Article by: Sheldon Ginsberg
To say the human condition is complex is an understatement. For those of us who agree with Plato when he said, "An unexamined life is not worth living," we invest time and energy in understanding the emotional causes of unhealthy behavior for we believe this is a key way to heal.
The challenge we all face is the great number of "levels" existing within us. For example, it is very easy for us to connect to the dimension of our intellect. We harness its ability to focus our senses and awareness to create a space for listening, which itself is a means to improve our understanding of the world around us.
What is less well understood is the nature by which other parts of ourselves "think". It is no secret that stomachs, hearts and genitals process information and react to what happens to us.
Each aspect views reality from its unique perspective and filters what occurs based on its attachments to its issues (also known as illusions and fixed ways of being).
Transformational difficulty occurs as we explore the emotional causes of unhealthy behaviors for this inevitably leads us to re-connect and re-experience the energy (feelings and sensations) we avoided as children. We call these emotional reservoirs, our "wounds".
What Are Wounds?
Wounds are layers of repressed emotion held by the cells of the body. Understanding the cause of wounds (we usually look to our childhood experiences with Mom and Dad )is important for then the mind can more easily accept the intense emotions of darkness, pain, shame and fear which must pass through us for healing and transformation to occur.
The challenge is the body literally attaches itself to these wounds. To help the body release this death grip, we must speak the language of the unconscious mind, the nervous system and the fragments of inner-children living within us.
A fundamental part of this language is breathing.
The Power of the Breath
Breathing speaks to all aspects of your being.
Breathing contains the force of Life which constantly desires to move through you.
Constant muscle contraction due to unhealed traumas and life in a fight or flight society, limits emotional acceptance and the flow of Life. Muscle tension is the physical manifestation of repression.
Life in a fight or flight society also sends a powerful physiological message to our nervous systems to 'hunker down", further ensuring attachments to dysfunctional behaviors remain in power for an unsafe body cannot let go.
How you Breathe Sends a Message to Your Deeper Self
Both conscious, belly breathing and shallow breathing communicates information and leadership to the deeper aspects of our human natures.
Shallow breathing triggers the excitatory half of the nervous system while belly, diaphragmatic breathing activates the calming half.
It is the nature of the excitatory part of the nervous system to dominate. This makes sense for if you were about to be run over by a bus, you would not want to get more relaxed.
Breathing has more power than the words we say to reach emotionally wounded inner children and the animal within.
When we inhale through our nose, our nasal passages releases a gas called Nitric Oxide which calms the cardiovascular system.
When we exhale, slowly through the nose, it activates the vagus nerve which is the cranial nerve that lowers the heart rate. Now, the key here is that if we do not activate the vagus nerve, the heart rate stays high. A high heart rate is its own signal to the system to remain in a guarded, survival state.
Breathing and Healing
Healing requires the deeper more sensitive parts of ourselves to feel safe, otherwise they cannot release their death grip on what no longer serves them.
Physically, they cannot let go... until we provide them a safe inner experience of acceptance, love and patience. This is the where the breath comes in...
Conscious breathing calms the body and mind. A relaxed body is key to allowing emotional flow.
The unfortunate truth is the internal and external pressures caused by our fight or flight society keeps our bodies constantly "on".
Our overly excited nervous systems need our help and leadership to feel safe.
Conscious breathing is a powerful way to deliver this leadership message because it occurs on the experiential level and reaches every cell of our body.
In speaking this language and providing a safe physiological state, we can recognize and align with what our emotional selves are experiencing. Then, we can shine the light of consciousness upon the illusions and myths our child-selves created. That which has been created can be uncreated!
My experience has shown me there is no wound that cannot be healed with breath, love, patience, understanding and compassion.
Without a breathing practice, your body is left to its own devices regarding the emotions it contains.
To learn more about how I can help you transcend and dissolve difficult emotional blocks, visit www.unconscousmindwhisperer.com.
Our Amazing Team