This is a blog I wrote four years ago but felt was very pertinent to this time of year and all the pressure that we can put in to the holiday times. I am happy to say that I actually don’t have asthma (lots of testing and no further issues later) and was just going through a particularly tough time in my life and seasonal allergies. The message remains though and I hope it can help you too!
I have always loved this quote. One of my favorite nieces gave it to me years ago as a wall hanging. Until recently I took it to mean those moments where you are watching your kids and you could just burst with happiness or when you are good surprised and need a moment to collect yourself. A few weeks ago changed that.
I was working out and had my first, and I’d be ok with last, asthma attack. It was a very weird experience. Not just the lack of air going to my brain and lungs but the total standing still of time. While I admit I was scared, I was also very calm and strangely observational about the whole process. Luckily, I was working out with my trainer who ran FAST to get the inhaler and a friend that I knew wouldn’t let me croak before my time. Ha!
In the moment all I could focus on was getting air into my lungs and calming my system down when it wanted to panic. I am someone who likes to know she has a say over her body. In having no say there was a sweet moment of letting go that has been very freeing. What if I did croak in that moment? Well, I would definitely haunt people because I could, but honestly, I was ok with my process. I was ok with who I was. I would have liked to have run a full 5k and maybe kiss the kids again but as a soul, I was good to go. There is something freeing in that. Now, I get that I have a whole different perspective of the passing process than most but in that moment where I couldn’t do anything but focus on breathe in, breathe out, I was good with me. Who woulda thunk an epiphany felt like a bronchospasm?
Now, obviously, I didn’t croak or I would be a ghost writer. Ha! Come on, that’s funny! So, I decided today to look at that experience a bit more and yes, I did call the doctor. I discovered more than the realization that I was good with me, I discovered I had more questions (no surprise there. I am a nosy soul.). Here is a few of those observations and questions that came up for me. Feel free to play along and see what resonates for you and what doesn’t. No need for you to stop breathing too!
Nothing really matters if you have air. Seriously, if you don’t have that, don’t move forward to the next thing on your list of things because it will only matter for a few seconds. The gift of a deep breath is one that leads to healing on every level. Go ahead and take a deep one right now.
- Where can you not breathe in your life? Is there an area that you could use some room around? Address it and feel the relief of life giving oxygen.
- Do you have support? Do you have a Justin who will run (with his own asthmatic lungs) to get you the tool that will help you breathe? Do you have someone that will say, listen, I love you but you need to address this area? No, then find that support for yourself. It could be a coach, a meditation, a class, it doesn’t matter just find that tool that can help you feel like there is room to expand in your world and lungs!
- Are you open to help? If someone presented you with a tool, would you be able to recognize it or would you stand in your stubbornness and refuse to accept that help?
Look back at other times when you thought you wouldn’t make it through the day and then you did. See, you have proof that you will be ok, in time. Being scared isn’t a bad thing and knowing you will catch your breath is priceless in moving through the tough times. Sometimes fear is the very thing that gets our butt moving and making a change.
Even if you croak, you will be ok. You’ll have to trust me on this one, but I promise you it is true and one of the things I hear the most is how amazing the other side is and that they wish they spent more time in the present and less time worrying.
Giving in is not giving up. Sometimes we just need to throw those hands up and admit we are scared before we can do anything to change the situation. The secret is to not sit in the fear and get addicted to the drama of trauma.
The human body is amazing with the ability to heal itself. I’ll admit to having a tough time with this belief over the last two days when I found myself unable to run a simple lap post seize up. Now I know that any negativity I place toward my body makes it more difficult to heal, but in the moments after with the feeling of weakness, my perception was failure. Luckily I had friends encouraging me to keep going and eventually my body heard the message. Maybe not at high speed, but it kept going. That is amazing. A few months ago I would have given in but something developed over those months allowed me to keep going. We ALL have that ability.
I believe having a plan is what helps us thrive in times of challenges. It doesn’t have to be a firm plan but it does have to be there. I call this the paver plan. One thing at a time. One paver at a time so you have somewhere to put your foot, one after another. What can you do right now that freaks you out a bit but still feels exciting at the same time? Choose that and take a small step. Don’t forget to do the happy dance after!