Take a deep breath. Notice what floats into your mind as you take this breath. Maybe you think, “I can’t.” Maybe you think, “I don’t want to.” Maybe you think, “I can but I feel bad that I can and someone else can’t.”
Breathing is what keeps us alive. Breathing is a function of the autonomic nervous system. We breathe automatically. Most of the time. Sometimes we become aware that we’ve been holding our breath – in anticipation, in pleasure, in fear. There has never been a time in our lives that we are more aware of this function and the devastating effects of its failure.
But, if you are reading this, there is still breath inside of you.
Even if you are lying in bed, even if you are sick. Maybe your breath now is not what you’re used to, but it’s there.
Go ahead, try again.
This time, notice how it feels in your body. From where does your breath originate? Is it your chest or your belly? Can you feel it in your toes? In the top of your head? Imagine your breath flowing throughout your body like a river of life. Is it cool? Can you feel it nourishing you? Is it warm? Can you feel it holding you like a hug? Does it tingle? What does it feel like?
Now inhale. Can you deepen that inhale just a little? For a brief moment? If you can’t, simply acknowledge, without judgment. You are still alive. Inhale again, this time with gratitude for what breath you do have.
Inhale and say to yourself, “I’m ALIVE.”
Written by Rebecca Geshuri, LMFT