Updated: Aug 31, 2021
Isn’t that how every day is - unlike the previous day, unlike tomorrow? Always shifting and changing...that’s the reality I have been striving for these days.
Done with the monotony, done with same old same old, out with the old and in with the new.
But every moment is new, right?
What does it look like to truly honor the ever-transforming, unfolding moment of our lives? How would it change the way you experience your life if you were to continuously arrive in the now-ness of your BEing?
Sit with that for a moment and invite in a child-like sense of curiosity. Enter into a “beginner’s mind” and let go of old conditions and identity (unlearning is a life-long journey).
Breathe into an awareness that is unique every time you show up.
BE with the sensations of your breath. Notice your inhale; how it travels in through your nose, flows down your throat, expands your diaphragm, and settles deep into your lungs. Pay close attention to your exhale and the quality of your breath as it leaves your body. And feel the natural pauses in between; moments of stillness in the midst of the movement, like the ebb and flow of the oceans’ tide.
What do you notice?
What do you feel?
The breath is our life force - the first sign of life and the last. Our awareness of the breath is one of the most effective ways to settle into the present moment, the here and now, the now-ness of our BEing. When we become fully aware of this autonomic energy roaring inside of us we are gifted with the opportunity to mindfully direct its energy. And if you haven’t already experienced the many benefits of mindful breathing and the healing potential that IS the breath, I strongly encourage you, no, I eagerly insist that you spend just 5 minutes today BEing with your breath. Heck, 2 minutes if that’s all you have.
The point of all this?
Yes, breath is healing. There is a gigantic body of research that shows how breathwork offers a myriad of physiological benefits, such as lowering heart rate, activating the parasympathetic nervous system, decreasing cortisol, a stress hormone, which lowers the body's inflammatory response and boosts the immune system. Deep breathing, especially in moments of anxiety or stress, can have an almost immediate response in the body - it’s absolutely magical.
And what else?
Awareness of breath = presence
Notice your breath, even just the inspiration, and BAM - you’re right here. And that ‘right here’ is always changing! As soon as you're aware of ‘the moment,’ it’s already gone by.
The breath has the ability to teach us that EVERY SINGLE MOMENT is different; even if the differences are miniscule and would otherwise go unnoticed, the exchange of energy is happening. Every second each cell in your body is undergoing a metamorphosis - literally, in this very moment, your skin cells are dying, shedding, and regenerating. Every 60-90 seconds your blood is being recycled through your heart. After I’m done typing this paragraph, the blood that is pulsing through my body has changed and is new; not the same blood as 90 seconds ago.
And why am I writing about this?
Let me tell you…
Feeling into my own breath has helped me experience firsthand the power that this foundational force has to offer. The breath has taught me how to BE PRESENT in life, and thus has shaped how I show up in the world; remembering that each moment, each experience, each person I meet is, too, part of the unfolding. Beginner’s mind, right?
Just like today….
It was a day unlike any other day.
In the midst of week 2 of working for myself, I was still determining my “routine” of self-discipline. My motto had always been “I have routines but my routines changed;” and they did so often. My tendency to also procrastinate had always been functional when I was being held accountable by a boss. However now I was my own boss, and my business wasn’t going to run itself.
After feeding my dog and checking on my garden, stretching and engaging in my new health routines (looking forward to writing about all this!), I grabbed my computer and headed out the door to settle in at Aqus Cafe, one of my favorite places to drink coffee (one of the habits I’m working on clearing) and write. I’d made a commitment to myself to log my current escapades with my healing journey and as such, I was making ample time each day to write. Part of this journey I’m on, this healing I’ve invited into my life, involves honoring my intuition. If you know anything about paying attention to your intuition, you know it involves BEing present - thank you, breath.
So, I had this plan to write about my previous day's healing experience - one filled with a lymphatic cleanse, a sauna and an ionic foot bath - I will definitely be reviewing this soon!
I went up to order my coffee from Amy, who always greeted me with a huge smile (hidden under her mask, but I could see it in her eyes) and remembered my name. Fascinating woman who’s personal work involved healing the earth through regenerative farming.
Anyways - I ordered my coffee and scanned the cafe for a place to write.
