Give Us This Day Our Daily Breath

ANNOUNCEMENT!!  I invite you to go to the Natural Wealth website to see a Sneak Preview of my upcoming book: Give Us This Day Our Daily Breath expected out in e-book and soft cover by 12/1/11!!  Got to right hand column and click on Be Breathed – Our Daily Breath.

Would love your feedback as the book is not quite finished yet…and your comments would be most welcome!  Also check out the video that took me so many takes….and laugh along with me.

REMEMBER –  Laughter is a series of exhales expressed with uninhibited joy!

Thank you for taking the time to take a peak at the Sneak!



Gaye Abbott           Give Us This Day Our Daily Breath

Breathing and Balance

Recently I was taken by the insight that being in balance is not a state to cling to.  We all know that when we are “out of balance” in our lives that it can affect many things in our body, mind and emotions.  However, I question whether that is because we are “attached” to being “in balance”?  The better question might be, do we have something to learn in the territory of imbalance?

We are told by culture, our parents, and our ever-present egos that we must “maintain” and not be taken over by feeling or emotion, get angry, be sick or out of sorts, be different, or go too far from mid-line.  The fact of the matter is that we will always go in and out of balance.  It is part of being alive as a human being, just as natural as our inhale and exhales from moment to moment.

An opportunity to explore within a yoga class the concept of moving from balance to imbalance for an entire 90 minutes brought for me great awareness on how the control of ego gets in the way of a full breath.  The breath was the barometer that informed me whether I was attached or not, which translates to whether my ego was invested in being in balance or not.

It was transparently simple!  Every time my ego became involved in maintaining “balance” – in this case within yoga poses – the results were predictable.  Struggle, effort, and breath holding or significantly diminished breath.

The most surprising result of attachment to whether I was in balance or out of balance – and we were given multiple attempts for both experiences – was that when I completely let go of what state I was in I felt more grounded and rooted and my breath was full.  In other words, balance became innately easy and falling out of balance had no ego centered judgement attached to it.  In fact falling out of balance was fun and became just another “dance step” in life.

What happened with the breath?  Every single time I was attached to a certain outcome my breath diminished, was held, or stopped all together.  With surrender to whatever was happening in the moment it all became a part of living life and savoring whatever experience unfolded itself as free of self judgement as possible.  In fact, my balance improved within letting go of the resistance to falling out of balance!

We often are so busy living life ahead of ourselves.  A diminished, held or shallow breath will clue you in to this very pattern.  Even something as simple as leaning forward when you stand or walk affects the quality of your breath.  Watch and learn!

Be willing to learn from the places of imbalance in your life and remember these 3 things:  (Courtesy of Keith Kachtick, Dharma Yoga, Austin, Texas)

*Release attachment to being in balance.
*Surrender to gravity
*Root down into the Earth as if your breath was digging deeply down into the ground

From this place – no matter what happens in your life – you will find that the breath remains full and rooted to your Source.  A state of being to return to over and over again.  Allow yourself to play with the imbalance and marry it to balance.  What a delightful dance that is!



Patterns As Prisons

Dewitt Jones  “Our patterns, too long unquestioned, become our prisons. Break the pattern! And see the scene before you with new eyes.”

Weekly I receive a picture and quote from DeWitt Jones, an internationally known photo journalist who is committed to viewing life and the world as something to celebrate every single day.  This weeks picture and quote made me start thinking about the patterns of breathing that we inhabit on a moment to moment basis, most of which we are completely unaware of.

What I saw in the pattern of the regimented vineyard above was multifaceted.  The red bucket of course interrupts the necessary uniformity required to grow and harvest grapes – almost as if it was an exclamation point thrown in to startle the eyes from only seeing a certain pattern.  The mass of yellow flowers beneath support the possibility of other choices as they wildly grow in whatever way they choose.

Having lived in wine country for 14 years I was used to seeing scenes such as the one in this picture and noticed when the new growth or Fall colors would change the landscape and thus the pattern.  However, there was always an underlying blueprint that best supported optimal growth.

This is how I see the patterns of our breathing.  The underlying blueprint for optimal breathing was installed before you were even born and activated once you took your first breath.  It is what is overlaying this healthy natural breath blueprint that I address here.

A very large percentage of people breathe very shallowly using secondary breath muscles (neck, upper back and chest).  Consequently why there is so much tension and discomfort in the head, neck and shoulders.  These muscles were never meant to be the primary care giver for the breath. They are often depended on because of bad posture, sitting for long periods of time, stress and fear, and most certainly lack of daily movement to stimulate natural breathing cycles as a result of being in our heads way too much of the time.

Did you know that there is a correlation between upper chest breathing and heart disease?  Of note is that almost all people that have had heart attacks are presumably chest breathers.  The heart is attached to the diaphragm by fascia.  Each time we breathe utilizing the diaphragm and other primary muscles for breathing the heart is massaged!

This is just one of the many benefits that a natural fluid diaphragmatic breath can bring.  Our primary breathing muscles are the thoracic diaphragm, the muscles between the ribs (intercostals), and the abdominal muscles (front of belly) as well as the pelvic diaphragm.  When you breathe in a natural healthy way the breath should be felt in pelvis, belly, back, and all of the ribcage.

Invite a full embodied breath in today and give it to the rising sun – a key to break free of the patterns that have captured your vital health and aliveness!