Our moment to moment actions are the result of our habits. Our habits are the results of the deep impression we have ingrained in our minds. Our deep impressions are the result of the way we colour our mind – by colouring our mind I refer to our attractions and aversions, or our mental programming.
To contrast how your minds is now, think back to when you were a child, free and spontaneous, then you had experiences that coloured your mind with attractions and aversion. These attractions and aversions have created patterns of behaviour that run largely subconsciously. Our subconscious minds can be thought of as vast storehouse of conditioning. Most of conditioning takes place in the first 7 years of our life when we were not wholly conscious.
Not only are our actions patterned by our experiences, our emotions too are affected. Once again, the first 7 years of our lives cause a great deal of conditioning that influence our emotional expression. Once more, we were all once children who would freely give love without fear of being hurt and express all our emotions without repression.
The first years of our lives we are preverbal, and our ability to consciously remember and put to words these memories are challenging without a nonverbal, body-based method.
The process of becoming ‘conscious’ is to awaken to the conditioning of our past that influences our actions and emotions. By becoming more aware of our patterns, our programmed aversions and attractions, and unprocessed emotions we can break free of our bondage and we can become free to do in act in the Now, liberating us to the child-like joy and openness to love and live fully as if we’d never been hurt or conditioned.
The practice of awareness and healing is one of turning within. To watch the breath is the doorway between the conscious and unconscious and subconscious mind. The style of breathwork I teach is Conscious Connected Breathing, which is a method of breathing that allows for a gentle but powerful way of moving beyond the normal conscious experience and exploring deeper levels of the self. To enter into these altered states of consciousness in a safe environment makes it possible to allow unprocessed emotion to surface and be felt, completing the emotion or trauma cycle in the nervous system.
We must feel it to heal it.
Buried emotions never die.
I don’t get angry , I grow a tumour instead – Woody Allen
By examining the pattern of our breath and becoming a witness we can connect with a force far beyond ourselves. How we breath is how we think, and the breath can teach you about your patterns. For example, the areas we have trouble breathing into, or our inability to let the exhale go and fall away are teachings of the body, they are our patterns waiting to be heard, and felt, and released. Our body is filled with lessons waiting to be learned so that we can move forward with our growth and development.
I’m not a healer, you are the healer. I may bring your awareness to areas in your mental, emotional, or physical body that are blocked, but it’s you who breaths into these areas with the courage to fully feel into the emotion, to witness it, and to allow it to heal, so that you can let that go.
Conscious Connected Breathing has several points to practice, one of the main focuses is on balancing an effortful inhalation and allow the exhale to fall away and allow a letting go. When we learn to balance our effort and letting go in our breath, this pattern will show up in our life. We breath 23,000-26,000 times per day and our subconscious breath patterns determine our experience of life, each breath is an opportunity to let in life giving oxygen and let go all that is not serving us.
When we balance the inhale and exhale, we balance the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system, the two branches of the autonomic nervous system that harmonize all other systems in the body. The breath regulates our blood pH, and proper breathing is essential for the normal functioning of all our endocrine glands. Air is nutrient #1, above all other substances we consume. It is the most subtle and essential aspect of health. At the level of the physical body and nervous system the breath aids in the normal processing of all our cellular functioning. Beyond the physical body, the breath is also a tool for accessing altered states of consciousness, or more subtle layers of our own Being. The breath is our companion, regulator, and guide, It is a teacher, and a giver of life.