Most times we do not give thought to involuntary actions. I mean think about it, we don’t will our hearts to beat under regular circumstances nor do we schedule our next inhale/exhale. However, if we are not careful, we can become so preoccupied with life and the next “must do” that we forget breathing is essential for all facets of life to work properly. This is not a self-help post. This is a post filled with a hard but beautiful lesson I learned in the school of life while completing my first year of graduate work. Lean in close, this is a secret of epic portions! In order to keep from spiraling into a world of anxiety and self-doubt, you must breathe. Relax, relate and release, this is called the wonderful art of Breathing!
Now at this point you are probably asking yourself, “Why is this birnettiah character spending time discussing breathingwhen I breathe regardless if I’m within balance or not?” That my friend is a good question! Some people take time to meditate and focus on breathing daily, nevertheless others can’t find time to think much less meditate. However, in the lessons I learned I discovered ways to use natural resources and my surroundings to increase my levels of awareness which in turn enabled me to breathe easier. Once I started breathing, I naturally began to relax, relate to my surroundings and ultimately release whatever was causing my tension.
I began to breathe by embracing my surroundings through focusing on the beauty of everyday common things. I’ve always questioned why people value the rarest of things when its the common things we have the most exposure to. While walking to class, instead of texting or checking ESPN, I began to appreciate the warmth of the sun or how the roots of the trees keeps them grounded. I found that nature gave me the simplest pleasures and most profound metaphors. UNC has an absolutely beautiful campus which serves as a natural resource to refocus and recharge. This past week I had a chance to experience nature at its finest when I traveled to the Outer Banks of North Carolina. I flew a kite on top of the sand dunes, played with grasshoppers and climbed the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse. As I marveled at the lighthouse, I was more so inspired by the perseverance and endurance of its history. In short, the lighthouse is made of brick and has been around since the 1800s. In 1886 the lighthouse endured a major earthquake, in which reports told of the lighthouse swaying back and forth. Although the lighthouse swayed, endured 46 major hurricanes and was relocated from its original location it remains standing strong. This natural resource along with the everyday resources reminds me to breathe. Regardless of our circumstances or the craziness of school, remember breathing is involuntary. If you choose, you can relax, relate, release and simply Breathe.