Our inhale and exhale breaths have a quality of their own.
Half of your world is contained in the inhale and the other half is contained in the exhale. The interplay and dynamics of the two reflect how you walk in your life.
Try this out for yourself. Take a moment to bring your awareness to your breath. Keep your natural breathing pattern. While doing so, notice the quality or texture the inhale has in comparison to the exhale. What happens in your body, emotions, and mind when the breath transfers from inhale to exhale and exhale to inhale? There’s a whole story interwoven in this exchange of the breath and it is uniquely yours.
In my experience, in general, the inhale is connected to a “yes.” In other words, our ability to receive life as it is. And the exhale is, therefore, connected to a “no,” in which we can give generously to life. My interpretation of this is that it is important we can receive life, but it is just as important that we can say no when it’s too much. The fact that we can maintain our agency in saying no is a powerful capacity that evolved over millions of years.
Often, we are disconnected from the authenticity of this movement, which causes our no to become a yes and vice-versa. This is where challenges can reveal themselves in our life because our energy and actions don’t match. Consequently, our needs are not met. Not due to external factors, but our internal disposition. However, the mismatch of energy and actions has a timestamp in our past. Whether that be our past or the past we inherited from our ancestors. A moment in time where it became more intelligent to override the natural yes-no function.
For ease and clarity of the example, let’s focus solely on the individual’s past.
Imagine a four-year-old child coming to her parents with a macaroni art rendition of the house she lives in with her family standing in front of it. She has put all her life force and presence into this work for the last 10 minutes, and she is so excited to show her parents what she created. She tries to show her parents while they are both busy with work; however, she’s not bothered because she know she’s created the best art piece since Picasso’s Le Rêve. She knows they will be impressed. But when she shows it to them, they look at it for a moment, say, “Wow that’s great,” and immediately go back to what they were doing. She’s not validated in her creativity and excitement.
The girl is let down, but it’s not too big of a deal, and she goes back to playing and creating easily. However, imagine if this same experience happens time and time again. What would it do to her morale to not be seen in her creativity every time she creates? She would likely become reserved in sharing her creative process. Hence, her “yes, I want to share my most intimate work with the world” becomes overridden with a “no, it’s dangerous to share because it hurts to not be seen.” One could envision how this would affect her in her creativity, intimate relations, and confidence later in life.
In this case, the natural process was overridden to keep the girl safe. Fast-forward 20 years and this same process is happening. She’s reserved in sharing herself with the world, but she has a deep longing to do so (an inner yes). The yes-no function is misaligned because she learned it was safer to override how her energy wanted to move when she was four. Any time she encounters an opportunity to share something close to her heart, she will likely bump into this and feel challenged.
This is a highly simplified example, but the point is that most of us carry yes-no function imbalances in us today. And to bring the breath back in, we likely had a physiological response that helped us to override what was meant to be a yes with a no, and vice-versa. So, put simply, the override of authenticity has a breath correlation, or a specific breath pattern, that our physiology then wraps itself around. Think of how the breath shortens when you’re angry and then how the body gets tight.
The importance of this is that the process was created by the mind-body system and can therefore be untangled through feeling. Sensing into this process of override, one can find a door into a stage of development that has been frozen in time. The subsequent understanding of the intelligence that this process has allows what’s frozen to melt.
Because in that moment, when we understand, we can give ourselves exactly what we didn’t receive. We get to see and love ourselves, and therefore harmony is restored. In that moment, saying yes or no can be in sync with our body, mind, and emotions.