Deep Breathing Challenge – Day #30

I didn’t give an update for my last two weeks, because I didn’t really have one. I have noticed a lot in my first two weeks of this challenge and there are also some realizations I have accepted through the process. It’s been a deep growth period for me and one I have truly enjoyed to the fullest.

I no longer get lightheaded,

when I deep breathe for yoga or meditation. Now that my body is used to spending, roughly half, of the time deep breathing naturally, it is better able to accommodate those activities where deep breathing is involved.


 

I can run farther, faster.

My strides are long as if I’m seven inches taller. My body takes off and flies through the scenery. Coming from a hometown in high altitude and thin air, it was already one thing to experience such thickness in the air here; being so close to sea level. Deep breathing has given me back my power to match my breathing to the environment. I used to compensate my breathing when I ran here, unsure of how exactly to measure my breaths. Sometimes I would breathe a lot of faster and sometimes just a little too shallow. I now understand the rhythm and flow to serve my body the best functioning for runs, jogs, and now… hikes!


I’ve stopped craving junk food as often.  

It was cookies every single night, chocolate of some sort every day, skipping meals and craving chocolate of any kind. Milk, carbs for all three meals, late night snacks, decrease in activity. The sluggish feeling became overwhelming. The clear thinking I have had from deeply breathing has not only filtered out unnecessary thoughts and slowed down my pace of speech, but it has given me clear and concise communication with the part of my brain that tells me when I am hungry and/or thirsty and what nutrients I actually need to fuel my body. I am listening intently as I gather what I need. The bag of Cadbury eggs in my fridge are not being touched [as often] as I thought they would be. They may just last until Winter…. don’t worry about the amount I bought. That’s not of importance. Fruits and veggies and water are once again, the biggest part of my diet. I crave cherries like I craved cookies. My breaths allow me to really feel my lungs expand and my heart beat at an appropriate rate. I feel the beating getting stronger everyday. My own heart is regaining it’s strength due to my breaths lengthening, inhibiting my mind to decide accurately what it is I need to put in my body to make this function last.


 

I have learned and accepted, that I can’t breathe deeply every single breath of every single moment of every day, but I can come back to deep breathing when I have stopped doing whatever it is that takes the focus of mind.

Such as conversations, being in the moment with friends, laughing, watching suspenseful movies, and even sleeping. Educating clients, reading a book. There are some things I do, where I just don’t think about my breathing. Although my breathing is no longer shallow like it used to naturally be, it is not as naturally deep as I had hoped. Although, can every breath be naturally so deep, comparable to meditation? Would we then be focused so hard on breathing that we actually get pulled away from being in the moment? That aspect was never my goal. Although, because I have spent every possible moment in these last thirty days, giving attention to my breath, I have learned that I am now spending half my time awake giving an in depth rise and fall of my rib cage, full expansion to my diaphragm, and a piece of mind to my body. I am less toxic on a cellular level, which in turn frees my mind, endocrine system, and skin of toxicity.

When I am engaged in something active, whether it be a soccer game, conversing with workmates and friends, indulged in books and movies, or exercising, although my breath is not actively opening up as when I am focused, it is opening much, much more, than it used to. My natural breath is now three times deeper than it used to be. I am calmer as a person in all aspects of my life. I am more confident without having nonsensical anxiety and worrisome thoughts. I take the time in all I do. I no longer rush my days. I no longer stir my brew of self-sabotage mixed with ingredients of time, fear, attention, and perfection.

 

This challenge has been one to remember forever. It has undoubtedly, answered the questions I could never have answered for me. It has forced me to look within not with shame, but acceptance and patience. It has allowed me to conquer aspects of myself I feared I would never be able to do. It has taught me that nothing about ourselves is permanent and we can improve our spirits in anyway we seem fit; all we have to do is commit.

I am twenty four mortal years old and am learning things I have not learned in all the others years my soul has walked this Earth. It’s humbling, it’s enlightening, and it’s moving. Thank you for allowing me to share this 30 day challenge experience with you. As always, I encourage you to venture on a 30 day challenge of your own! Big or small, physical, emotional, spiritual, or mental – challenging ourselves and pushing ourselves outside of our comfort zone is one of the best experiences we can give ourselves. We thrive, we grow, and even surprise ourselves along the way.

We are all strong and wonderful.
Challenge yourself, today.

The moral of Thanksgiving

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Happy Thanksgiving, all!
I hope today is utterly enlightening and special for everyone and you all have a safe and happy day with your loved ones.

If you’re like me, you have both received and given phone calls and text messages to family and friends and expressing your gratitude for their presence in your life. Expressing your love and the hotness they bring, the laughter and memories you have shared.

Today is the day to be as cheesy and happy as we want to be.

Whether you celebrate the importance of getting together around the table today, we cannot help but think about all the things that we are grateful for. It’s a beautiful thing.

 

 

 

Until April of 2011, I was missing something in my life. I was having a lot of fun, started in school, working and supporting myself…. But I still felt empty inside. Something was definitely missing and it took me a long time (twenty years) to figure out what it was.

Although I was happy and smiling and laughing everyday, I couldn’t shake the sadness growing inside of me. I had suppressed the feeling for so many years, through so many situations, that it finally made its way out, luckily, in the comforts of my own house.

I stepped through my front door, saying goodnight to my friends, and just broke down unexpectedly the minute I knew I was alone. My wart was hurting, and I squeezed my eyes shut as the tears were forcing their way out. Up until that point, I hadn’t cried in a long, long time.
it was long overdue.

I cried for my losses, life changes, fear,band accomplishments. I talked to God for a long time. Hours. I laid in my bed and just talked, letting everything out.

I found forgiveness.
I found gracefulness.

Once I got done shedding my emotions and draining myself of energy and tears, I took to reading some blogs. It’s the only thing, to this day, that puts me at ease.

I read a blog that challenged me to start a What I’m Thankful For journal. The idea was to write just five things every day of what I am thankful for.

My first day I couldn’t think of much. Perhaps I didn’t know how in depth it had to be. Perhaps I didn’t know how superficial it could be. Perhaps I was scared I was too selfish to ever do more than five.

But I started it that night. I was all out of options. I was desperate to feel something. anything.

My first night I wrote only three things.
My second night I got to five.
And for the next twenty-eight days, and my list made its way down to a hundred things I was grateful for, my true happiness started to merge. That itch of guilt, shame, depression, and anger was defeated and thrown into the Earth.

Bella and Lola came and we saved ourselves. We cleansed ourselves and our environment. They were the support I needed at that time.

 

That thirty day challenge saved my life and my sanity.

Not a day goes by that I don’t give thanks. I give thanks at the beginning of my morning, throughout the day,band before I go into REM. It’s become so natural to me and my life has changed dramatically because of it.

I’m accepting, understanding, compassionate, and enlightened. Among many other characteristics I have developed- I am most of all, happy.

When my teachers asked us what we wanted to be when we grew up, kids, every year would write the job they wanted or intended to have. I always wrote happy. Nobody ever understood. But I’ve made it.

I’m growing up and I’m happy.

 

So today, I invite you to the 30 day Challenge that changed my life, in pure hopes it gives you also what you are looking for.

For the next thirty days, I challenge you to keeps journal or something tangible to put words in – and write down five things a day of what you are grateful for.

Thanksgiving is a great day to realize what we are thankful for, however, I believe it shouldn’t be just one day a year that we express it. It should be daily.

You don’t have to end with a hundred things, but I encourage you to write down everything and anything you are grateful for. From shoes to clean water to coats to cars to gas – whatever/whoever it is that has made your life better – acknowledge it. Love it. Grow with it.

Namastè.