BATU, Indonesia. Photo by Jes Aznar

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Breathe In, Breathe Out

My yoga teacher taught me breathing techniques but it is my experiences the past year that taught me the importance of exhaling.

Exhaling, according to Wikipedia, is the movement of air out of the bronchial tubes, through the airways, to the external environment during breathing.

To me, it simply means, taking a second, a pause, a stop, to be able to breathe again. Since I was a small girl with pink pigtails, I've had difficulty breathing. Literally. One of my so-called heart's valves has a condition that makes my chest heavy.

Fast forward to 30 plus years later, I still find it difficult to breathe -- in crowds, in enclosed areas, in sweaty zones, in protests, in rallies, in difficult coverages, in conflict areas, in suffocating relationships.

But as I turned a year older in a paradise of an island that is host to an enigmatic hut 150 steps above sea level, the perfect home to be in as I embrace the merciless hands of time, I promised myself that I will keep on mastering the craft of exhaling.

It is my birthday wish that the pains, heartaches, nightmares and bruises of the year that was have all been washed away with the smashing waves of the deep blue sea, taken into the abyss and never to be felt again.

It is my birthday wish that I will be able to breathe smoothly even if Science says otherwise, just as I did, for the very first time in my years of existence, when I was able to swim in deep waters without a life vest and simply enjoyed the breathtaking universe beneath it.

It is my birthday wish to conquer the big world, of the giant expanse called universe, of the unknown, of wide, open spaces; of the farthest horizon.

It is my birthday wish to stop worrying about things I do not know, to stop expecting, to stop being mad and exploding at the littlest of things.

Most of all, it is my birthday wish to not be scared anymore of life and love and be able to share Damien Rice's belief that I can close my tired eyes knowing that "no one will harm me."

To be able to tread in the deep waters and not be scared anymore. I know it will happen because he is holding my hand.

In the parallel universe of my existence, dreams do come true.

I long for that exhale. I live for it. Namaste!