Tag Archives: inspiring

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.

How Chocolate Motivated My Change:

I know what you are thinking. Chocolate changed me? You might think, “yeah maybe changed the scale number.” But let me forewarn you, you are wrong my friend.

This is not a post about a new great chocolate diet that will get you everything you want out of life. This is not a post about having the answers to life because you gorge yourself with chocolate every afternoon. With all the sugars and ingredients, chocolate is definitely not the healthiest choice for a snack. If you’re going to eat it, at least eat dark chocolate, because according to WebMD (which I value as a trusted site in my personal opinion), dark chocolate has antioxidants in it as well as lowers your blood pressure.
Although, this is also not a post about which kind of chocolate to eat and why.

This is a post about giving my kudos to the Dove Chocolate company.

Because Dove prints inspirational quotes and sweet pick me ups on the inside of their wrappers, they have been my number one choice of a chocolate snack at the store; next to Peanut M&M’s and Snickers.

Years ago, when I would listen to the negative voice inside my head telling me I wasn’t good enough or smart enough to do something, naturally, I would turn to chocolate, as many young women do. Only whenever I opened up my chocolate to eat and think about my failures, I would get distracted by reading the wrappers. “Break the mold.” It would tell me.
These wrappers demanded me to “Forgive the past.” because I could have the power to “Change the world and make a difference today.”

I felt uplifted. I knew it was just a computer printing these silly sentences onto a wrapper for a great sales tactic. But what a great sales tactic it is!!! I don’t care if someone working at their computer desk who hates their life, gets paid to come up with these sayings or if Buddha himself said it, because in the end, it saved people like me. It let me know that it’s always too soon to give up. It’s always a bad idea to quit your progress, to lose your confidence and belief in yourself.

So after eating my piece of chocolate, my nuerons would start to fire at each other up in my noggin. I started realizing what I am worth. Maybe I can do more, I thought to myself. I never knew what my passion in life was, and that’s when I realized it was writing. I didn’t know what I was interested in learning, so that’s when I spent more time at the library and paying close attention to what catches my attention.

My temper fell. I sobered up. I made a blog. I started writing a book. I got rid of almost everything reminding me of my old life. I spent more time with my family. And whenever I heard the words “can’t, won’t, don’t, stop” – I simply shut them out. I learned how to remind myself, the way all the Dove Chocolate wrappers had before, that I was good enough. I was smart enough. I do have the power to be anything and do anything I want in this lifetime.

 

I am not suggesting you go out to your nearby drug store and by all the bags of Dove Chocolate to get your confidence back up. It is still something that must be kept in moderation, as anything great. However, take my story as a stepping stool. Recognize the negative thoughts in your thoughts, take a deep breath, and politely remind those thoughts that you are the bigger person. You got yourself to where you are now, and you can give yourself all of that credit. Don’t let petty thoughts or comments from anyone else bring you down, because you hold no obligation to them.

So never forget how great you are. It is never too late to start kicking