He Who Half Breathes, Half Lives
Love starts with the love of oneself.
Some time ago, I heard this saying: “He who half breathes, half lives.” This really got me thinking about my reactions to situations and circumstances around me. In yoga, breathing is extremely important because it is what drives all aspects of the yoga practice, no matter if it’s the asanas (the physical postures), meditation or concentration. The whole idea is centered around breathing, and not just any form of breathing—inhaling to fill up the diaphragm in such a way that it fully expands; then exhaling to empty out the inhaled air.
This saying brought my attention to the aspects of my life where I’m not fully breathing. I thought about the idea of love. Love, of course, starts with the love of oneself, so I had to find the parts of my life where I was not breathing deeply and fully in love, whether it was with my diet or my fitness or the kinds of ideas and beliefs that I surrounded myself with. For me to fully breathe in love and kindness, I had to come from a place where I truly understood where I was, what I was doing, and where I was going.
To fully breathe in love and kindness, I had to come from a place where I truly understood where I was, what I was doing, and where I was going.
If I’m half breathing love, then I’m really half living because I’m not fully expressing the love that I have for myself or in my vocation. I thought to myself: “Am I half breathing in my vocation? Am I truly exploring all the divine gifts and talents that I have or am I caught up in the daily grind of life, getting up every morning to go from one place to another?” I thought about being raw and being passionate and noticing the uncomfortable times in my life because I know there is the positive side to it in that I want to be more loving and kind. But what about the times when I feel uncomfortable, when I have a bit of anxiety going through my body? Have I tried to escape from it? I have this practice: whenever I feel anxiety, I just sit back and ask myself what the cause and source of the anxiety is. That’s another way of fully breathing. You want to fully breathe in the emotions that you’re experiencing, in everything that is going on in your life, whether it’s in your mind, body and spirit, truly paying attention to them before you take action.
I made the decision to become an entrepreneur because it’s who I am. But I knew that the journey into entrepreneurship was going to come with a lot of challenges that will transform my personality. I can say now that I am a completely different person from when I started my entrepreneurial journey a while back. My idea from the very beginning was to live fully in every moment of this journey no matter what and also learn to ask for whatever I need. My entrepreneurial journey has entailed learning to breathe fully in everything I do, in any difficult period of my journey, and in every single moment of my life.
Ask yourself: “In what way am I not breathing fully? In what areas of my life am I breathing at 50% and how can I bring myself to breathe at 100% in every single moment? How can I take that massive breath that completely fills me up in a way that transforms every area of my life?” If you’re half breathing, you’re half living, so you should examine yourself and go within to find the areas of your life where you are not fully committed, areas where you are hanging around on the sidelines when you know you can be more and do better, until you find what you are hiding from.