I have a confession. I still don’t have all the clean clothes and swimming suits put away from my vacation a few weeks ago. My husband’s birthday presents from his co-workers are sitting in a pile, waiting to find new homes. Today I tackled a month’s worth of mail, hoping there were no late bills. I held my breath until the last envelope was opened. Whew, I just made it under the wire.
Sometimes the clutter of life starts to pile up, limiting the space I normally have available to live life fully. It makes it hard to have breathing room for new things. When I finally get in the mood to “straighten up” the house, as Grandma used to say, I can find things quicker. I feel happier and energized with a clean, spacious living space. I breathe easier.
My physical body is like my house. I let it get cluttered with muscle tension and cramped for space to breathe. Some days I find myself hunched over my Zero Balancing table or my computer desk. You know the posture … shoulders slightly elevated, rolled forward and curled inward. This position makes deep breathing very difficult. Sometimes this posture becomes my “normal” posture for a few days, and eventually pain and discomfort appear in my neck, shoulder blades and chest. When I do pause to stretch or correct my posture, I find it difficult to stand up straight or take a deep breath. Eventually, I decide it’s time to “straighten up” my posture. I find my body feels happier and I can breathe deeply. My body becomes more spacious.
So how do I create this breathing space in my home and my body?
One idea that seems to work for me for decluttering my living space is to spend a few minutes each evening, picking up things from the day and putting them back where they belong. When I take time for this small task, I spend less time looking for lost papers the next day. I feel happier when I can see the bottom of my dining room table. I enjoy the spaciousness of my space. I feel like I can breathe.
One way to create breathing space in my body is to stretch the tight muscles in my chest area (the pectoral muscles) and learn to breathe deeply in this corrected postural pattern. I have to create that breathing space by stretching out the tight muscles and releasing the restrictions that clutter my body. Here is a video that describes using a towel roll behind your spine, to open up the chest cavity while doing some simple breathing. When I do this simple Chest Stretch with towel roll, (click here) I create space to breathe deeply in my chest cavity. I feel happier and more relaxed. My body feels more spacious.
Whenever I “straighten up” and create open space in my living area or my body, I find I can breathe easier and move with greater ease. I feel good. A few moments each day can make a big difference in my breathing space.
What do you do to create breathing space in both your life and your body?