My very good friend, Dr. Alyssa Summey, has written a wonderfully thoughtful post for my Well-Being Wednesday series for January.
Take slow, deep breaths through your nose. Feel the air flow over your top lip into your nostrils. Feel the hair on your skin move slightly to the gentle current created by the inhales. Feel your lungs, chest, and ribs expand as you consciously fill every possible crevasse with air. Drop your shoulders and allow the breaths to come from your belly. Rising and falling, your belly becomes as rhythmic as the ocean waves, allowing more oxygen into your blood stream. With every breath, you become more aware of your body.
The increase in oxygen brings a higher energy level; a tingling surge into your arms, your back, and the fog clears in your head. You feel calm. The words on this page become sharper and as you look around, colors appear brighter. It may take you one time at this exercise, it may take dozens, but at some point you become aware that you are feeling the NOW.
The NOW is a place most of us haven’t been in years, perhaps since we were kids marveling at the colors bubbles made in the sun, or ants on a sidewalk, or simply looking up at the stars. Yet the NOW is the easiest place to go. In fact, you never leave it. You only think you do.
I’m guessing most of us have been breathing millions of breaths without feeling all that you did a moment ago. For too long we have filled our consciousness with To Do lists, deadlines, and multitudes of expectations; most of which, when you get down to it, aren’t necessarily important but are merely space and time fillers. We’ve become “Human-Doings” instead of “Human-Beings.” We’ve removed consciousness from our daily routines. We’ve forgotten the wonder that lies within each breath, the power behind each word, the magnitude of each thought, and the importance of well-being. Until NOW.
Something has shifted. We are all sensing it but we can’t quite put our finger on it. Up to this point, we’ve lived our quiet lives, checking off our lists, accomplishing our tasks, sitting, kneeling, standing, questioning little, and expecting much. But slowly over the years something has been building inside of us that no one told us to expect.
We don’t like that word and what it implies. That’s why we feel uncomfortable even looking at it. (And that is the reason we must face it.) We have been conditioned to seek that which causes pleasure and avoid that which causes pain, and as quickly as possible. In doing so, we had narcotized ourselves to the point of numbness. Feeling the full spectrum of emotion was too painful. We stopped asking questions because we were afraid of the answers.
We tried to throw a pretty rug over an unsightly stain on the carpet of our lives. But the stain, the unsatisfying relationships, the dead-end jobs, the headaches and other physical manifestations of stress, the false personas we created for ourselves to put on a pleasing public image, wasn’t that easy to cover up.
Having seen the stain, our discontent, for what it is, an outward sign of our inner reality, is the first step in this shift. We now acknowledge what we have been doing in our lives isn’t getting us the results we want, the fulfillment we desire, or the happiness we deserve. We are now questioning the status quo, the medical system, the political agenda, and the media because our inner reality, our well-being, has been malnourished. We are waking up. We are emerging from the sleep knowing our answers to our discontent lies within.
That’s where true well-being lies, anyway. Inside. There is no pill for well-being or inner harmony. No relationship can make us happy if we are not already happy and at peace with ourselves. And, we get it now. We are listening to those inner voices guiding us along our path. Like Dorothy, from the Wizard of Oz, on the Yellow Brick Road, she had to discover that she always had the power inside her to go home. In fact, the true reality was, she was always home. She never left. She only thought she did.
The NOW is inescapable, no matter how far from it we think we are. The clarity of mind, the acuity of our surroundings, and the inner calm created by the breathing exercise we just did brought our conscious minds into awareness of the NOW. It is the sanctuary in which well-being resides, where our minds are free from discontent, without being weighed down with the past or future. It is where we are able to experience ourselves in pure form, free from judgment, and as the Creator sees us; we simply ARE.
Dr. Alyssa Summey is a holistic chiropractor at RejuveNation LifeSpa in McKinney, Texas. She is also spear-heading a community Wellness Challenge.