Sometimes, for some reason, I forget to breathe. I take a breath and get lost between a million incoming thoughts. I build a bubble of air in my chest and hold on to it, and then, I remember I need to let it out, and do it all over again.
I got into the habit of taking quick and shallow breaths. Why?
I feel like I’m underwater, gasping for air when I reach the surface, then diving back in. Why?
I held my breath, literally, at every word I write, at every sentence. Why?
This way, I’ve manage to survive for years. But this is not the healthy way to live. Because breath is the beginning, it’s the source, it’s the thing we do instinctively, and maybe, because I don’t have to “think” about it, maybe because I take it for granted, it became entangled in a bad habit.
Clear your mind and let ideas flow, like water from your creative well.
I’ve been trying to make breathing a conscious act. A part of my writing and not a cumbersome stop. A tool to quiet the cluttering thoughts in favor of the fertile ideas. A release, a relief and a break.
An authentic breath goes deeper, it doesn’t get stuck to your throat or chest. It should move through your body, fill every organ, surge through your blood and awaken every cell. But what should be not always is.
One way I’m retraining myself to breath consciously is by incorporating a Yoga practice. So far, it has helped me challenge my body and reconnect with my breath. I chant to myself “breath in, breath out” in between the other thoughts that bounce and bump all over my head. It’s not easy. I’m not very good at it. I’m making progress.
I still get a knot on my throat and feel pressure on my chest. I still have to remember to breathe, breathe and write. But I accept that as writing, breathing may feel natural, but is not mindless, it’s a lifelong practice.