into Your World
by Jonathan J. Dickau ©'97 - all rights reserved
To have noble thoughts is a great thing. Giving those thoughts the ability to fly, however, is another matter. Sometimes, the hardest part of the process is convincing yourself that what you really want is possible. I believe that, in many cases, the reason for this is physiological more than psychological. In a sense, it involves both, because I am speaking of learned habits in our breathing patterns, which influence our feelings about ourselves. This, in turn, can have a profound effect on our ability to succeed at anything.
The power of breath is astounding! The mechanism of breathing connects the conscious aspect of the cerebro-spinal nervous system with the autonomic nervous system, and the sub-conscious operation of the human bodily system. The conscious participation in the breathing process has its drawbacks, but the advantages of having this option far outweigh the problems. You see, the way we breathe reflects the way we feel regarding whatever we are thinking about at the moment. This, in turn, is communicated to our body, where the feelings are amplified, and sent out as signals to our bodily systems.
By participating in our breathing, we can influence the signals our nervous system sends to our endocrine system, and to other bodily systems through the autonomic nervous system. There are a limited number of places where the autonomic and cerebro-spinal nerve fibers can communicate, and the region of the diaphragm is foremost among them. So many things have to be coordinated with the breathing that it is one of the fundamental rhythms all the body's systems attune to. By breathing freely, and consciously promoting relaxed breathing, we can muster a far greater supply of bodily energy for all our purposes.
When we are thinking about anything, our breathing will reflect how we feel about it. We sometimes experience this as a sensation in our chest, in the region of our heart, registering pleasure or pain about something. We can only experience the pleasure of heartwarming emotions if we relax enough to let the energy come through us. By allowing the free flow of air, we encourage the free flow of ideas and lend our support to our thoughts, and especially our goals. If thinking about your goals brings you restricted breathing, and makes you feel uncomfortable, you can change things.
There are at least two ways you can make use of conscious breathing to bring you freedom from the misgivings which would make you short of breath. You can either change the way you are thinking about things, or what you are thinking about, until your breathing becomes relaxed, or you can consciously relax your chest cavity and the area of your solar-plexus while thinking about what you want. In addition, there is an intrinsic health benefit to deep and relaxed breathing which makes it something worthwhile to cultivate for its own sake.
The qualities of an open heart are courage, love, and compassion. These qualities can be greatly restricted by feelings of inadequacy, but such feelings are often accompanied by tightness in the chest, and this can be improved by conscious breathing. I am sure that there are plenty of times when someone was lacking in courage for no other reason than their shallow breathing. Other people, who appear mean-spirited because they lack compassion, may simply be breathing incorrectly, and are thus unable to open up on that level. When most of us were learning how to breathe, we had no teacher at all, and we were expected to learn on our own. No wonder there are so many people who don't know how to breathe properly.
If we learn how to breathe better, this is helpful, but it is not enough to practice breathing techniques in isolation. The idea is to develop the ability to breathe in a relaxed way during any adversity, and to use the power of your breath to dispel feelings of inadequacy. When the breath flows naturally, it sends healthy energy out in waves to every part of the body. It feels good to experience these waves, if you are relaxed, and willing to move just enough to let them pass through your body unimpeded. Indeed, one can develop feelings of joy and bliss in a relatively short period of time, by breathing deeply, and abandoning all tightness.
The experience of releasing tightness in the chest and solar-plexus is one of suspending judgement, as the two go hand in hand. It is hard to feel judgmental and be totally relaxed of breath, at the exact same time. Likewise, breathing with greater ease tends to ease our sense of judgment, as well. Truly relaxed breath tends to result in a state of compassion, or forgiveness, but these experiences tend to relax the breathing also. By being mindful of our breath, and taking the responsibility to keep it open and free-flowing, we enhance the possibility for these kinds of experience to enter our lives. We enrich the world, a little bit, by giving the heartwarming qualities an opportunity to manifest, but we also increase the chances for personal prosperity.
The experience of sufficiency is something we feel in the area of our chest, and it manifests as ability or willingness. Being empowered is not just an attitude, as you need energy to accomplish anything, and with restricted breathing you may not have enough to get the job done. There are other reasons why you might be inadequate, or feel that way, for any given task, but breathing more fully will give you more energy for anything. When we are actually greater, by having more energy, it's no wonder we're less likely to feel inadequate. Having more than enough energy, for the work you are facing, might even make you feel confident.
When we breathe, we generate energy and affirm the forces of life. When we breathe freely, we encourage the noble qualities to manifest. We may have to unlearn some of our bad breathing habits from childhood, to get the most out of breathing, but it is a worthwhile pursuit. To breathe fully, and completely relax while entertaining ones fondest wishes, gives one an edge, in terms of chances for manifesting what you desire. You can literally breathe life into your ideas, your dreams, and your world. What a wonderful way that is to celebrate the fact that we are alive, and can breathe at all.
©'97 Jonathan J. Dickau - all rights reserved
Single copies may be printed, for reference or personal use,
but reproduction for commercial purposes is not permitted.
This document has been online since
March 3, 1997
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