Breathwork for Healing
Much like Iboga- Breathwork has certainly helped change my life. The two modalities are nothing alike in the experience, but both are used to release stored trauma and free emotional blockages, ultimately bringing us more presence and peace, yay! We have started including Breathwork into our Iboga retreats and seeing results in how breathwork is a powerful healing and integration tool, and a beautiful compliment to the medicine work.
At Awaken Your Soul we are passionate and committed to creating a strong container that lasts beyond the Iboga retreat itself. “It takes a village” is our way of saying that the journey back to the true self is smoothest and most effective when we enlist multiple tools and support systems along the way. Not to mention it fun to explore all the options at our fingertips!
I stumbled across Michelle D’Avella creator of Pushing Beauty a few months ago while looking for some high-quality online Breathwork content that I could share with a client. And how grateful I am that I found her! Anthony and I use her self-paced meditations daily and we have experienced rapid and freeing results.
Breathwork is an incredible and easily accessible tool that (thanks to Michelle) you can do in the comfort of your home with nothing more than a set of earbuds and your own breath.
Below is an article written by Michelle and originally published on www.pushingbeauty.com. Michelle has extensive thoughtful, relatable and healing content as well as multiple devices that she offers virtually. Read on for her description of how breathwork changed her life and how it can change yours too!
Here are some things that have changed since I committed to healing with Breathwork almost 5 years ago:
1. I stopped hiding from the world—and myself.
Hide-and-go-seek is only fun if someone actually finds you. When I was a teen I decided to disappear from everyone—myself included. When I began my Breathwork practice in my late twenties, I no longer had the option of hiding from the truth.
If you’re willing to let go enough, Breathwork will help your mind quiet down and give you access to your body. In my body I found a whole lotta pain from all the times I had betrayed and abandoned myself. I also found the wisdom of my soul, and it was from this place I knew it was safe to stop hiding.
2. I learned to love myself.
Breathwork is moving up the popularity line in the wellness world these days, but back when I began practicing it was tough to find an article online let alone a practitioner.
No one ever told me I could learn to love myself through Breathwork—but I did.
The term self-love was never uttered from the first healer I worked with, but I learned the great lesson naturally through the work. Breathwork connected me to the truth that I was lovable just as I was. It helped me see that nothing about me needed to change in order for me to love myself.
3. My skin cleared up.
If you suffer with acne, I have felt your pain. I have a memory (OK, maybe several) of looking in the mirror as a young girl and begging God to clear up my skin. I tried pretty much everything from Proactive to going vegan. Nothing ever worked long term.
Looking back, I can see that my breakouts were the worst in my early to mid-twenties when I was most anxious, lost, and insecure in my life. The first Breathwork teacher I worked with waived his hand at me like a confidant wizard when I told him that I had chronic skin issues.
“That’ll be taken care of,” he said.
It was. I didn’t practice Breathwork to clear my skin up, but only a few weeks in I noticed I wasn’t breaking out much anymore. Fast forward four years, and my breakouts are 95% diminished. Craters be gone.
(Note: I once told an acupuncturist this bit of information, and she told me that in Chinese Medicine the lungs and skin are linked, surprise, suprise.)
4. I know how to get clear.
Confusion is a symptom of being stuck in the mind and distrusting of life. In this world of option-overload, we question who the right partner is, what we should be doing with our lives, and what color shoes we should buy.
For years before I created Pushing Beauty I was incredibly confused. I had a feeling that there was something else I needed to be doing with my life, but I had no idea what it was. If I rummaged through my old hard drive, I’d find numerous documents full of ideas of what “it” might be.
As soon as I started practicing Breathwork, I felt a clear channel to my soul and began writing from that place. As my practice has deepened, I continue to get to know myself and pay attention to what the Universe has in store for me.
5. I feel comfortable in my skin.
The body can be a scary place for many of us, because it’s the place we’ve stowed away our most painful experiences and emotions. I increasingly felt less comfortable in my skin as I grew. At a frat party during my Freshman year of college, a guy I had a crush on announced how uncomfortable I looked to our friends. It was obvious.
Post college mortification, my Breathwork practice showed me that my body was actually safe. I began to feel those bottled up feelings, and with each release I felt lighter and more comfortable in my skin.
6. I believe dreams come true.
You don’t have to look far to find magical manifestation stories these days. I have always loved hearing those stories because they connected me to the magic of life, but I didn’t really believe they could happen to me.
Through Breathwork, my connection to Spirit has deepened. I have been through some incredibly challenging experiences that have given me the opportunity to discover my worth, how courageous I am, and that I am supported.
As I began to trust that I was a co-creator with the Spirit, I began to look for proof. What we look for, we find. I live more and more of my dreams each day, including buying a 1956 Homestead in the High Desert (a dream that has been in the works for years).
7. My stone-cold disposition has melted.
When I was in college in Philadelphia, I was walking down the street past these two guys. One nudged his buddy and pointed at me, “She look like she mad at her boyfriend.”
I looked mad all the time partly because I was mad and partly because I felt like I had to look mad to protect myself. My energy was telling people to Stay.The.Fuck.Back. I didn’t feel safe sharing myself with the world because I didn’t believe people would love me.
Pretty quickly after beginning my Breathwork practice I started to soften. I even remember one friend telling me he felt a warmth from me he’d never experienced before. I was feeling more comfortable letting my guard down because I was learning to love myself just as I was.
8. I am strong AF.
I went through two breakups after discovering Breathwork and the second knocked me on my ass. It forced me to look at all the things I had still been hiding from. The Universe was asking me to truly own my worth.
Discovering your worth when your partner suddenly leaves and semi-ghosts you, is incredibly challenging and the most important time to do so. Any guard I had ever used to protect me from emotional pain was defective, and I was flooded with all the unprocessed emotional pain from my life. Like, “Here, you deal with this shit now.”
I dealt with it. I released loads of grief that had been stored in my body. I was so raw that I cried walking down supermarket aisles and my body was so open I was easily deep into poses that were once extremely uncomfortable.
I devoted myself to healing, and no longer cared how long it would take or what I would have to endure. Through surrendering I found my warrior spirit.
9. I no longer suffer from depression and anxiety.
Depression can be a sign that we aren’t listening to our souls. It can also be a build up of unprocessed emotion that weighs the body down. I find they are often connected. Anxiety shows up when we feel unsupported, insecure, and live from limiting beliefs. Anxiety is a build up of fear in the body.
Committing to a Breathwork practice allowed me to release a lot of sadness and anger stored in my body. As I mentioned in the previous points, I developed a trust in the Universe and also developed a deep love and respect for myself that diminished my anxiety.
While I am not immune to experiencing depression or anxiety, I now have the knowledge, experience, and tools to work through them.
10. I trust the journey.
After my breakup I woke up to the fact that there were some really big lessons I needed to learn while I’m alive, and it was really time for me to stop avoiding any of the truth. There are some things I have a say in and some things I don’t. I wanted to fall in love again and fast. The Universe had some other things in store for me, and having gone through these past two years solo I am incredibly grateful that I have been trusting.
If I didn’t trust this journey of mine, I would be creating a whole lotta suffering for myself. I’d be feeling lonely and unworthy. I’d be hunting down men on dating sites and spending a lot of my energy talking about guy problems with my friends.
Instead, I’m trusting. I am loving every single moment of getting to know myself—even the times that feel uncomfortable. This time with myself is precious, and I am making the difficult choices that keep me open for the right love to come into my life when the time is right.