Monday, February 06, 2017

Breathing to Achieve

When I'm at the gym one of the things I notice is that people aren't breathing. It sounds really strange, I know. But the thing is that I see someone peddling away furiously on a stationary bike and they're holding their breath; someone executing 30 leg lifts, holding their breath. And then post workout they're complaining about cramps, or wondering why they were only able to push ten minutes of cardio.

The same goes for life. 

I continue to observe people trying to take on life while holding their breaths. It is almost as if life for them is being submerged beneath waters, trying to survive means you can't afford to inhale. But that's where it goes wrong. In order to survive you need to give yourself permission to take a moment and breathe in.

Don't try to cram in the tasks without stopping, worrying away at the amount of work piled up and making you feel as if you've got a barbell on your chest. Slow down. Take a deep breath. Fill up those lungs as much as you can and then let it go.

I was very recently in a large roomful of people all oozing anxiety. We were all there ready to give proposal presentations and the terror, nerves and stage fright was coming off in waves from everyone around me. I had been good to go throughout until I found myself in the midst of this thick blanket of anxiety surrounding me. Then I found myself closing my eyes, taking in a deep breathe,  listening to the atmosphere, and in breathing found that specific frequency where I could take all that anxiety around me and channel it into a powerful force of purpose.

It is OK to feel overwhelmed at times. Allow yourself to recognize it but also give yourself the permission to step away from it and tell it you need some space. Give yourself permission to slow down, to take time reflect on not just what you are doing but why. Breathe.


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