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.

Another Historical Moment in the New Millennium

It’s no hidden fact, that since the beginning of our new millennium, we have made monumental moments in our history that have been captivating,

In 2001, the first iPod was introduced by Apple, Inc. and it was a month before that we had a terrorist attack on our nation and Historical Afghan cliff carvings of the Buddhas are blown up after the Taliban deems them idolatrous.
In 2002, Banksy smuggles one of his own works into Tate Britain: The nation’s favorite graffiti artist, Bansky, smuggles one his pieces into Tate Britain; earning himself a place in the art establishment
In 2004, Facebook was launched by Mark Zuckerberg
In 2005, YouTube was created and Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans
2006 brought us Planet Earth, The God Delusion, and our first E-Reader by Sony.
Paul McCartney proved anyone can be a record label, even Starbucks, when he signed in 2007.
The year of 2008 brought us our first black President of the United States
Pop Icon, Michael Jackson passed away in 2009.
NASA took its final mission in 2011.
We survived the apocalypse on December 21, 2012
The Selfie, The Belfie, “Bae”, Instagram, Snapchat, iPads, Facetime, Radio on the Go…….


Now, in 2015, we have yet again, made our mark in history as a wide clan of humanity. We have given evidence to show what it means to be united and stand together as one. Different parties have come together, different religions have come together, and different generations… have come together. We have the done the undoable and accomplished the accomplishable….

Supreme Court has ruled in favor of gay marriage in all 50 states. 


White House Turns to Rainbow
photo credit: Mladen Antonov


A display of the colors as shown: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet.
That is seven colors that correlates not just the number, but the order, in which our Chakras run. (Root, Hara, Solar Plexus, Heart, Throat, Third Eye, Crown).

Coincidence? Nothing is coincidence.

The colors are based off the the order and creation of the natural phenomena, the rainbow. (Notice how “rainbow”, in itself, is seven letters long?) The rainbow appears after rainfall and is said to be God’s promise to mankind that he won’t ever again, flood the Earth. The rainbow is a sign of promise, peace, growth, love, opportunity, cherishment, and love. These seven colors literally, run from the shade before it into the shade following it. The red fades into orange, fades into yellow, fades into green; all the way until the indigo fades into violet (our crown chakra, that when opened, gives us ultimate, open communication with the Divine), shining so brightly, that as the violet sheds those sweet purple and lavender hues, they become filled more with pinks; bringing us back full circle to a bold and leading red.

7 Colors
7 Letters
7 Dominating Chakras through the center of our body.

There is no denying that the message of the rainbow has clearly been lost throughout society as we have grown in less than favorable ways throughout the centuries of occupying Mother Earth. But here it is, again, forcing us to open our ways. Forcing us to pay attention to the moral laws set forth by powers greater than we will ever know. We are made of the components that the message brings. We were made up of all the colors that run in and out of each other. One color is every color and no color is no such thing. It proves the connection among all living things.


The ruling came on June 26th, 2015 from a very close 5-4 ruling in the Supreme Court, denying every state the power to prohibit same sex couples seeking marriage. The moment the gavel came down in favor of the marriage rights, it was instantly legal; giving every gay man and lesbian woman the right to enjoy their marriage rights that every opposite-sex couple has enjoyed for thousands of years. Obama gives a pretty straight forward speech in this short video here.

Said President Obama on the night of the ruling, “This is a great step toward our March in equality.” And he couldn’t be more right. The Defense of Marriage Act was denied in 2013 by the Supreme Court, after millions of eager citizens were waiting to hear the news on what their future of freedom would hold for them. Millions of people have fought blood, sweat, and tears to make this moment happen. They have endured name calling, unlawful physical attacks, hate messages, judgements, disownment from families and friends, and even the development of fear. They have stayed true to themselves through the fire as they walked across the coals of other people’s wrath and envy. People are born with bravery. It’s a quality one develops.

Our country has much to learn about the concept of courage, bravery, and integrity. For so many years, people have taken it upon themselves to play God. They have taken ownership of the right to judge others, sentence others, condemn others; just because they believe in different views.

There are some things, I can only shake my head at, such as the outcries of our nation’s senators and political figures. Which is when I turn to the man who has taken my response to these people, right out of my mouth and in doing so, has allowed me to laugh with millions who also viewed this treat on Monday, June 29th.


 

LET THIS BE KNOWN AMERICA:

YOU ARE NOT BETTER OR WORSE THAN THE PERSON NEXT TO YOU. 

YOU DO NOT OWN THE RIGHT TO JUDGE ANYBODY OUTSIDE OF YOURSELF.  

YOU DO NOT OWN THE RIGHT TO CONDEMN THOSE WHO SEE DIFFERENTLY.


Absolutely adorable is when kids are asked their views. Now, kids are literally a by-product of their parents and daily environment. They speak their mind because they are pure of heart. They see things a number of adults don’t see because they haven’t lost their depth of imagination. They understand things a number of adults do not, because they love wholeheartedly. So when asked what their opinion is of gay marriage, they said this.


 

This picture below, is what it looks like when the nonbelievers utilize the space in between their arms for accepting individual thought and lifestyle, instead of utilizing it to hold onto their pride.

