to spend, eat junk, drink, smoke, work too much, or whatever your downfall is. These are the things we fear are us, the real us, but it’s just stuff that we turn to. We use it to run and hide from our actual selves and what we’d have to feel if we stayed there in the moment with the badness.
I don’t know. Maybe there’s a special meditation breath that brings epiphanies but regular breathing is more than enough.
When you only have to be your next breath (which comes instinctively), the drive to be likable, beautiful, accomplished, skinny, smart, more, better, worthy, all falls away. Spoiler alert – it comes rushing back but maybe if I stay in my breath instead of running away to distract and define myself with other things, then … well … I’ll have to get back to you on that because I’m not sure what happens next. Most likely, another breath.
“I’m a work in progress. How I look, what I think, what I believe in, and what I do with my body and my time – it’s all in flux. Because change is inevitable, I’ve concluded that me (and perhaps, you) is the one thing that remains constant: me breathing. Me is the breath I take while standing or sitting exactly where I am, no matter what I’m wearing, or where I’m working, or what brand of coffee I’m drinking”