A child is born. It is a miracle. For the first few weeks, the little one sleeps a lot, nurses, occasionally cries, and needs to be held and rocked. Her arms and legs move, and her body twitches—all involuntary movements. Soon her family notices she is doing things she was unable to do before. When she is picked up, she holds her head up by herself. She reaches out to touch her mother’s face. She clings to a parent’s finger or a small toy. She rolls over.
--Paul Pearsall, Ph.D., author and lecturer
Understanding this statement pushes us beyond what is often considered politically correct. But to miss its meaning causes profound unhappiness.
Pearsall explains that certain behaviors and attitudes disconnect us from the world and from other people, and we end up isolated and miserable.
It is through our bodies that we experience life.
It is through our physical self that we can awaken to whom we truly are.
How do we do this? Through our senses. Sight, sound, smell, taste, touch — each sense is a doorway inviting us to rediscover the pleasure and rewards of being in our bodies, being in the present, and appreciating our surroundings.
I didn’t breathe during most of my 20s — or at least I didn’t breathe fully.
I had no idea my chronically tight shoulders, constricted intestines, insomnia and unyielding jaw tension were so closely related to my limited breath. To regain my health, I had to relearn how to breathe. And, though I still have to remind myself to do this from time to time, I understand how healthy breathing supports the body’s ability to heal itself.