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Breathe deep

I can't sleep.

I know it's strange; I was such a devoted insomniac until Tyson came along, and then suddenly I started sleeping at night. Maybe it was the migraine earlier today, and the prescription to chase it off, and the nap to chase of the prescription.

One thing hasn't changed, and that is that I tend to amble in my writing when it's late; so either forgive me for my wanderings, or grab a cup of tea and join me.

I have several teas that I'm quite devoted to, although I get a bit giddy over any new ones that I come across. One of my favorites is a Yogi Tea called Breathe Deep. That's something I haven't been doing enough of. There's so much good that a deep breath does; I actually enjoy letting the air out more than breathing it in. The idea of ridding my body of impurities and toxins, and that I was able to fill my lungs that full makes me feel blessed. I've been thinking about my breathing lately, especially after Friday. I have a chronic inflamation in the muscle tissue surrounding my heart, and as an oversensible person, anything that would normally feel uncomfortable to someone else causes me a great deal of pain. We didn't know for years that this was the problem causing me such pain and distress. I'm panic-prone anyway, and have problems with anxiety (but almost 4 years without a panic attack!), so when you feel a sudden stabbing surrounding your heart, and everything seizes and you can't breathe anyway, it's quite easy to panic. An "attack"(as I really have no other word for them) begins when my heartbeat begins to race, pounding against my ribcage and muscle tissue. This creates a sensation that ranges anything from an uncomfortable pain to a stabbing pain that makes it very difficult to breathe.

I've had so many of these attacks over the past five years that my family, boyfriend, and most friends are used to it. Friday night Ty and I were watching a movie, when I could feel the tell-tale signs of an "attack" begin in my chest. Two of the only ways to keep a mild attack from becoming a trip to the emergency room I've found are 1) keep me calm (not an easy task) and 2) heat. Well, it wasn't a scary movie, and I was feeling pretty calm, so heat was needed. I had left my hot pack at my apartment, so Tyson let me use his bathtub. I got in as fast as I could and folded myself into the bottom of the tub, hugging my legs to my chest so that I could get as close to the flow of water as possible.

As I sat in the tub, Tyson talking through the doorway every once in a while to see if I was ok (and breathing lol), I watched as the steam rose from my body and the water gathering around me (I take my baths hot enough to boil frogs, if not myself). I closed my eyes and could hear my dad's voice in my head. He's always very calm during situations like this, and right then I wanted my dad. I wanted him to tell me that everything was ok, that I was breathing fine, and that the pain would pass soon. Crying doesn't help the pain, and certainly doesn't make the breathing any easier, so I closed my eyes and willed myself not to cry or panic.

On the inside, I knew that everything would be ok. Ty was right outside the door if I needed him, and could either help me or get me help should it become serious. And I had done everything quick enough that I had prevented too much pain; the heat was relaxing me as much as it could, and the ibuprofin I had scarfed would kick in soon and help with the inflammation. It was time to start focusing on my breathing.

A word on that. I am just beginning to learn the bliss of deep breathing. To completely relax honestly scares me, and I rarely allow myself to do so. Even when I'm doing yoga, I enjoy the thrill of it, the light I feel entering my body with each new breath, but then I catch myself relaxing and jolt out of it. It's something I'm working on. I remember Mom telling me that I needed 40 good deep breaths a day. I used to try so hard to get that far, but I must admit lately I've forgotten about it all together.

Back in the tub, watching the steam, I closed my eyes and felt my heart beat. I willed it to slow down, as much as one can will those things. I tried massaging my chest, telling myself it would pass soon and I would feel just like new. But when I finally closed my mouth, leaned in to the steam and took a deep, deep breath, I finally felt calm enter my body.

Eventually, the attack passed, and, feeling better, I went home and went to sleep. Since then, breathing that hot, humid air has been on my mind. I love the thick feeling of it, how I can almost feel it coat my lungs. How safe I feel in the water, the steam surrounding me. I understand that it was the deep breathing that did the most good, and the rest was just icing, but it makes me wonder why I save those deep breaths for when trouble hits, for when I'm afraid. Why can't I allow myself the joy of full lungs, of the light that spreads through my body when I give it air, and how wonderful it feels to push it all out, cleaning my body of poisons. Why do I have to wait until my day makes me so weary I turn to a tea bag to remind me what will help? Shouldn't I be enjoying the pleasure of it every day, 40, 50, 60 times a day? Feeling thrilled and grateful that I can breathe in so deeply? Shouldn't each breath be a gratitude?

This leads to my resolutions. I only have a couple this year. The first is to live as authentically as I can--to do what makes me happy, what makes me feel like my whole self, what completes me. The second is to breathe deeply every day. The third is to be more grateful, and the fourth is to look for beauty everyday, and find ways to share it.

I'll start tonight--I breathe in deeply, grateful for swimmer's lungs. And I revel in the last sip of white hot chocolate, the nutmeg and cinnamon I sprinkled on top now skipping across my tongue. I breathe deep and know that by choosing authentic, breath-filled paths, I'll find more instances that take my breath away.

One Response so far.

  1. Ann says:

    So so so true...breathing cures most things, especially those we are afraid to cure. :)


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