From Fear to Gratitude: Making Peace with my Breath. Find out how to do that.
I had read somewhere that how you breathe says a lot about how you live life and your relationship to life. This struck me because I realised my breathing was mainly in the chest, it was shallow, short and rapid. When I tried to breathe deeply, I felt constrained by an invisible straitjacket. If our breath mirrors back to us our emotional and mental state, it’s not a surprise that I have often felt trapped in my life, stressed, depleted and unable to create the life I wanted in alignment with my authentic self. Reflecting more deeply, I also felt it was not safe to breathe in life fully because I have always been ready for a fight or flight reaction in what I perceived to be a dangerous, unstable world. Holding such limiting beliefs about the world stem from past traumatic experiences in our own life but also in our family. Looking back at my story, my mother gave birth to me under extreme stress during the Lebanese Internationalised Civil War (1975-1990) and a few months later as a baby my family had to abruptly leave Lebanon to Greece by a small boat under precarious circumstances like so many Lebanese families and refugees today who continue to flee from war. I also came to realise that my usual anxious response to daily life did not just start with my own experience of war in Lebanon. My professional and personal work around inherited family trauma and increased understanding of epigenetics research led me to perceive the ways in which I had been impacted by the traumatic experiences of my own parents and grandparents who, as Palestinians, had lost their homes in Palestine and had to flee to safety in Lebanon in 1948 as refugees upon the establishment of Israel. And though I was raised in a peaceful country – Greece – I always suffered from anxiety and other PSTD-related symptoms unconsciously passed down through my parents. This was of course all amplified by the stresses of modern life that everyone encounters. For this reason, I decided to start meditating, embracing energetic practices and working on myself using different healing modalities. Despite transforming my inner landscape with these practices, I always felt something was still missing because of my continued difficulties with stress and with being fully present. The missing key was the breath. Although I had explored many kinds of breathwork in the past, none of them suited me for daily practice – they tended to be more about cathartic healing – and I knew I wanted a daily practice that would change my energy inside out and therefore change my life. I put my intention out there.
Some months later, I signed up for a webinar on how to do ancestral and past life healings with Sharon King where she also facilitated a fabulous group session on Soma Breathwork. Soma was developed by Niraj naik in the UK as a result of combining his vast knowledge of breathwork, yoga, brainwave music and guided meditation techniques. I was struck by how much the Soma Breath process resonated so well with my body. My initial experience brought me exhilaration, inner expansion, flow and self-love. These results prompted me to explore more deeply and join the online 21 Day Protocol. It was a truly transformative process that helped me clear negative patterns of anxiety, emotional disturbances like guilt and open to inner bliss, peace, creativity, presence and gratitude for life.
I continue with my 20-minute daily practice of Soma breathwork with Niraj’s recorded guidance and my desire to share with others the empowering and revitalising benefits Soma brought me. In these uncertain and fast-changing times, to quote the wise Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh, conscious breathing is our anchor in daily life.
I’ll be talking more about the importance of self-care techniques in helping us align with our true self in my upcoming introduction about my 8 week programme on Revealing your Authentic Self at Thrive Center, Horsh Tabet, Beirut, Lebanon on Wednesday October 9th and 16th at 6:30pm till 8:30pm. Contact me at 76 011 831 to reserve your spot.
Love & Peace,