As I have been hearing the same question repeatedly of late, it seemed appropriate to address it in this month’s Q&A. I’ve observed that when situations or dynamics seem to affect large groups of people at once there is typically a collective impact from the event. Certainly we all have our personal stories supplanting the details, but trends across groups and geographies stand out. Patterns of this nature beg their own inquiry, and the question I’m frequently being asked is, “Why can’t I breathe?”
One of, if not the primary physical agreement we make to become spirit in flesh is that we master breathing. Breathing is perhaps our most tactile, intimate and necessary experience of the Earth’s atmosphere, that also just happens to be imperative to survival. Examining the function of breathing in a more esoteric light reveals its profound effects on how we live. Yogis, Zen masters and mystics from myriad traditions have honored for centuries that the way we breathe affects how our life force moves. With skilled application we can even control our life force with breath. The technique of breathwork—sometimes referred to as holotropic or integrative breathwork—is the act of allowing the body to release emotions and physical conditions that are no longer needed. In essence, breathwork allows the opportunity of processing unconscious clutter, that which may not have words or tangible mental processes that could be addressed by more conventional therapies. From that capability it is possible to alter the breath in such a way that we not only move our life force and create a desired effect from doing so, but we can also unconsciously evoke pervasive healing.
I began the therapeutic pursuit of integrative breathwork a year ago this month. I had finally accepted that I was and had been in a state of spiritual emergency after a series of escalating health issues—a cluster of minor strokes and acute appendicitis, all while managing other critical autoimmune and metabolic conditions—all within one year. I took into breathwork the understanding that while I may be mentally, spiritually and emotionally highly functioning, my body was struggling to reach a complementary state of Being. While the mind, soul and emotions can “rise above,” can span multiple planes of consciousness to experience reality, the cells operate in a much different field. The body is part of all of these levels—their earthly host, one might say. It has its own spiritual nature, every cell having its own relationship to Spirit. Yet the body more than any other level of our Being has to play by a 3D set of “agreements” in order to function in accordance with the environment. However, as all is within Creation, all things are possible if we can conceive of them.
Many of us are being “forced” by atmospheric conditions to breathe differently, be that the result of unusual weather patterns, deforestation, pollution, or individual cellular renewal. By altering the way in which we breathe, energetically these environmental stimuli are putting us in a place of doing mass breathwork, mass release of personal and collective things we no longer need to carry as individuals, as a people, or perhaps as a plane. To what outcome we can only imagine: a shift into higher mass consciousness, improved wellbeing, robust collective caregiving.
I challenge us all to consider that what we perceive as chronic (or perhaps all) illness is transition of the physical form into a higher expression of itself. At a personal level when breaking out of the rut of “illness”, consider what this condition gifts, consider what its spiritual implications and nature are. Likewise, when many people share symptoms and physical experiences in tandem, question what we as a people are changing in our cells, in our souls and in the earth plane. This possibility doesn’t mean avoid seeking medical attention, allopathic or alternative. Being comfortable in the physical form is important, even if a primary indicator of a need for change is triggered by physical discomfort. Undertake the treatments necessary to soothe the form with the wisdom accompanying them that the body is going through a spiritual process, one in which we can allow its completion.
I wish us all comfort and an exuberant expression of the soul in form. I also wish us the joy of the process in all its myriad manifestations.