My asthma developed when I was pretty young, maybe around two or three. When I started seeing a pulmonologist to get my lungs in shape, I remember them always saying “We have to teach you how to breathe.” Even as a kid, that idea struck me. Breathing was intuitive, it was the first action I had ever taken and the last I ever would. The idea that I didn’t know how to breathe was unfathomable. When my lungs gained strength, I realized that I had in fact been breathing all wrong.
I’m very connected to my lungs. Living at altitude but constantly traveling to sea level has given me a good sense of what it feels like when my lungs are strong and when they are not. Breathing, however, has still been a struggle for me. I associate breath with many parts of my being, most notably my mind. My breath represents the rate at which my thoughts are running through my head. In a nutshell, my lungs give me the strength the breathe, but my breath is much more complex.
I’m still learning how to breathe. It’s a long and difficult process that may never come to an end. The good news is, I will always be working towards something.