Birth, Life, Death, and Rebirth
There are few things that happen in life that are so impactful that you remember every detail of the event. Those moments that quite literally take your breath away, when time stands still and every sensation in your body feel heightened and alive. These are the moments that often change who you are. From recalling a collective moment in history to the birth of a child, or the moment you realize you’re in love. These events all have one thing in common: your breath.
This past Monday I was busying myself with creating another YouTube video for my business. I was fiddling with the lights, setting up my backdrop, writing notes to look at just off camera, and practicing the routine. It was pretty mundane. All the while I’m focusing my thoughts on the importance of staying consistent with my business and fighting off my inner demons of doubt.
I barely even took note when the text came in, too busy in my own little world to slow down, I merely flicked the text off to the side to read later.
Finally, after 90 minutes of prep, I was ready to begin filming. I pulled my phone out to put it on silent and froze.
Before even reading the text, the sender’s name was enough.
My friend’s 3-year battle with cancer was over. My breath rose to my chest, and the fight against my tears began.
Suddenly nothing else mattered. Instead of filming, I sat and allowed myself time to cry. I cried for my own selfish loss of a friend. I cried for her husband who had kept so positive during the whole cancer journey. I cried for her two young boys who would grow up without their Mom. I cried for her mom who had just lost a child, for her sister who had lost her best friend. I cried for our community to which she had given so much.
I remember every detail of the moment.
When my phone beeped for a second time I didn’t hesitate to jump, expecting another detail into this beautiful human’s passing. What I got was unexpected.
Another friend shared the birth of her perfect baby boy. Again my breath jumped high into my throat, and I had to work for a few minutes to bring it back into my belly so I could handle the wave of high and low emotions flowing through my body.
Breathwork is the flow of the eternal
Breath is our constant companion in life. Here from our first breath and traveling in direct relation to our emotions until our parting exhale.
In the matter of one hour, the breath of one departed and was replaced into the life of another. And so continues the beginningless circle of life.
In Buddhism the Wheel of Samsara (which is a huge amount of theory that I have little knowledge of) speaks of the continual flowing. Moving on, from one moment to the next, including from one life to the next.
Yoga philosophy says “samsara is the energy that keeps us trapped in human existence – experiencing birth, life, death, rebirth, and so on.”
Breath is Beginningless
You and I are breathing the same breath today as our ancestors breathed before us.
- The intelligence Steve Jobs exhaled out is available for you to breathe in.
- The heart Mother Teresa exhaled into the world is here for you to breathe in.
- The courage Martin Luther King Jr. exhaled to his people you can choose to inhale into your life.
- The leadership Nelson Mandela exhaled out is waiting for you to inhale in.
- The compassion Jane Goodall shows for all life is welcoming you to inhale it deeply into your being.
Whatever you are breathing out into the world is here for others to breathe in. It is a beginningless circle of who and what we are.
It connects and divides us.
And in the big moments that change our lives, it is what we hold onto just so we can make it through.
Your breath is in an ever-changing flow of inhales and exhales, of receiving in and offering out. You are part of the flow, and when the dance that is your life ends another will be waiting in the wings to start their own. And so the dance continues.
The beginningless circle, Samsara, the wheel of life.
Breath and your life
Prana is breath. Your life force.
- Every breath you have is directly connected to the thoughts you think.
- The thoughts you think play a huge role in how you view the world.
- How you view the world determines so much of the emotions you connect to
- Learning how to control your breath helps bring focus onto what you want in your life.
With so much emotion running through my nervous system this week it was vital for me to dip into my toolbox of breathing techniques and find balance when I wanted to curl up and cry.
Continuing to sit with my breath in my daily practice became super challenging when all I wanted to do was run from my thoughts. But my commitment to a healthier mind and outlook kept me showing up and ultimately helped me feel the flow I needed for peace.
My dear and beautiful friend is not lost to us. She is here for us to breathe in her love for community. She is there for me whenever I need the courage to stand up for what is right. She stands with me whenever I feel doubt and offers me her breath of confidence.
And as for the new baby boy with his blank slate of experiences and emotions. With every inhale he is taking in the same breath as his ancestors, guiding him from the past so he may step into a future dance that is waiting for him to embrace and continue the dance we are all swirling in.
From our first breaths to our last, we circle through the dance of life, and we will be here again and again in many different forms in the beginningless circle of life and breath.
If you are going through grief or are hurting in any way, know that those you hold dear are always available to you. You can breathe in the best parts of who they were and carry that into your life and your experience. The cycle is never-ending and we are all just walking each other home.