Breath: the birthplace of vulnerability

just breathe I want to elaborate on what shameless inspiration means to me. The word shame comes from the Latin word “to cover,” while inspiration literally means “to breathe life into; the drawing in of breath; to be filled with exalting emotion and drive.” Put them together and you have shameless inspiration, which I envision as uncovering my truth with each breath.

Finding your voice and speaking your truth begins with the breath. In fact, everything begins with the breath. Interestingly, some breaths are more “shameless” than others. You might be able to recall an experience where you felt exposed and vulnerable, perhaps while giving a presentation or telling someone you love them for the first time. In these vulnerable situations, our breathing often gets shallow. The idea of being judged as inadequate activates the same fight-or-flight response that we experience in times of danger. This shallow breathing literally cuts off or dampens emotion so that we can focus on defending ourselves. Our breath is our life force and connection to the outer world and to breathe deeply and fully is a very vulnerable act. It reflects a willingness to feel and engage with our experience, the good and the bad parts…

I have studied voice and breath in several contexts and it is a major passion of mine so I’d like to share some teachings and models for approaching breath and communication as an ongoing feature on the blog.

The first step in learning about your breath is noticing it…sounds obvious but it’s easier said than done. I’d like to invite you to start observing you breath in different situations. For example, you might find that you hold/limit your breath when you are talking to your boss, having an argument with a friend or on a date. I know that I often hold my breath when I’m alone working on essays!

This week lets open up to our experience by cultivating an awareness of our breath as we go about our business.

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