Using your Breath to find True Belonging
We are at a crossroads in our society. It appears that everyone is stretched between the desperate need to fit in and belong and the deep inner knowing that sets them apart. We are presented with so much information on a daily basis that it’s hard to focus on any one thing and find our own place of belonging. True belonging can’t be bought or earned. True belonging is belonging to yourself. And your breath can guide you to that inner peace.
Keeping up with the Jones is a part of your heritage. Every ad you see tells you that your life will be better if you use this product or buy this thing.
And you fall for it!
You try to break free from these chains and then end up losing yourself in being anti-whatever. But that’s not you either. This is a real problem. This constant looking outside of yourself while knowing the answers remains buried inside your soul.
Looking inside is scary. It means you are taking responsibility for what you find. There’s no one else to blame when you’re dealing with yourself. There’s no easy framework or how-to guide that helps lay a foundation for where that story goes. And that is freakin scary!
You have been raised in a society that has told you time and time again that vulnerability is bad and shameful. A society that has told you that what you think and feel might not be right. That you should look to an outside source for the answers. Looking to those around you to see what the standard is.
We keep each other bound by the expectations of our neighbors and friends. We want to appear that all is okay even if we are dying on the inside. This is apparent now more than ever.
All the choices you’re presented with on a daily basis are paralyzing. With so many directions laid out before you, how could you possibly choose? And what if you chose wrong?
Consumption of information is killing our creative thinking.
We have no way of knowing what is real or not.
- Is something real because you read it on the Internet?
- Is it real because your teacher told you?
- Is it true because you were raised to believe it?
Everything you believe to be true or not can be debunked and belittled by someone. So how do you know what to believe and where to turn for guidance?
The short answer: There is no road map.
You must discern for yourself what resonates with your soul. What feels right and brings you peace. No one else can do that for you. No one else should. You must connect to your inner knowing and that is how you belong.
The incomparable Brene Brown has a mantra, “I belong to me.”
When I first heard her say this in an interview with Lewis Howes on the School of Greatness podcast it just hit. Like so much of Brene’s work, it resonates truth. It felt uncomfortable and was hard to sit with because it means I have work to do.
You have work to do.
There are so many educators out there that can help guide you to a place of belonging. It is your job to find the ones that resonate with you. Not because it’s what you want to hear but because the message feels like growth and understanding. One of the fastest and easiest ways to connect to others is to first find a connection within yourself. That takes work.
You’re not going to find any system outside of yourself that is a perfect fit, but you will find guides and teachers on a similar path that can point you in the right direction so you can continue to belong to yourself.
Once you belong to yourself you will be comfortable being uncomfortable. Using your breath you can break through the chains of uncertainty and lack. You can breathe into a life of abundance because you will feel at ease in your skin.
The reason your breath is a powerful guide is that it is the connection between the inner and outer world. It gives you a focus that allows you to shut out the external with time and practice. Awakening you to a deeper connection to self because you are inside. Breathing into sensations you haven’t felt and subtly moving energy around opens you up to yourself. To a deep knowing of what is the right path for you.
The struggles remain. You still have to decide to breathe through challenging situations and conversations. Life is still going to offer an endless stream of information that changes daily. The difference is that now you have a tool to guide you into discernment. A tool that can be used to help you clarify and identify your true nature to yourself.
You belong to yourself. Your breath belongs to you, it is a gift you share with the world. Because at the end of the day we are all connected, so it is impossible to not belong. At the end of the day, you get to decide and create your own path. This is an awesome responsibility that breaks you free from lack and into true belonging.
One of my favorite breathing practices is Heart Coherent Breathing. It is so simple that it is often overlooked. But as we know sometimes the simplest things are the most challenging to do.
- Sit in a comfortable cross-legged position, or if on a chair move away from any back support so you can have a straight spine. Plant your feet on the floor, a hip-width distance apart.
- Round your shoulders back and let your chest feel open.
- Tuck your chin slightly.
- Soften or close your eyes.
- Bring your attention to your breath. Make no effort to change your breath pattern, simply notice it.
- Begin to slow the breath by inhaling to the count of 5, and exhaling to the count of 5.
- Bring your attention to the inhale. Feel the breath flow in through your heart center.
- Exhale and notice the breath leaving your heart center.
- Do 10 rounds of breathing like this, focused on your heart. If it feels good you can place your hands over your heart to help keep your focus and attention there.
- After 10 rounds or so let the 5×5 pattern go and continue to breathe with ease keeping your attention inside.
This simple and effective practice can be done anytime day or night for clarity. I recommend starting by just practicing the steps above. After you feel more comfortable keeping your attention internal and your breath and heart you can add a question for clarity or intention. You will be amazed at the things your heart and breath begin to open up to you in these subtle moments when you truly belong to yourself.