Frigidity has once again descended upon my region. The first month of the year is almost over. I've been struck by the muse again as I recuperate from a nagging cough. I've also been observing something lately. I tend to hold my breath quite a bit.
The breath is the life, particularly in training the consciousness. I use it to calm, meditate, and shift into other states of awareness. I focus into it during yoga and tai chi. I have become aware of an imbalance in my practice. I seem acutely focused on the exhalation while barely being aware of the inhalation. This may have become more pronounced since I started practicing the elemental sounds with my chi kung and tai chi routines, or it may be that this is what has brought it to my attention. The fact is I have been doing long luxurious exhalations, but taking in minimally during the inhalation.
Several weeks ago on a journey my power animal expressed concern for me. He told me that I was giving out many times more energy than I was taking into myself. He also said if I continued to do that I would get sick. (You were right, happy dear?) So this is more than just about my breathing (as fascinating as I am sure that is to all you out there in cyberland) it is about the balance of nurturing. The exhalation is the releasing of the old, removal, in effect the subtractive process. People who have seen my ceramic art can vouch that I have a clear grasp of that. I carve away from the surface of my clay leaving spiraling intricate patterns behind. I am good at the subtractive process in artwork, but also in my energetic work. Shamanically it is referred to as extraction.
As wonderful as the release and removal of the used and unwanted energies is it's only half of the equation. Bringing in the new and the fresh is just as vital. Like yin and yang they are linked inseparably to one another. I have been stingy with this half of the process. I seem to be fine giving out, but rather weak when it comes to filling up my own store of energy. I am sure I am not the only one out there who is doing this. I seem to think nothing of staying up half the night sculpting (and/or writing a blog), but I seem to balk at making sure I had a good half hour of meditation.
So I ask why? Why don't I let myself bring in what I need to thrive? The memes of societal programming seem to ring out as one possibility; the idea that it is selfish to self nurture. There are things that need doing, people that need assistance, and aren't I just a narcissist for wanting time to sit and just breathe slowly for a bit. Well it is selfish. I am selfish. I remember doing a journey to my shadow and it showed itself as this great hairy beast with huge grasping hands. I know that I have this trait of being self absorbed and self focused, but one of the biggest challenges I've had in my relationships (or life in general) has been in my attempts to compensate for it. I tend to overshoot. It becomes another machination of the ego the "I'm the best giver no one gives more than I do. " Well isn't that just precious.
What about you? Are you breathing in as much as you breathe out? Are you allowing your needs to be met? Are you letting the universe be generous to you? If not why not? Would getting what you need shake up your identity as a "nice person" too much? If so why? Try this as your affirmation if any of this rings true for you, "I allow myself to receive." Until next week.
Peace and Blessings,