Joy Ignites Success

Use Your Breath to Get Unstuck

By - Wednesday, November 20, 2013

 

 

The simplest and most effective tool you have available in every moment to effect change in perspective and mood: your breath.
When feeling stuck, there is an implied lack of movement. You may feel like you can’t get started, you’re stuck in a rut, or you just can’t finish.

We can play with breath as a metaphor for life by watching the beginning, middle, and end of the inhalation and exhalation. Not only will you balance your breathing by watching it in this way, you will start to tap in to the natural rhythm of life. Everything we experience as human beings has a beginning, middle, and end. Like breath, the complete cycle could be less than a minute, or like birth and death, it could span a lifetime. At any given time in our lives, we are at the beginning of some adventures, in the middle of others, and coming to completion with still others. And like the breath, if there is an imbalance, we are likely to feel a little off center.
If we have six new projects starting simultaneously, we are likely to feel overwhelmed, correlating to too much inhalation, not enough exhalation. We may find ourselves taking frequent but incomplete inhalations, as if the speed of breathing will give us a better start. With nothing new and nothing completing, everything moving steadily along, we might feel bored or antsy. Stuck in the middle of the breath, we may not be allowing either a full inhalation or full exhalation and feel resistant to the stillness in between breaths. When we are completing a project, we may naturally express the ending with long, extended exhalations or sighs. These may express satisfaction or relief that we are done at last. We tend to associate stress with situations that ask us to be doing many things at once: at these times it is imperative that we remember to exhale consciously. But stress also occurs when we feel like there is not enough happening and at those times focusing more on taking long extended inhales or resting into the space between the breath can be helpful.
Taking thirty-second breathing breaks throughout your day can help restore rhythm, ease, and flow to your life.
The dance of the breath never stops, and when we become conscious of it, we can have some influence on how it flows. That, in turn, will impact the dance we do with life.
Conscious breathing is something we can do anyplace, anytime—even right now.

30 Second Play Break
Pause and take three deep breaths, noticing the inhalation and the muscle tension required, the exhalation and the easy letting go, and the moment of stillness between breaths. Play with the timing of the inhalation, the exhalation, and the space between breaths. What do you notice?



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Melanie Smithson Institute is dedicated to enriching lives through embodied education and training; using movement, play and releasing to connect with innate wisdom and joy.  

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