The White House is blanketed in rainbow colors symbolizing
photo credit: Molly Riley


 

quote from Obama on Gay Marriage

Obama said the ruling was the “consequence of the countless small acts of courage of millions of people across decades who stood up, who came out, who talked to parents — parents who loved their children no matter what. Folks who were willing to endure bullying and taunts and stayed strong and came to believe in themselves and who they were, and slowly made an entire country realize that love is love.”


 

Gaining support in this triumph is ever growing. Even churches are beginning to recognize the strength and beauty in opening their minds to accept other beliefs as genuine individual thought. “If we were all the same, we’d all be eating at Taco Bell,” my mom always says. And she is right. How boring would that be if we all thought and lived and ate the same? Diversity is what America was made for. Against what Senator Ted Cruz thinks, it is exactly, what our founding fathers wanted for our country.

Life. 
Liberty.
Equality.
Freedom.
Pursuit of Happiness.

Deep Breathing Challenge, Day #14

It is Day 14 now: 

I am two weeks into my commitment to deep breathing for thirty full days. As you know, I took on this challenge to see if anything would positively impact my way of life. So far, I have yawned a whole bunch, my chronic hiccups have diminished, my Intercostals have been working out the knots in the muscles on their own, I have successfully gained control of my vocal pace, volume, thought output, and I have sweat a whole ton of toxins out of my body.

1. Sleeping

I would be lying if I said that I was good enough to consciously deep breathe while sleeping, and because I am already a vivid, tuned in, and lucid dreamer; I can’t really say that I am taking up awareness to my breathing depending on what I am dreaming about. I still twitch and move in my sleep, as well as make some weird faces. Sometimes I still wake up in a pool of sweat or my beau will hear me moaning and groaning like I’m having a deep conversation in my dreaming world, but what I have noticed about sleeping from my deep breathing is the length of time it takes me to go to sleep. It doesn’t take long. I have slept deep and thorough. Sometimes, too thorough to the point where I could and would spend all day sleeping if I didn’t have to get up for work and let me tell you, it feels soooo good when I wake up! Last night, I fell asleep watching a movie with Danny and woke up at 10:30pm telling him I was just preparing to take Zai out and feed her breakfast before I get ready for work. Realizing what time it really was, I was elated knowing that a) it was still nighttime and b) I could go back to sleep and finish enjoying the dream I had woken up from. The two hours I had slept had given me such deep and purified energy that I was ready for the day to begin, BEFORE IT EVEN HIT MIDNIGHT!! Everytime I fall asleep, I sleep deep. That’s not unusual for me. But the length of time it usually takes for me to fall asleep is almost an hour, if not more than that.

I have a weakness for insomnia. And when I am deep breathing all evening and after mindfully chewing my food and mindfully taking my dog out for her nighttime potty, I get to mindfully lay in bed and put my waking day to rest for seven hours of restful sleep.

2. Calm, Cool, and Collected

Now, before I get started – this isn’t to say that I don’t ever get mad about something I feel is an important conversation. Last Tuesday night, I lost my cool, completely. I was very passionate about my side of opinion on a touchy subject. I defended my end with no apologies. I cried a lot, and it took a couple days of almost complete silence, zero appetite for food, and no physical touching, for me to decide where exactly it was that I fit in this whole scheme of things. That being said, I unleashed every dark side of me. I had a “now or never” moment and knew that it was either then I would forgive every piece of my past, every mental and emotional fear I have, and everything I’ve ever held in; or I would sit with it forever, allowing the person I loved the most to never get a genuine chance to see why I lived the way I did and why certain things affect me as they do. The scariest part of being with someone is showing them every beautiful, whimsical, terrifying, ugly, wonderful, brave, and courageous piece of you.

Deep breathing has given me a chance prior and post that experience, to remain so calm, that Danny has asked me multiple times, if I am okay. Since I’m not talking fast and I’m not speaking loudly, and I’m not talking about every tiny insignificant detail on my mind, I am sitting with my thoughts (which, deep breath after another, seem to be little thanks to the natural filtering process my instincts have taken on). When I speak, it’s with the intention to have conversation or to communicate with meaning; instead of talking to hear the sound of my voice.

Being calm has given me a better understanding on the World and myself. Things that make shake my head that I have done in the past and hopeful reactions I will have in the future. My eyes have been opened to something so special. My life has been so full of loud noises, chaotic moments, for so long and it hasn’t been until these last 4 years of awakening and learning zen, peace, and meditation, that I have really honed myself in myself. 

Utilizing my newfound state of my mind, I am appreciating the observant side in myself. Talking less has given me the peace to be quiet. It has given me the respect and appreciation of what it means to be quiet. Not having an opinion on every bit of thing is freeing! I never knew it could be that way. Not sharing my experiences or memories when someone is trying to genuinely share something great about their lives is joyful and exciting and an eye opener. Realizing how rude I’ve probably been for so long. It’s enlightening and a beautiful change to accept from within. To listen is a beautiful gift. I don’t just know this now, but I truly appreciate this now. 
I hope you all have enjoyed my update for this week. Peace be with all of you!