What Life Is Like When You're Not Living In Your Head
I write a lot about how Breathwork changed my life. It's a big statement, but it's a true one with powerful, practical implications. I think when change happens on such a deep level and it transforms the way we operate it can be really helpful to see practical examples of what that change can mean for our lives. So I'm going to share with you how Breathwork has changed my life and a give you a personal example from my life to help illustrate it.
I was always someone who thought deeply about things. Sometimes, you could say, I thought too deeply. Or simply too much. I have also always been someone who has felt deeply. When my feelings and my mind collided I often found myself confused. I would be in a challenging situation, feel the right decision deeply within me, act on it, and then spend the succeeding days second guessing myself. I would analyze and reanalyze, the ways it could have gone if I had said this or that differently, questioning the initial judgement I had made, wondering whether or not it was really the right thing.
I so deeply wanted to make the best choices for myself and without hurting others, and I ultimately didn’t trust myself to do that.
I could hold various perspectives, which was a beautiful thing in one sense, but it also made it very challenging for me to make decisions. I could see different sides, and I was never quite sure which to choose. Often times I would end up aligning myself with other people’s perspectives and making decisions that seemed to best fit what I had intellectually adopted as my own truth.
The problem was that it wasn’t my truth. It was a truth discovered by someone else whose words rung true to me. Whose words rung true. Again, not a bad thing by any means, but the deep knowing in my soul of what was best for me, that was not something I had yet experienced for myself.
And then Breathwork found me. After I had been practicing for a few months I began noticing a shift in myself. I felt lighter and clearer. I felt a new freedom to really be me. I didn’t even know what that meant at the time. I was also going through some challenges. My boyfriend’s mom died, my boyfriend and I were breaking up, and I ended a very close friendship. Things were changing rapidly and deeply. I felt challenged and emotionally vulnerable in a way I’d never experienced. My mind couldn’t really seem to make sense of what was happening to me.
What was happening was that I was opening up deeply. I was clearing myself of pains and traumas I’d been holding for many years. I was willing to see parts of my life differently than I had seen them before. I was focused on showing myself compassion and letting go of any of the ideas I had for the life I had already lived and had yet to live. I was, essentially, awakening to a new relationship to myself.
I remember the moment I knew Breathwork had changed me.
I decided to end a friendship I had held so close to my heart with someone I suddenly realized was an unhealthy person to have in my life. (This was a revelation in itself, something that shocked me to realize.) We were in conflict. We were writing letters to one another. His letters to me were unbearably long. And critical. And crossed boundaries. I would write back defenses and delete them. I would feel sad that I was so misunderstood by someone I cared so deeply for. I saw that I had a pattern of feeling misunderstood and wounded by that misunderstanding. I didn’t know what to do with that, but I knew I needed to breathe.
I went to a Breathwork session and spoke to my teacher about the situation. About not knowing what to do. He asked me if I had ever heard of the phrase, “Give it up to God.” So I did just that. I breathed it all out, went home and wrote him a letter that flowed so incredibly easily from my heart, a letter I can still look back on and be proud of. It was a letter that spoke about what I felt was at the core of our friendship: love. It expressed that love, and it also firmly expressed that I needed him to trust me to do what was best for me, something he inevitably couldn’t do. And so I cut all ties.
That was two years ago, and there has not been one single moment that I have felt I did the wrong thing. I have never held an ounce of doubt in my being that I did what was best for me, and I did it with ease. I did it without struggle, or analyzation or regret. And when it was done I felt a way I’d never felt before. I felt cleared out and was seeing clearly. I saw a dysfunction in that relationship that I wasn’t able to see before. I saw the version of myself that was stifled and afraid of judgement by that person. I saw that I wasn’t able to be the best version of myself. I wasn’t safe and held with love in that relationship. And that is what I aspire to have in relationship with those I love.
I have never ended any relationship in my entire life and felt that sense of clarity, and that is when I knew that my life had completely changed.
Breathwork has opened my eyes to my truth. It has moved and purged all of the junk that was weighing me down and blocking my vision. It has helped me have more clarity in my life, more connection to my deeper wisdom, and ultimately, complete trust in myself. To me, Breathwork is a path to a deeper relationship to ourselves. Once we are clear about who we are, where we’re at, and what we need, then we can begin to address the relationships and circumstances in our lives. Often times we get caught up in drama, mind chatter, and external issues as a way to avoid dealing with our deepest pains.
Breathwork gave me the ability to trust myself in a way I’d never trusted myself before. This wasn’t about intellectually agreeing with ideology or belief systems. It’s was an embodiment. I knew the truth within myself and didn’t have to spend a lot of energy on deciding what to do. This remains the case today (when I’m balanced!). I’m able to live my life with more ease, more simplicity, more joy, and more clarity.
I spent twenty something years living in my head, something you may resonate with.
Living in my head meant that I was hiding behind a wall of uncertainty. I was concerned about whether I was making the right choice for myself, and I was concerned about what everyone else was thinking about the choice I was making. Breathwork has given me access to a deeper part of myself allowing me to respond to life from a holistic place. My entire being is part of my decision making, not just my mind.
Through my practice I had to face some heavy feelings. I had to feel them, to move through them, in order to release them. Some energy moves regardless of our effort, but our willingness to let go has a tremendous effect on our healing process. I was ready. I was willing to see the shadows, feel all the feelings, and I was willing to do all the work.
Imagine what your life would be like if you were able to continue to make choice after choice that is aligned with your highest self. Where would you be? Who would you be? How would you feel? How might your entire life transform? It might not be an easy life, but it’s a life connected to your own heart and soul, one in which you’ll feel each beat and hear each call.