It was less busy than I anticipated which left me with a lot of choices, however, I was drawn in particular to this one small table with the window behind it, facing to the west. It had a bench seat on one side and a wooden chair on the other.
Now for context, for the last few years I’d come to this cafe often to write. Nestled on the corner of an unassuming neighborhood block, Aqus Cafe, for me, was a Petaluma staple. There were a few regular tables that I sat at, given that they were open. On a sunny day like today, I would have sat outside; all tables were open. Two of the only tables that were located near an outlet to charge your laptop were open as well. In fact, most of the cafe inside was empty.
And yet, I was drawn to this small table; a table which I found out after I sat down to write, was wobbly and caused me to spill my coffee twice AND knock over my salad - luckily I was already finished and the loud clunk of the silverware didn’t cause too much of a stir. That table taught me to laugh at myself today - but I digress.
That TABLE I’d only sat at once before, ever - and that was yesterday. I didn’t think anything of that, just noticed myself going to take a seat.
The cafe was mostly empty with more seating choices than ever and I chose a table directly next to one of the only people sitting in the cafe that morning.
“Do you work for Lagunitas Brewery?” A woman, who’s name I soon found out was Monica, asked me, referring to the Lagunitas shirt I was wearing.
“No,” I chuckle. “I was at their brewery earlier this year and this t-shirt was on sale for $3.”
She zipped open her jacket to show me she was also wearing their brewery branded clothing.
We bantered back and forth about the brewery as I poured my coffee and set down my things and got my space ready to write. Monica explained that she was working from the cafe while waiting for her car to be worked on, at one of my most beloved mechanics in town, Out West Garage. She drove a few hours from home and had never been to this mechanic shop or Aqus.
“What are you working on?” I asked. There was something about this woman’s energy that eliminated all my anxiety. At that very moment in time, I had zero anticipation about what was about to transpire between us, just by asking that seemingly simple question.
“I coach people with public speaking, being seen, their phobias, working through limiting beliefs, healing trauma, things like that.” Healing trauma; like that’s a small feat.
Monica explained how she works with athletes who choke under pressure, coaches kids struggling with SATs, people who’s phobias are so debilitating that it disrupts their lives. She helped people release early-childhood trauma, neural accumulation that gets trapped in the body and has the ability to dictate our lives.
I was absolutely fascinated with the information she was sharing with me.
“I use techniques such as Tapping (EFT) and Neuro-linguistic Programming, and draw on areas of Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine, Meridian line awareness, and breathwork.” Monica explained that she was a massage therapist; a profession she chose to follow after she was told she had “healing hands.”
“My life has been magical over the years, learning all of these different modalities, helping people change.” Monica had studied at the National Holistic Institute for massage and continued her education with various certification programs involving energy medicine.
I shared with Monica a bit about my current healing journey and my learning to retrust my body, engage in alternative healing practices, and write about my experiences.
“Last week I did 5 days of a hydro-colon therapy cleanse and a liver cleanse, and two days ago I had the most profound Neuro-linguistic Deprogramming session; I literally feel like a whole different person.” I was excited to share my positive results with a fellow human who clearly worked with the body’s ability to heal itself.
“Wow, I do NLP but have never heard of the reverse; I am deeply interested.”
From that point and for the next 2 hours, Monica and I connected on education, health, mysticism, trauma, alternative healing practices, family, and the structure of the psyche.
“NLD is like NLP but its working to undo the fear and sadness rooted in the body, stemming from a core wound.” I explained my experience of my most recent session with Kevin. “We addressed a fear that was deep inside of me, living in my gut and in my root chakra. The fear was saying to me, “you are not ok just to BE.” (In the process of NLD, you give voice to the energies inside of your body.) This session, I gave voice to the fear, a fear I didn’t know was even there. And once I was able to clear the energy around that fear - HOLY WOW - (I don’t have the time right now to explain, but I’m absolutely different, lighter, more ok with my BEing-ness - I promise, I will report on this another day because my life has changed so much, with each passing day, and now using my breath, with each passing moment).
Monica was right there with me as I told my story. She felt my energy and understood the language I was speaking.