After mom died, for several months, one of the oddest things happened to me~~repeatedly. I'd forget to breathe. More specifically, I'd forget to breathe in. I wasn't holding my breath, I wasn't waiting to exhale; I was not inhaling.
After I noticed that I was not breathing in, involuntarily on a regular basis, I wondered why that was. Let's face it, inhaling is not usually something you need to remind yourself to do. Your body generally craves oxygen, your lungs need that deep cleansing breath, your brain needs that oxygenated blood, your entire body does. So why was I forgetting to complete the breathing cycle? Especially so often?
Then I remembered that while under the influence of anesthesia, coming out of it in the recovery room after surgery, I usually had problems breathing...I wouldn't get panicked, that was the problem, I just didn't breathe...IN. The medical staff would poke me, prod me, and try to get me to wake up; keep breathing, they would say, and in my head, I would be thinking, "that's silly, of course I'm breathing"; but I wasn't. I'd have to put the effort into it.
Who does that? Who forgets to inhale breath? Who is too tired to breathe? That's like the epitome of the laziest being ever. It's such a basic necessity, that most folks do it without prompting, without thinking about it, without effort.
When my mom died, she exhaled. Things were so silent, except me, I was chanting an ongoing reassurance for her, me, and my father. "I love you, mommy. Mommy, I love you. I love you, mommy. Mommy, I love you." I knew she died when I no longer heard her struggle to breathe, to inhale, to suck the air into her lungs.
Perhaps that's why I find it peaceful when I am not breathing. There is no tension, I'm not holding myself rigid. It is a complete relaxation that allows me to deflate myself and be still.
But when you live, you are in motion, you must breathe, you must feed your self the rich air in order for your lungs, your heart, you body to do all the things that it does. You must sustain some momentum, even if it is the slightest, smallest thing, like breathing...In. and Out. In, again.
It seems so simple. But it's the most important thing you do. And you do it, all the time. Even at rest, fifteen to twenty times per minute, you complete the breathing cycle.
So I've been teaching myself to breathe again. Start small, right?