Walking yesterday morning with my wife, chatting about the day ahead, when she stops, red faced and whipping of her jumper says, 'so overwhelmed... hot flush!'
From the outside, and as a bloke, it is difficult at least to watch my beloved going through this 'right of passage' known as perimenopause. Hot flashes, cold flushes, emotional and physical discomfort, disturbed sleep and more. It's epic!
It occurred to me that ongoing psychological and physiological issues tend to take us into feelings of anxiety and overwhelm, potentially generating maps for future ongoing discomforts.
Seeing my wife's discomfort, I asked: 'Can I make a suggestion?' Knowing I cannot 'fix' her challenge (and she doesn't want me to, or need me to).
With a smile, she nodded.
'What if you brought your attention to your breath?' I asked.
'What if, when you notice the symptoms, stop, acknowledge the sensations, notice with an attitude of curiosity what the symptom is, then move your attention to the breath coming in and then out of your nose.'
Bring your awareness back to a gentle awareness of that automatic process that keeps you alive.' Breathe with a mindful attention to the air coming and going through your nose.'
Wendy smiled back at me and smiled, 'Oh gosh, your so right.' she replied.
She knew this and yet feeling overwhelmed by the symptoms, she had forgotten. Being reminded and giving it some attention, helped.
Stop: Acknowledge: Breathe
Coming back to the breath does a number of things:
It brings us back into the present. Chasing the anxious thoughts of 'what is this going to do to me?' or the regressive thoughts: 'this shit again.' removes is from the present and into flight or fight.
Awareness of breath connects is consciously to our deepest automatic life force, breathing. Aligning us with the deep unconscious force of life affirming knowledge-a blueprint of our system.
Awareness of breath engages numinosum, curiosity and opens the mind to potentially new Pathways.
Acknowledging the breath and the moment is fundamental to connecting with the natural healing process that is alive and well within us-the natural process that is generating the symptoms in the first place.
The symptoms are the healing process, the signals, messages and deep connection to the organic and emergent process of life, the life we are living.
So, when we Stop, Acknowledge and Breathe, we are setting up a pattern of deep communication and a generative feedback loop of continuous well-being... Whether you like it or not, comfortable or not, you are the symptoms and the healing and the wellness... so breathe into it.