Breathwork: 3 Lessons from Daily Meditation

Woman meditating on mountain

BY FAITH ANUMBA

March needed to be the month for rewind and reflection. I’m someone that likes to say “yes” A LOT—even when it doesn’t suit me. It’s a bad habit. The mixture of people-pleasing and FOMO makes for a perfectly potent concoction of anxiety and burn-out. 

Another vice of mine is constantly keeping busy and allowing for little to no down-time in my life. Although I appreciate my Beyoncé-like work ethic (Virgo queens stand up!), I feel like at times I need to take some tips from the book of Badu and pack light for a bit. As history has taught me, my overly excessive busyness is a symptom of me running away from much-needed internal work. 

So, to balance out my energies, I decided to challenge myself to 30 days of meditation during March. And sis, who knew I could garner so much insight by just sitting still for 10 minutes a day? I found that I connected to a lot of the energy imbalances and realized some of those imbalances also manifested themselves in my body.

I Got Rid of Dead Weight

Due to my people pleasing and FOMO ways, I had a couple of relationships that I needed to not be in and some commitments I needed to respectfully peace out of. These were relationships that I knew weren’t good for me, where I was giving more than I was receiving, and I knew were contributing to my anxiety at large. But I was okay putting off ending them to avoid the momentary discomfort of saying good-bye. 

Meanwhile, the thought of staying in those relationships longer felt like a punch to the chest where the pain lingered for weeks on end. Literally, when I sat down to practice, I noticed that I was harboring my relationship stress in my chest that manifested itself into tightness. My heart chakra—the chakra commonly known for connecting to relationships—was out of whack.  I decided to free myself from this pain. I had to cut off the toxic relationships. 

I’ve been all the better for it since. Honestly, the amount of discomfort I felt from saying goodbye paled in comparison to the immense amount of relief I garnered from no longer having to stomach toxicity. 

I Spoke Up for Myself

Keeping with the woo-woo spiritual theme, meditating also showed me that my throat chakra had been highly neglected. Throat chakra represents the chakra of communication and self-expression. I personally experienced this energy as a use it or lose it center because if it’s not used, I’m pretty much losing… my mind. I was afraid of speaking my truth to people that needed to hear it—especially those with whom I share intimate relationships. This energy block was manifested in my throat. Sometimes I recounted points in my day that caused me some discomfort during meditations. There were times where I wanted to speak up, but I felt a big lump in my throat. It was as though the air pushed through by my voice was barricaded by some unknown entity. 

However, after some time of focused breathing onto that blocked area, the entity revealed itself as fear. Surprise, surprise. I once again put my fear of inconveniencing others over my own needs. After recognizing what was holding me back, I started connecting to my meditation practice whenever it was time to speak up for myself. That helped me push through the barricade. I had reconnected to my voice.

I Learned to Stay Present

You can say I have a bit of compulsion with venturing into my own thoughts. Thinking can be quite addicting to me. This was obvious during meditation because there were numerous times I chose thinking over breathing. I would go half the meditation immersed in my own thoughts. Sometimes, I attached so strongly to situations in my head that my body felt them in real life. 

For example, I’d often construct a situation in my mind about a person in my life I believed was out to get me, and then I felt myself physically getting distressed over just the thought. I realized this over obsession with my mind wasn’t particularly healthy, especially if it made me damn near ready to fight. 

Meditation helped me realize I need to stay present a tad bit more. I’d try to catch myself in the act of overthinking and remind myself to use my breath as an anchor to ground me back into reality. I also reminded myself that whatever is going on in my mind isn’t always worth attaching real emotions to. I only have so much energy in the day, no use giving it to fairytales.

This 30-day meditation challenge helped me see the benefits from just taking 10 minutes out of the day to focus on my body and spirit. It felt like a chiropractor adjusting my spine—except I was adjusting my energy. I’m slowly realizing more and more that to maintain stamina in the marathon I call life, it is important that I get into the habit of doing this internal work.

Here are some affirmations to try:

I am worthy of living a life where my needs come first.

There is power, truth, and authenticity behind the words I speak.

I am grateful for how my life is at this present moment.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Faith is a proud native of Los Angeles, CA—although she does feel like the 405 has gotten out of hand. She graduated from UCLA with a B.S. in psychobiology and a varsity letter for track and field. She currently works as a Sales Rep for a medical device company. She also side-hustles as a personal trainer and is actively taking on new clients. Faith is an avid student of the mental and physical health arts. She believes that mental health and physical health are intricately intertwined, and that in order to live a fulfilling life, one should take care to nurse both aspects concurrently. Her other interests include hiking, camping, beach days (basically anything that has her outdoors basking in the sun), yoga, podcasts, and her dog. She currently serves as chair of the Divine Wellness committee at TRKBG. You can follow her outdoor adventures on her Instagram @faith_anumba and/or reach out to her through email at faithwellnesslyfe@gmail.com for fitness advice and inquiries.

4 Responses

  1. Faith—this is such a powerful piece! The reminder to stay focused on the present feels like a constant necessity for me in the chaos of everyday life. And your meditation challenge sounds like something that anyone could benefit from! Learning to focus on and harness our breath is one of those key skills that everyone needs. Thanks for sharing this past of your journey with us!

  2. I love this Faith! Seems like the perfect medicine to these pandemic imbalances! I’m incorporating those affirmations like YESTERDAY! Loved it. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Bravo Faith! I loved reading every bit of this and can relate myself to blocked chakras and overthinking. Heck I can relate to it all. Thank you for sharing your journey and allowing us to tag along!

  4. You are awesome!! Finding your voice and your peace spares a lot of anxiety in the long run. Great read Faith! 👏🏽👏🏽

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