Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Most Intimate Thing We Do

Taking a Deep Breath
Over the past year or so, I've been learning a lot, and experiencing a lot, about breathing. It dawned on me that breathing is an extraordinarily intimate act.

Think about it... When you breathe, you take in random air molecules from all around you, through your nose, down your throat, and into your lungs, where they mingle with your insides - indeed, they become part of you. And you do this constantly. It never stops. When you exhale, you push what was, just seconds ago, part of your very blood out into the world.
So ethereal, this breathing thing, and yet so very, very messy and sanguinary. We allow our blood to touch the world in every breath. It's pretty spectacular, when you think about it.
(I'll also admit that it can also seem a little gross, and more than a little terrifying, when you think about it this way.)
I want to go a little bit deeper with this examination, too. It's not just any old air molecule that is entering your body. It's an air molecule that has been profoundly affected by the environment in which it is floating. It's been zapped by cosmic rays, perhaps. Most certainly by a cell phone signal or two. It's vibrating with the heat reflected off the pavement, or the trees, or the foreheads of the people in the room.
Each molecule we bring into such intimate contact with our inner physical being is aquiver with the energies present all around us, and to greater or lesser degrees, all the energy that is radiating at all the frequencies from all directions. Poor little molecule, so profoundly bopped and bonked and spun about...and in it goes.
What happens when it gets there? Of course, it carries all those vibrations with it, right into the inner sanctum of the physical. Makes you long for some good, clean, natural fresh air, doesn't it?
The other side is just as interesting. When we exhale, the molecules we release carry with them the vibrations that are inside of us. So all the frequencies that are generated by the complex interactions of our functioning selves are present in each exhalation.
Interesting to think about what makes up those vibrations. Our physical state, to be sure. But also, all the rest of us. Our moods. Our thoughts. Our dreams. Our pettiness and our valor. All present in every exhalation. Perhaps the instantaneous energy signature of all of that is what our soul looks like in that very moment.
Are we exhaling our "soul profile", written in the energy signature of our breath?
If so, what we are inside ourselves fundamentally impacts the world outside of ourselves. And what is outside affects what we are becoming.
What are you inhaling?
Perhaps more important, what are you exhaling?
The mystical traditions place great power in the breath. The power to create, destroy, rebalance, cleanse, heal...the list goes on and on.
With this perspective, I have to agree. And recently I've begun to experience this power directly. As I explore the cross-over between deep physics, spirituality, and healing, I sense (and sometimes can manipulate) the power of breath.
It's crazy cool!
We can argue over the magnitude of the impact, to be sure. Perhaps someday we'll understand how to measure it all. I'll be excited when that happens, but also a little sad when that mystery is solved.
Until then, I continue to explore, and have no doubt that the breath has a powerful and intimate capacity to connect us to the world, and the world to us.


  1. I wrote this entry on July 28th. Just yesterday I had a visit from a breath-work practitioner and a phone call from a client with "shortness of breath". Interesting!

  2. Did you honestly think that the Universe wouldn't make you use part of what you'd just learned?