The breath is our tool for healing and transformation. Our breath directly communicates with the autonomic nervous system, encouraging either the sympathetic response or parasympathetic response. In the sympathetic state, thoughts are racing, scattered and fearful, and we make choices from subconscious or unconscious states.
In the parasympathetic state, the pace of our thoughts are slowed. We become present and mindful, allowing for “witness” consciousness. As the witness, we can watch the nature of our thoughts yet not participate in them. In these moments, we have the power to see, feel and heal.
The next time you feel yourself in an uncomfortable moment, which could be as soon as this afternoon or evening, slow down your breath. As you slow down the pace of your breath, deepen your inhalations and exhalations and internally listen to the voice that’s speaking. The key here is to not react to the voice. The voice, which is an unhealed aspect of Self, is your teacher in that moment. Just listen, breathe and feel the discomfort in your body without responding to it. You can't heal it if you can't feel it.
The emotion comes down as you sit with your breath. As you create space for the emotion, imagine the story playing out across a screen. Remember that you are not the actor or actress playing out these emotions; you are the one witnessing it all. Breathe as the emotion and your innate drive to react to stimulus dissipates. Stay focused on the breath as you purify the body. The more often you can stay with this practice the more often you will release the emotional charge from your body at a cellular level, all while retaining the wisdom of the experience.
Here’s a breathing exercise to work with in the moment: