Deep breath in…deep breath out — a natural human behavior. An indication of life. On the surface, breathing is a phenomenon that occurs naturally for every living being. Take the time to dive a little deeper into breathing, for there is so much more to it.

Breathing can be an indication of how we are feeling in the moment. Breathing can be controlled, breathing can be practiced, and breathing can create mindfulness.

The first exposure I had to conscious breathing was when I was in labor. I was told to take deep breaths, in through the nose and out through the mouth, as it would help with my labor pains. I was told to take a deep breath and hold as I gave birth.

Everyone is told to take a deep breath when they are nervous, when they are mad, when they are in pain. Breathing is so much more than a means of staying alive. Conscious breathing impacts meditation and creates mindfulness. Breathing and focusing on our breath helps us to stay in the moment. Meditation by focusing on our breath helps us calm our racing thoughts and creates a sense of peace and well-being. Being in a meditative state brings out new perspectives.

As I dive deeper into myself and my own spiritual awakening, I learn things about myself that I didn’t know before. I am more attuned to my own body and thoughts. I find that I can see myself from a different light by taking time to do my inner work.

All my life, I’ve felt a heaviness in my chest. Being very empathetic, I find myself absorbing the energy of others, good and bad. I never knew that unknowingly I was picking up the energy of others and making it mine.

Working in the service industry, where I interact with the community daily, I never understood the impact that had on me. I didn’t know that I carried a lot of the heaviness of others with me. Even when my professional work ended, emotions from it stayed with me as I carried the traumatic energy along, not knowing how to release it. Over time, the anger and rage I took on triggered my emotional past and I unleashed it on people nearest and dearest to me. I couldn’t understand why I was so angry and frustrated all the time. It seemed like I just couldn’t be satisfied with anything — and that wasn’t the person I wanted to be.

As I hit rock bottom, life seemed meaningless. That was not how I envision it to be. I was sad and mad all the time. There had to be something more to life. I was in a very dark place.

Then I decided to create a different destiny for myself. This started a journey of self-discovery to find a solution to fix myself. I dove deeper into spirituality, and I woke up to the realization that I was in the middle of a spiritual awakening. All that I couldn’t understand about myself now made sense. My spiritual journey and self-discovery led me to the understanding of what that heaviness was all about. I understood that I am a natural empath and that I take on the energy of others. Because I am empathetic and easy to talk to, I became the dumping ground of the emotions of others. I learned that there is a way to protect myself and to release those energies.

The heaviness and the uneasiness I felt was the anxiety that I carried with me from unreleased emotions. Conscious breathing has been very healing for me. Being more aware of my body and feelings has helped me recognize my triggers, and conscious breathing brought me calm and helped me decipher my emotions. It brought me perspective and understanding about myself. I was able to release the emotions and energy that didn’t serve me or my greatest good.

Sometimes, we take simple things for granted, like the miracle of breath. Life is a gift. When we resent life, we fail to see how life could be different. When we have courage to seek the truth, we are awakened to the amazing little things that are a part of us, and we are able to see the beauty and grace in it.

Conscious breathing has helped me see my world in a different light and know that I have free will to choose what serves me in my life. That makes me full and happy.

My prayer is that my story will trigger you to take action. A simple action like conscious breathing can inspire a new perspective. It helps to create a brand new way in which we can see the world. I hope you take some time to appreciate the simple things around you and realize that you are given the gift of life. Every day, you have a choice to live differently — and with a heart of renewed gratefulness, you too can live an abundant life that you were meant to live and be the amazing being that you were created to be.

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