Posted by: carolyn / through a widow's eyes | August 23, 2013

learning to breathe

I received the BEST compliment the other day. A bodywork practitioner said, as her strong hands worked on injuries deep and chronic –physical, mostly: “You really know how to breathe”. 

My truly humbled and grateful response: “You have no idea what I have had to learn to breathe through.” But I said it only inside my head, because frankly I did not want to talk about it; all I wanted at that moment was her hands on me. Not to think and discuss why. Why. WhywhyWHY.

She went on to say that women, in particular, do not breathe deeply because doing so makes one’s stomach stick out, and that is anathema to American women. Pffft. Breathing: another basic concept every baby knows that I am still learning.

I’ve worked on remembering to breathe, learning to breathe through panic attacks about n o t h i n g all my life. Then, as if that was practice, I got to learn how to breathe through not-nothing. Certain scenes come back to me still, images of events no one should have to be part of, ever. And all you can do is ride your breath like a wave and make it to the other side. Put the oxygen mask on yourself first? 

I told my friend about this exchange and she replied: “You’re a yogini!”
Another compliment!

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