- Do you seem to attract chaos into your life?
- Does it often feel like it's you against the world?
- Are you sick of hearing "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger"?
- Do your coping mechanisms reinforce the negative or positive things in your life?
Can your integrity be challenged and you still know your worth? Can you experience loss and still feel abundant? Can you accept life changes as pure possibility? Can you breathe and stand still in the face of adversity?
Well, if popping a bowl of popcorn, uncorking a bottle of red, and curling up with Netflix constitutes as "breathing", then I've mastered the challenge of chaos. Admittedly, though, when life feels like it's suffocating me I tend to facilitate the process by holding my own breath; letting the stagnant air of negative emotions circulate throughout my system. But to desensitize myself from their harmful effects I escape into salty snacks, earthy wines, and the lives of fictitious characters. And while that may feel like my happy place in the moment, I know it's only temporary, because when the snacks are gone and the show is over, the chaos is there with its menacing grimace.
Here's the thing, though: I totally endorse the need to feel the weight of your emotions as a way to self-assess, challenge your thoughts, challenge your choices, and the level of determination behind your dreams. But I also know the importance of exhaling; opening up the vents to release all that "toxic air" so that your sense of self, your sense of purpose, and your life's desires don't stagnate along with it. When you hold your breath, movement becomes limited and belabored; as much mentally and emotionally as it does physically. There's no expansion, flow, or ease. So you have to allow yourself breathe within the midst of chaos in order to move forward in life.
For me, "breathing" is doing the things that help me remember who I am, what I deserve, and why. It's acknowledging what I'm grateful for. It's prioritizing time to figure out how I can maximize my current situation to evolve into the person I want to become and achieve my goals. It's challenging myself to speak my truth and defend my integrity, change the situation so it matches my needs, or create a new one that fits my purpose. It's surrounding myself with people who genuinely support me and want to see me thrive. For me, "breathing" is about creating pleasure, clarity, and a renewed sense of purpose so that, despite the chaos, I can still feel my power.
In the midst of chaos, what does it look and feel like to "hold your breath"? What are your go-to rituals for "breathing through the chaos"? Who and what brings you pleasure, clarity, and a renewed sense of purpose? What makes you feel powerful despite times of chaos?
And tell all your sista-friends!