Where are we hiding?

November 9, 2020 at 12:19 am Leave a comment

photo by Sharon McCutcheon/Unsplash

I have spent the last several weeks teaching the breath work of F.M. Alexander and Carl Stough. Whenever I do this, I feel extremely calm and peaceful.  This time around I was also reading the book Breath by James Nestor. Clearly I was thinking about breath all the time. I added a daily practice of breath work to my schedule and found I could sleep more peacefully. 

But what happened yesterday as Joe Biden and Kamala Harris were officially announced as the winners of the election was surprising—even to me.  I felt a complete breath.  How is this possible when I had been paying so much attention to my breath already?  Clearly, the stress of the election and the angst over the current president’s decisions and behavior, especially during this pandemic, affected me more than I had realized.  

Psychophysical unity is the term Alexander used to describe the interconnectedness of us.  We may see parts and talk about parts of ourselves, but we are operating as a whole all the time. During this time I had not felt whole.  And I didn’t even realize it. What a relief to breathe!  To really feel the breath with no hidden anxiety. How grateful I am to have practiced the breath work as I did, because who knows how compromised my breathing may have been otherwise?  And still, I was in some ways hiding from myself. 

What is the lesson in this? I guess it’s that there is always the opportunity to learn more and to do less. It is the lesson of curiosity– of always being curious enough to discover our deeper, hidden secrets. I have often said that our breath is the most honest barometer of how we are doing.  I guess that statement’s a keeper!

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