The title of this post comes from the amazing song of the same name, performed by the band Garbage. There’s something soothing, seductive and comforting in Shirley Manson’s voice as she serenades us with this tune. So, so lovely.
Watch the video here (or just listen to the song…or the whole album that it comes from, Version 2.0. One of my favorite albums of all time):
Whenever we’re going through a difficult time, the trick really is that simple – just breathe.
We do so many things to mask, escape, and numb our pain. So many of us seek outside influences to cover our pain, which inhibits growth. When we allow ourselves to feel, to experience pain and discomfort, we open the door to personal development. By allowing those icky feelings in, we are able to feel them, deal with them, and heal from them. We become stronger and more resilient, so the next time they show up, we’re better equipped to handle them.
If we don’t allow discomfort into our lives, then we’ll keep going through the same shit, over and over, and get the same results.
We can try all we’d like to escape vulnerability, but in the end, we will always experience some kind of pain. We will always experience discomfort. We all, at some point in time (or often), suck at something when we first try something new.
How do we grow? We grow by trying. We grow by fucking up, sucking it up, and getting right back up and trying again.
If we never try something new, how else would we learn? How boring would our lives be if we don’t experience new things?
When it comes to learning and getting better at something, there’s no way around it. We only grow by going through it. We do it.
We’re so smart and evolved, and yet our bodies and brains still respond the same way that our ancestors’ brains and bodies did. We have the same inherent, chemical responses when we’re scared, feel threatened, and face uncertainty.
It makes complete sense that we want to run away, or hold our breath, or totally ignore scary things. However, the best way to battle these challenges is to face them, to breathe, and to deal with them.
I’ve discussed breathing in detail, and once again, I share this because it has literally and figuratively saved my life.
Breathing is also an effective, time-tested strategy for expectant mothers to remain calm (as calm as an expectant mother can be) during the labor process. The endorphins released by breathing exercises help abate pain and stress.
If those same techniques work for women in exorbitant paint, why not utilize them for everyday stress, discomfort, and fatigue?
We tend to make things way too complicated. We hear simple strategies to help us cope with the bullshit of life known as adulting: eat breakfast, spend within a budget, sleep 7 or more hours each day/evening, practice empathy, avoid excess sugar, stay away from drugs, stay hydrated, don’t throw things or act out in anger, and so on. And yet…we falter.
Because that’s too easy. We’re too smart for that.
Some of the greatest things in life are also the most uncomplicated, straightforward, and simple things.
Take a moment to stop and go outside.
Breathe in the fresh air. Observe the life around. Feel the breeze. Look at the sky. Wish someone a good day. Stretch for a couple of minutes.
Pause, and enjoy the present moment, Breathe, and feel how your breath fills your lungs, expands your chest, broadens your back, draws in through your nose, and then how it releases slowly, making space for the next breath.
Just breathe. Your body and your brain will thank you.
Let’s take it easy on ourselves as we expand, grow, and learn to be okay with our imperfect selves in this imperfect world.
Keep moving forward my friend, and remember – the trick is to keep breathing 😉