If you’ve never experienced a breathing exercise through something you’ve read, here’s your chance.
These past two years have been heavy. Regardless of where you live or what you believe, it’s been heavy. Covid disrupted life as we knew it, and everything went haywire. Just a cluster “f” word of confusion and fear is what it has been.
The many roles we have had to play have made many of us feel like we are just going through the motions. However, with many more challenges arising, we are simply trying to “make it.” It’s demanding and exhausting.
If you’ve ever been on a rollercoaster ride, you know that there are moments when you are holding your breath. Unless you’re one of those people who love the thrill of the ride, you are fearfully anticipating the next dip, twist, or turn. I am not one of those who enjoy the ride; hence I’ve only been on two rollercoasters in my lifetime. Two was enough. I admire those who can enjoy the ride and all its craziness. If you’re like me, subconsciously, you forget to breathe, and the same is sometimes true in life. We clench our jaws, close our eyes, and hold on tight, but we are ready for the ride to come to a complete stop. At the bottom, of course.
This rollercoaster ride that life has us on was true pre-Covid. Covid didn’t suddenly introduce us to trauma and challenges. We’ve been going through those things since the beginning of time. However, this pandemic has managed to present an overwhelming series of weights for many. And most of the many have had difficulty releasing what they feel. So instead, there’s just a bunch of people carrying tons of weight on their backs and feeling defeated in the process.
Why? Because we were taught that we have to keep moving regardless of what happens around us. Although that’s pretty true, we have to learn to give ourselves permission to pause. Pausing is not a full stop but rather a moment to adjust, reflect, shift, and reset.
Imagine someone juggling multiple small balls while on this rollercoaster ride. Crazy visual, right? I say small balls because although they may not individually carry the same weight as larger balls, the more balls you have, the heavier it becomes. I know what you’re thinking. It’s impossible to juggle balls on a rollercoaster. You’re going to drop a ball or 3. You will be unable to focus, and the extreme highs and lows will force you to give some of those balls up.
Breathe. I agree with you.
Managing your personal and professional lives and the many challenges that come with both seems impossible at times — adding this global pandemic to it has made things more challenging. But if you’re not intentionally scheduling time to take care of yourself mentally, physically, socially, and emotionally you significantly lower your chances of getting off that ride alive. I’m not trying to be over the top when I say that. I’m pretty serious.
Your mind, body, and soul are connected. How long do you expect your body to continue to fight the stress and overwhelm you feel every day? How long are you expecting your mind to continue racing without confusing your body and shorting your wires? How long do you expect our very complicated bodies to continue operating under these conditions? Listen, even a rollercoaster needs regular maintenance. The weight from the thousands of people sitting in those cars and the condition of the track has to be taken care of, and so do you.
The amount of money you make won’t matter, and the influence you have won’t matter if you leave this Earth having forfeited your purpose simply because you chose not to make your well-being a priority.
Stop and take a breath. Do something you enjoy. Make changes to your friend circle. Establish a morning routine that includes prayer, meditation, and journaling. Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes. Shift your perspective about life.
Regardless of what you choose to DO, make sure you prioritize time to just BE. That way, you can throw your hands up, enjoy the ride and breathe.