How Midsummer Strep Reminded Me To Breathe

‚ÄčThere are be-ers; there are do-ers; and then there are the people that fall somewhere in between. I used to settle into that healthy in between – skilled at being in the present moment and clicking into git-r-done mode when things needed to be tackled.

I lost that balance and somehow exhaustion had become more of a constant state of being and less of a once in a while condition. I had been in fight and flight for so long that I was stuck on this “do” merry-go-round.

I don’t remember a time in my life where my heart crumbled so easily and my rage spit out so quickly.  That should have been a dead giveaway that my body and spirit were spent.

The constant going finally netted me strep mid-summer. I tried relaxing, but sitting there trying to do nothing was literally driving me insane. It’s not the pretty parts of stillness that bother me, it’s that when I stopped doing I had to sit with myself. My self has a lot of thoughts sometimes dark and often erratic. That constant sense of doing successfully distracted me from dealing with heartbreak for about a year now. I spent so much time working and tending to the whims of others and steadily feeding into the numbed type of bliss of constant busy-ness – I’d forgotten how to simply be.

It’s just another form of evading a sense of powerlessness – each moment; each breath has a direct purpose that serves the head. If all of this “doing” serves the ego and “being” serves the spirit, I’d say our spirits are all begging to be fed. Maybe you find that sense of being and meditative bliss on a motorcycle; maybe it’s hiking; hell maybe it’s shooting at the range – it doesn’t have to be the cross-legged sitting Om Shanti Shanti that you hold in your head as the only way to meditate or hold a peaceful space. It’s not the things you do mindlessly, but the things that are so second-natured to you they become like breathing. After all, focus on breath is the easiest, most direct form of meditation.

Unfortunately, we live in a society that swings between doing and mindlessness. Do-ers, especially do-ers that are trying to move their feet so fast they don’t feel the pain, will slam into a wall before they realize that they are run down and empty. When you’re not being, you’re not breathing. Hell, it’s no wonder I was so exhausted – you need oxygen and I’d been holding my breath the whole time. And those that cling to mindless pursuits, never really live at all.

Then comes the question; What do I want my breathing to be? What do I want my my inhale, my exhale, to be? Do I really want my restorative time to be tuning in to Keeping Up with the Kardashians? Not that there is anything wrong with a little Trash TV, but when I think of how I want to restore my spirit that ain’t it.

How will you breathe today? How will you restore?