Friday, August 16, 2013

Show Don't Tell!

"Breathe": everyone keeps telling me.  (Can you use a colon backwards like that?)

"I am breathing, I AM breathing," I think, forcing huge gulps of air past the barrier in my chest.

"Breathe": I've never noticed they ask you to do that in between sessions at the gym too.  All I ever heard before was: "Push it, faster, harder, farther."

But until now I took it all figuratively.

And it turns out someone else DID have the answer, Lao-Tzu: my therapist actually showed me HOW to breathe!

I didn't cry at the session, which was a huge surprise to me since that is all I ever did at the therapist in Germany. 

Maybe it was the nice cuppa tea!

Maybe it was the fact that I am not depressed, that I am actually quite happy with my life, and that I KNEW and KNOW that this is all ridiculous.  I keep TELLING myself this is all ridiculous.  I was laughing as I told her about the stresses in my life: home schooling an Asperger's child with a profound obsession and complete apathy in anything else, a child also diagnosed with all nine symptoms of ADHD; a two-year old, seven year old twins, five children in all; moving two months ago with five children, moving internationally less than three years ago with four children and starting completely over; getting up at 4:45 to work out, running on weekends before soccer matches, dieting; looking for schools for Andrew, designing a curriculum for Ryan; cleaning the house (or not), UNPACKING and moving in, cooking and getting everyone ready for school, homework, family time....

I wouldn't change a thing except for the fact I can't breathe.

I keep TELLING myself how good my life is, but my body won't listen.

Turns out I was making the same mistake with my body and managing stress, stress that I actually WANT in my life, that I make as a writer.

I was telling my body not to stress, but I wasn't showing it how.

Light bulb moment here:  you have to breathe!

But I am breathing, but I AM breathing, as my chest expands and I inhale.

"Uh, from your diaphragm," says my therapist.

"Which means what?" I reply.  (Nice to know all those years of medical training paid off, right Mom?)

She shows me how.


From your stomach.  Big breaths deep into your stomach.

How could I have missed that in yoga?!

"And then you unclench your fists and relax them," she continues.

You tell - no, I corrected my therapist, you SHOW - your body to relax.

There are no bears out there coming to get you.

There is only the life you asked for.

Breathe, Lao-Tzu, the answer is in the breath.

What do you mean you already said that thousands of years ago?


 And Om.

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