I was thinking how crazy the weather has been lately. So many times, it has looked like it was going to pour, then it never did. Other times the sun was shining only to have the skies open minutes later, dumping a huge deluge of water.
Normally I am challenged by Brisbane’s summers and by mid-February we’ve normally had our fair share of 30c+ days. Somehow, this summer feels like it’s been a little cooler. Mind you, working from home and my finely-tuned radar for finding the nearest air conditioner, probably has a lot to do with it.
Whether or not it rains or the temperature soars is completely out of my control. It is what it is and complaining about it doesn’t change the fact. How true is this of so many things in our lives?
So often we run away from our challenges toward something that feels easier. We look for the quickest way out from pain or obstacles to something that feels more comfortable. We avoid the person we see in the mirror when if we just sat with them for a bit, we would learn so much and have much more control over our emotions than we imagine.
So often we don’t tap into what’s already inside us. Our breath comes to mind. I am a huge fan of yoga and the multitude of benefits it brings. But the only reason I discovered this ancient practice was when a friend commented over coffee, that I didn’t breathe.
My first yoga class was not to become more flexible, as a form of exercise or even to go ‘within’. My first yoga class was to figure out what she meant and to learn how to breathe!
Many years later, I can tell you that out of everything I have learned on the mat, nothing has been more powerful than learning to control my breath. It has gotten me through some of the hardest moments of my life and the darkest of nights.
A young man decides to join the monks. He goes to the monastery and is ready for his first class at ‘Monk School’.
As he waits, he notices a 10-year-old boy who has just finished teaching a group of 6-year-olds also training to be monks. Fascinated, the man walks over to the boy and expresses his amazement at such a young teacher.
‘What do you teach these small children on their first day of school?’ he asks.
The boy smiles, ‘What did you learn on your first day of school?’
The man tells him his first lessons were an introduction to the alphabet and simple numbers.
The boy smiles again, ‘The first lesson we teach these young ones, is the most important one of all – how to breathe.’
Everything changes in life, our health, our friends, our financial status, and our relationships. And yet while everything else is fluid, our breath remains a constant. It is the first thing we are connected to when we are born and the last thing we disconnect from when we leave this world.
So often we look outside for the answers. We can’t sleep so we pop a pill, we get bored so we eat something, we feel tired or lethargic so we look for a sugar hit or caffeine drink. We continually search outside ourselves for remedies and fixes, when so many of our challenges can be eased or eliminated altogether by simply becoming aware of the breath.
Once upon a time breathwork was considered mainly a spiritual or grounding practice. Today it has been scientifically proven to reduce anxiety, boost immunity, lower blood pressure, prevent heart disease, manage pain, improve mood, help heal trauma and manage PTSD, improve sleep and a long list of other common ailments and dis-eases.
We already have so many of the answers to a range of life’s questions and yet we chase external solutions all over the world and throughout the course of a lifetime.
We are born with everything we need and with all the talents we require to live a wonderful and meaningful life. We just don’t do what it takes or spend enough time to uncover them all.
We are all born with our purpose, yet it often takes a major life change or facing incredible adversity that forces (or drives) us to discover it.
Dalya xx 💙