There is one language that is universal across the whole human race, the language of the body, the nervous system, the self. It does not discriminate against ethnicities, gender, age, but it is the golden thread that connects them all. It is a language without words, and the conversation is always happening, but it is up to each of us to choose to listen or ignore the glaring signs. If we do not learn the language, we may spend our lives wondering why we are always getting aches and pains, why we are depressed or anxious, why the thousands of dollars on tests and therapies are not working, and the “ailment” returns, each time with a vengeance.
This language is in each sneeze, cough, the butterflies in our stomachs, yawning, tingling, snoring, sighing, these are feelings, not words. Each sound attached to a message, telling us we are tired, sick, nervous, happy, sad, safe or unsafe. Our conscious mind then translates these feelings into words based on what our experience has taught us. We can take medication to suppress the conversation or heal the injury or sickness. But what about chronic pain/sickness? Why do some ailments persist? Sometimes the body’s message to us is more powerful than medication could ever be, so our job is to listen or be stuck in the “pain” of conversation.
What many of us do not yet understand is that we can talk back. We can create the sounds, movements, signals, to our “other brain”- the gut, our parasympathetic system. Enabling us to re-code and create new messages, better feelings, a more efficient and managed mind/body. Many ancient practices that have been doing this for millennia.
We must create a polarity to the current intense physical practices our culture is obsessed with and sloooow down, listen, and EXPLORE. There are many spectrums of exploration. The one I am referring to is one of subtle experience. When we move too quickly, there are many meaningful conversations and messages that we may not hear.
Exploration is not a tool that is taught or given freely in current culture. We expect to be given instructions so that we can mindlessly complete a task. I am sure we have all said it, “just tell me what to do, and I will get it done.” We want a detailed description of the outcomes, what to expect, and what we will experience. We want the prescription that leads to healing, but most are not willing to put in the work to complete the process. After a workout, many people go home and wonder why they still feel chronic pain and are anxious or depressed. It takes more than meditation, an exercise class, or even seeing a healer or practitioner.
With all of these things, we are searching outside of ourselves for assistance instead of looking within. Looking within completes the path to healing, and it takes practice, repetition, focused thought, and attention. Everything else will assist the process. Modalities outside of ourselves are necessary, but we must also acknowledge that we must do our part to focus our attention, with the right intention, to complete the process.
Ailments are the body speaking to us; the more intense they are, the longer we may NOT have been listening. Also acknowledging that sometimes illnesses are part of the lessons, we must endure in this lifetime, not necessarily a cause of our lack of awareness. Think about the ailment(s) that brought you closer to yourself, caused you to ask more questions, and find the person, place or thing that you would have never imagined possible and brought you to that/this moment.
Naturally, the next question is how do we learn to listen? To speak back to the self, to complete the circle of healing and understanding of the self? To activate self-awareness?
WE MUST START WITH THE BREATH. Now, we have all heard this before, “focus on your breathing” along with a long list of Instagram quotes about breath. With Primal Coding the goal is to assist in creating a more detailed definition, a drop-down menu to this thing we call breath. It is NOT about just “taking a deep breath” or “just breathing.”
When we THINK about the breath, we activate a part of our brain called the medial prefrontal cortex. This part of our brain regulates/activates self-awareness.
When we become conscious of our thoughts and the feelings that are connected, it creates a pathway to our subconscious. It is one of the quickest paths to self! People figured this out a long time ago, science and modern day culture are just catching up.
Before I go any further, I would first like to remind all of you that there are no WRONG breathing patterns just improper application and lack of awareness. It is about exploring your current systems, capabilities, ranges, boundaries. Then once they become clear, they may be expanded, and efficiency of mind and body is improved.
The best place to start with your practice of exploration is to say hello to the four corners of the breath. The inhale, hold, exhale, hold. This breathing pattern is the very first step to learning the ABC's of the self. I know it seems simple and some will think “ok, I know about the box breath (eye roll), what’s next?” Well, honey, that is it. That is the principle pattern, the foundation of ALL the things. Get comfortable and explore. When we repeat a pattern enough times things will start to change and when we get comfortable with the breathing pattern that means we have finally CARVED the TOOL so that we can have a more detailed conversation with ourselves. I use this exercise EVERY DAY. Repeat the pattern, slow down and listen. Your body has a story to tell.
The practice: I want you to set a timer for 3 minutes.
You will inhale for 4 sec, hold for 4, exhale 4, and hold for 4.
Let the breath go where it naturally wants, do not force it anywhere and allow it to be as natural as possible. Notice what happens in your transitions.
Ask yourself, Is the breath pattern difficult at first? Are you able to make it comfortable? Are any of the transitions more challenging? Do the 3 minutes feel like forever or just a few seconds? What is your mind telling you as you practice? Is it distracted? NOTICE WHAT IS HAPPENING!
All of these things allow you to carve out a mindset of exploration. Once you can drop into this pattern with ease and feel a sense of calm, not distraction, then you have paid the entrance fee and have created the tool to calm the nervous system anytime, anywhere. With time the box breath will become the magnifying glass of exploration.