How you do this is how you are living your life and approaching your work

Here is something you do all day, but if done differently for a few minutes once a week, it can help you get insight into a new level of fulfillment from your life – and your work!


One of the sessions I did on my Sedona Soul Adventure was Breathwork with Penny Elias. 


This was the first time I had ever even heard of Breathwork.


According to the Global Professional Breathwork Alliance (yes – there is an organization for everything!), “Breathwork is the art and science of teaching breath awareness and breathing techniques for enhancing the human, physical, emotional, and spiritual condition.”


Through Breathwork I got in touch with something about myself that was limiting my ability to tap into a new level of fulfillment through my work and my life without having to change anything about my work or life.


What all of that means is that you can promote healing within yourself (for mental/emotional, physical or spiritual issues), by doing an exercise where you focus on your breathing.  You might wonder isn’t that meditation?  Maybe, but I think it’s a bit more than that.  It’s almost like giving yourself a physic reading of your own well-being and how you are approaching life by noticing your naturally breathing pattern which you do by momentarily changing your natural pattern into one that is patterned in a different way.  That different way makes you not help being able to notice how you breath “normally”.  It was clear from my experience that we can all take coaching from our own breath – Penny taught me that the way we breath is the way we are living our life and that includes how we are approaching our work too.


Do you …

  • feel short of breath,
  • struggle with shallow breath,
  • or feel out of breath altogether?

I did.  I also sometimes struggled to fill my lungs fully with air.  I wasn’t sure if I was having an anxiety attack or if I had some kind of lung disorder or illness.  Obviously, if you feel any of these symptoms, it might be time to consult your doctor – but I knew for myself that something else was going on.  Breathwork revealed to me that I had a case of living my life in a way that was out of sync with my ambitions.


As I said, my greatest take-away from this work was that the way we breath is the way we live life and that includes how we approach our work – how we approach anything!.  And I was living my life by doing a lot of exhaling (giving) without doing much inhaling (taking IN – not taking, but TAKING IN).


Inadequate taking in for me looked like not being able to recognize – no less accept – opportunities for help, inspiration, or where others had accountability for their own success and happiness.  By becoming more aware of and focused on taking in what helped me to more easily function and serve others I let go of self-pressure to fix/solve/figure out things for others that sucked my sense of fulfillment.  Instead, like the breath pattern Penny introduced me to, I spent more time taking (breath) in and without effort let out whatever (breath) I had to give out.


So instead of short shallow breaths in (taking in too little help, inspiration, or allowing others their accountability to realize results from what I had to offer), and long, labored, breaths out (doing things myself from idea inception to task completion, putting meaningful leisure activities on the back-burner, and inducing self-pressure to come up with new and more clever ways to lead “horses” to drink water AND get them to drink – evidenced by frequent yawns, and effort-filled exhaling),  I momentarily tried out long, deep, back of your throat hitting ,effort-filled breaths in and lower jaw relaxed, effortless, shorter breaths that just seemed to fall out of my mouth come out.


This new (foreign) pattern for a few minutes a week revealed to me how much I was putting myself on the hook for every stage of every idea I had – from inception to completion – instead of just being an enabler for my ideas to happen.  In essence, I unconsciously was resisting sustenance to fuel me so that I could sustain giving to others – giving them what came easily for me to give.  The result of all that exhaling without adequate inhaling was that I developed a story in my own head that others were expecting me to do things that did not come easily to me (and that I didn’t enjoy doing).


It became clear to me that my job (my work) is to take in all that I can and then to truthfully give out what comes out effortlessly and know that what comes out is MY truth – not THE truth – and to leave others free to take in from that – or not.


As a result, I take myself off the hook for things that don’t come easily for me and instead I enable others to contribute.  For example, I don’t have to have all the answers for the work I do with my clients – I am not responsible for their flawless application of the concepts I teach them, instead I am accountable to share with them all that I have taken in from witnessing them (their behavior, thinking, beliefs), and from my professional and personal learning and experience and to give them what comes out effortlessly (and truthfully).  That leaves them free (and accountable to themselves) to apply it and leaves myself accountable for sharing it.


The same is true of my personal life.  For instance, I have relied (heavily) on my husband to generate fun for the family.  When I see an opportunity for fun, I push myself to come up with HOW it can be fun (which turns out not to be fun for anyone) and I simultaneously develop resentment for my husband that he didn’t see this or take the reigns from me and run with it.  Instead, I now share with my husband and kids that I see an opportunity for fun and then ask them what would they do to take advantage of the opportunity – I let them run with it because I so appreciate how much more effortless it is for them to come up with actual fun than I can.   I take myself off the hook for the HOW to have fun and instead I become the enabler of fun.


I got so much more from breathwork – too much to go into in this blog.  But the way I see it is that we all have to breath – all the time, everyday.  It’s an internal coach about our emotional and physical well-being.  Balanced breathing is balanced living.  Take in all that is around you and effortlessly let out of you (the breath you have available to you to let out – that is YOUR truth – not THE truth).  Check out more about Breathwork by visiting Penny’s website at Sedona Soul Spa.


About Gina Calvano

Gina Calvano is a certified coach and Senior Professional in Human Resources, with over 20 years of experience as a talent management professional in both the private and non-profit sectors. With a unique approach, she combines her strategic corporate expertise and accreditations with metaphysics and transformational thinking which has resulted in people all over the world feeling good about themselves and connected to a sense of purpose.

She created the Success Readiness Bootcamp™, a step by step process that enables people to easily discover their unique talents and abilities and match them to majors, jobs, industries and leisure pursuits. Gina is also the co-author of Breakthrough! Inspirational Strategies for an Audaciously Authentic Life with NY Times Best Selling Authors Marci Shimoff, Janet Bray Attwood and Chris Attwood and Powerful Connections Made Easy™ with Aprille Trupiano, and is currently working on her next book — Caged in My Cube: The Turnaround Guide For Loving The Job You Hate.

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