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Stop Holding Your Breath

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Stop Holding Your Breath

“I stopped sucking in my stomach three days ago.”

My wife laid her knitting in her lap and just looked at me for a good long while. I couldn’t imagine what was going on in there but her eyes were soft with a mix of amusement, interest, and perhaps even understanding. She knows me so well, often my epiphanies aren’t news to her. It seemed as if she might be waiting for me to offer more explanation. Like sunrise and gravity, I can usually be counted on for more words.

I had nothing more.

I didn’t understand what was going on with me but I was clear that something was unfolding, that a subtle yet persistent healing was underway. One little lesson after the next slipped into my consciousness–like random pieces of a puzzle without a box lid to reveal their intention. The theme was clear. I was healing, recovering from whatever caused me to stop breathing.

I don’t breathe regularly. I hold my breath. I do it when I’m scared or sad or nervous or excited or happy or confused… I hold my breath. Then, I gasp for air, sigh, yawn, or whatever other technique my body eventually has to use to overcome my habit of not breathing. I don’t know when it started or even why but it’s been this way for as long as I can recall.

While working my way through countless self-improvement puzzles over the years, the pieces of the breathe puzzle kept popping up. I’d accept them and set them aside, not knowing what in the world they were for. On the evening in question, I was suddenly aware that the pile of pieces accumulating beside me actually held a message. There was a point to all of it and although I didn’t understand, my certainty that it was important far outweighed the ridiculousness of whispering, “I stopped sucking in my stomach three days ago.”

Next: Strengthening the core

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Christy Diane Farr

Christy Diane Farr is a catalyst. If that sounds like something you want more of in your life, visit 'The Greenhouse' at and join the Wildflower Evolution on Facebook.


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12:52AM PST on Dec 23, 2013

Christy, another great post. You write beautifully-- it's actually like we are living it with you. Thanks, as always, for letting us feel your journey with you.

6:06PM PST on Dec 22, 2013

HI! I've been wondering for my life of twenty two years.
Those things have all happened to me, and I was quite unhappy with what I thought had to do.

Thanks for sharing this!

Lots of gratitude.

1:39AM PDT on Aug 14, 2011

Love this article! Thank you for your transparency! Isn't it amazing how bringing awareness to one thing, and shifting it makes such a world of difference?!

10:12PM PDT on Aug 8, 2011

thanks for sharing.

9:13PM PDT on Aug 7, 2011


10:49AM PDT on Aug 7, 2011

yep i dont breather proply due to anxiety and nerves.

10:58PM PDT on Aug 5, 2011

This was a great piece, thank you.

Not breathing properly seems to be a widespread problem in our advanced Western society (I stress this point). It is not limited to one sector of society as you suggested.

We are so out of touch with ourselves, so out of touch with nature. We do not do the monumental physical work which just existing requires in other societies. We are not in touch with awareness or the natural world.

We spend our time crouched in front of a computer or electronic game, sprawled in front of a computer, stuffed into a seat to drive ...

This is not what nature intended us to do. No wonder we find it hard to breathe or find or control our muscles.

And on that note, I'm getting away from the computer and getting some fresh air and movement to the weekly market - and breathing!

11:42PM PDT on Aug 4, 2011

I think 90% of us share this problem of not breathing properly. Apparently, when it comes to not breathing properly, more women are affected than men. We are supposedly not conscious of our breathing and that's the problem because when we catch ourselves, we need to take conscious deep breaths. That is why meditation is so vital because one is conscious of one;s breathing at that time. Conscious deep breathing also helps in the event of stress and it is a wonderful help to aid falling asleep. If only this 'unconscious system' worked correctly, we would all be healthier and more relaxed !

7:45PM PDT on Aug 4, 2011

I often need to remember to breath. The other thing that resonated with me in this article was that when you did let your tummy go, it didn't really affect anyone else at all. I think we often get caught up thinking that other people are thinking this or that about us, when mostly they are not thinking much about us at all. Too busy worrying what everyone is thinking about them!

12:56AM PDT on Aug 4, 2011

Christy u write really well .... :) great article again...

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I did try it. No thanks - hate it. Detest hummus - or any other form of garbanzo beans (also kno…

More, more, more....Very cute.

agreed with Anne M.'s comment...

Thanks for this article. Love the B. Idol lyrics posted below :-)


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