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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.

30 Day Challenge – TED Talks

One of the beautiful things I picked up on from my ex boyfriend, was the greatness of a 30 Day Challenge. You can learn something new in that time, develop a new habit, break an old habit, or even make a complete lifestyle change – in thirty days. It was truly amazing. Back in September when he would tell me of his past challenges, my mind was boggled! I thought immediately of a list of things I both wanted to do and wanted to stop doing.

So, I joined the 30 Day Challenge train and have been doing them since. I boosted my self-confidence with running two miles everyday and found out I love exercising more than I thought I did. I stopped wearing make-up for 30 days and realized, appearence doesn’t matter as much as people think. I actually think I got hit on more and got asked out on dates more, than when I went out with make-up. That was pretty interesting.

My latest challenge was watching one TED Talk everyday and writing down notes on that talk. For those of you who have never heard of a TED Talk, it stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design. “Ideas Worth Spreading” is their motto and let me tell you, those ideas are worth spreading. You can pick from different themes, depending on your mood. You can select from a list of speakers if you have a particular favorite in mind, or you can just click on the latest one uploaded.
I found myself picking talks that I knew nothing about, pickinb subjects I didn’t necessarily believe in myself, but it was about opening up my mind. Listening to another point of view. Seeing things from a different perspective.

Now, for every challenge, I ask myself a small list of questions afterwards, such as, “Did you learn anything about yourself in the last thirty days?”
“How has this challenge impacted or changed your life?”
“Is this something that you will continue to do everyday or even weekly? Has it made a permanent way into your life?”
“What was your favorite part about the challenge?”
“what was your least favorite part?”
Questions to make me think and giving myself a chance to be honest with them. There are so many questions you can come up with.

To answer, I learned that not only can I take myself seriously, but so can other people. If I’m discussing a particular subject with friends or family, I can mention a talk I listened to about it and give credit to the speaker, list facts, and even the research I’ve done on it. It has made me care more about the meaning of life. My purpose in life. It has made me more comfortable being me, and making myself happy. I can keep conversations going, I am developing opinions  and flexible opinions, at that. I am more open minded to other’s way of thinking. I am more willing to admit I am wrong about something and praise them for showing me something new, teaching me.
I will definitely continue on listening to a TED talk everyday. I can’t promise with notes, however I thought it was a great idea to take notes, as it helps me remember the talk more concretely. I has made it’s way into ky life because the ideas never stop, the talks will go on forever. There will always be something to learn, something to share, and something to be truly touched by and inspired from.
My favorite part of the challenge was having my mind expanded, my expectations lowered, and my heart more humbled. I’ve been surprisingly more patient, more kind, and know a little bit more specifically of what I want out of life.
My least favorite part was carrying this notebooks on all the trips out of town I have made 😉
I had to make sure I didn’t forget it! Before partying, I sat in the living room of where we were at and I did my talk before joining. If we were extremely exhausted, I did a talk before I went to bed. It did not matter if my eyes were rolling in the back of my head or not.
It taught me discipline. Which is actually, a universal lesson I have been learning from my past challenges as well.

Doing a 30 Day Challenge has so many great benefits! You can learn so many things about yourself. You can give yourself the opportunity to expand and grow an d. progress in one way or another. All it takes is your wanting to do so! Isn’t there one thing you have been wanting to learn? Something you have always had the interest in trying? Something you want to do not so much anymore?
Baby steps are better than standing still.
So my question to you is,
WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?

Start your challenge, now.

🙂