Transforming Emotion Through Breath-Work
by Aoibheann Doyle / Thursday, 18 July 2019
What is a limiting belief?
A limiting belief is a repeated thought that limits you, that you believe is true. Any negative thought that limits your life and causes you pain is a limiting belief.
Giving yourself space to FEEL all your emotions, naturally connects you to the thought/beliefs at the root. In order to transform your negative thinking into a more positive, progressive outlook, you first must become aware of your thoughts and emotions. Once you recognise what you are feeling, you can then access your limiting beliefs. This awareness then gives you the powerful choice to change them. Choice and free-will is your birthright. You can always choose a more beneficial thought to replace the negative one. But first we must own and feel our limiting thoughts and associated feelings. This process is known in Shamanic terms as “The Journey”. It is an alchemical technique that transforms the “lead” of our heavy thoughts/feelings into the “gold” of our Higher Selves directive.
Tuning in to your thoughts and emotions requires you to slow down, be still and pay attention to your body-mind connection. Sit comfortably in a quiet place and notice your breath. How are you breathing? Is it fast and stressed? Or is it slow and steady? Don’t try and change your breathing pattern just yet…just become aware of how you are breathing. When we are stressed, we are inclined to take shallow breaths. Incorrect breathing is responsible for a buildup of stress in the body and many health issues can result.
Learning how to breathe deeply and practicing the body-mind connection will decrease your feelings of overwhelm, lower stress levels and improve your energy. Meditation combined with deep breathing brings tremendous results to your body and mind. The immune system improves, blood pressure stabilises and the physical body returns to a state of homeostasis.
Begin to “body scan” to see where you are carrying tension. Starting at the feet, move slowly up through your body and breathe into the areas you are feeling tension. After “checking in” to how you are breathing and noticing initially how you feel; you can continue to take a series of deep breaths…
Deep breathing, (which is our anchor,) connects us to our deeper selves. Notice how you feel… Are you tense, anxious, relaxed or calm? It is important to note in the beginning, how you are feeling. And to compare that to how you feel at the end of this process.
The 7/11 Breath pattern is brilliant for stress relief. Close your eyes and gaze inward. Breathe in for 7 and out for 11. Complete 7 rounds of this breath.
Next do the 4/6/8 breath. This pattern helps us to unwind and is excellent if you cannot sleep. Breathe in for 4, hold for 6 and breath out for 8. Do these 4 times.
Now breath naturally… Notice how you feel. What feelings are surfacing in your body? Bring your conscious awareness into the physical location in your body. What are you feeling and where is it showing up in your body? What colour is it? Go deeper into that place inside you. Allow it to be whatever it needs to be right now. Don’t judge your feelings and emotions. Allow whatever arises to wash up to the surface into your awareness. Love whatever arises. They are only feelings. And you are carrying them inside you to be expressed. Our emotions are information of our overall wellbeing. Become the observer…
Now become completely present with that feeling/emotion. Give it space to be and breathe. Notice the story that shows up with that feeling state. Become the observer, a witness to the energies inside yourself. You don’t need to attach to the story, just be conscious of it. Perhaps your emotion brings up memories that feel uncomfortable. Surrender to the emotion and feel it anyway. Stay in your body. Do not attach to the stories and memories that show up. Note that you are not your past or future. You are everything you need to be right NOW. If the monkey mind wanders, return to your anchor, your breath. Allow the feeling to be expressed fully. Use your breath to connect to your body and feel the feeling in your body. Stay present. Feel the feeling fully, using your body-mind connection.
You can use this technique to move and breathe through many layers of emotions. Take it one feeling at a time, feeling fully present and inside your physical body. Simply allow yourself to FEEL the feeling and you will notice it begins to change and transform. Feeling the emotion move through you for release is the natural completion of this exercise. If you are especially overwhelmed and stressed, you may have many layers of emotions to move through. That is fine. Just keep feeling what arises and move into the next layer of emotion, (remember you don’t need to pay attention to the “story” attached, just stay conscious in the feeling state). Feeling is healing. You must feel it to heal it!
When this exercise is practiced frequently, it becomes second nature and you can move through it quickly…in the beginning you may need to give yourself plenty of time. Relax into it. As you surrender to each wave of emotion, you will feel lighter and lighter. With each level of relief, acknowledge how much better you now feel.
As you feel what arises, moving through each layer, you will find you enter an empty feeling space known as “The void”. It feels like a clearing space in your consciousness, an empty neutral feeling of clarity. This shows you have transformed your negative feelings into the “Neutral Zone” and your practice is complete. Acknowledge your progress and enjoy the peace and neutral space of stillness. Doing this internal work, shifts your perspective and will change your external experience. Acknowledge and give gratitude to yourself for completing your inner work! Observe how your life unfolds in the coming days.
Remember! Your outer world is always a reflection of your inner world.
“As above, so below”.