On sunny Cali mornings the audio of 'Slower WIM HOF Guided Breathing 2019 (6 Rounds Advanced)' sifts through the cells of one of our 3 portable speakers. We gracefully tromp out at 830 or 9, a couple of coffee sips into the day, a little pep for the journey through inner time and space. We laugh and joke about Wim Hof's beautiful, hilarious accent that so delightfully grounds the whole experience. "Bally! Chyast! Hchedd, letting go," and "Relax, do your best, you'll get there," have become inside jokes between the three of us (one of them is our wifi password). We're all roommates and besties and two of us are a couple (a damn good couple honestly, but I'm biased) We've been doing this breath work daily since we moved in together in late May.
Somehow, placed squarely in a new precedent of fear of respiratory failure, a simple 37-minute breathing video, requiring more ease than effort, provides me with an expansion of my inner universe and a better relationship with my physical body than ever (my body did some really cool stuff when I was 16, but my true understanding of it has vastly improved). It is both utterly physical and utterly spiritual. It is science merged with the 'unknowable'. It is a safe and beautiful expression of duality via unity: Inhale + Exhale = Life. It is a place to find answers (30 rounds of deep, full breath cycles), be still (1 minute hold while body alkalizes), and connect with Source (10 second squeeze to the head), in that order.
At first it was tricky for me to find my rhythm and connect between my 'natural way' and Wim's. I was a bit on the slow and lazy side. We had just moved here, after all, 'in the middle of a Global Pandemic' which is what the media (both social and mass) likes to say. We have a brand new roommate we barely know who stubbornly ascends in her own way (a way we're not used to). I have miracles upon miracles around me that I downplay because the world is sad, and I don't want them to feel worse because I am accessing happiness. I feel the great cathartic sadness too... the weepy undoing of old traumas, the processing of old relationships, the unending grief around us all. It crashes through me like dry desert storms. But there are always unplanned 'throw away' moments where anything could happen: I could watch another Trevor Noah, write something, do a silly dance, or connect to the hearts of TikTokers through my fingertips for a little while longer. Or I could just think about joy and be gently lead toward it: coaxed by the plants I've placed in all the windows, nudged by two people I love who accept the true me in all its epic forms, whispered at by little mantras in every audiovisual medium that I scatter throughout my readings and soundscapes. It's me... I'm leading myself back to joy by my more aligned choices. I occasionally process the old misaligned choices too, but always there is a trail of breadcrumbs through the maze of consciousness leading me back to joy. Back to my true self.
This particular speed and quantity of breaths is powerful as all fuck. I'm SURE you know if you are still reading this blog and feeling aligned enough with my 'me'-ness to continue. I've found my rhythm with it now after so many weeks of morning devotion--the balance of force, resilience, and total surrender. It is a way back to unity, free and easy enough to do any time or place. It is the simplest, most graceful option to heal. It is talk therapy with yourself... your highest 'selves' all coming together to jam like jazz bands and battle style dancers. Then it is a quiet nothing place, a pitchless hum of existence. And then... it is a cracked doorway to God, a sensation of both great peace and great responsibility. It is gratitude and acceptance come full circle.
I started to write a quick Youtube comment about how great 'SWHGB19-6RA' (or what I'll just call SWIM HOF) can be, specifically after a beautiful meal and a shared legal joint with my daily breath crew (who were up before dawn today on a sunrise beach shoot), and all of this just spilled out of me, because I've been really aligned with writing during quarantine. I've published something pretty much every day and I've learned a lot from the online world in an endless dance between crisis mode and hope. I've been exploring my voice and trying, even successfully on occasion, for a small devoted readership, to do something kind, to engage in self-kindness instead of self-interest, to believe in healing as a power and pain as a mere signal. To believe in joy as a force and fear as a mere option.
Today I experience that force of joy, on a trip via Gelato Bubblegum (an even keel hybrid strain with a gentle buzz), at night in a safe, quiet room, rather than our usual breezy morning lawn ritual. I relax into the cozy night of an accomplished day. I feel the separation of every conscious cell in my body, united in a common cause. I fold into deep micro and macro relaxation. My jaw wiggles as my crown chakra opens. I feel the immense, ineffable power of the divine feminine, and the deep, protective wisdom of the divine masculine. I feel love in everything and burst into laughter like a carefree kid before the bullies of older grades try to change him. I think about how intense the debate on gender has become, and wonder about all the gender conceptions going back hundreds of thousands of years to the dawn of homo sapiens. We know so little about the language-less, system-less first humans... what were their thoughts on something like 'gender'? What was their relationship to consciousness, or multidimensional stuff, or tweets for that matter? Exhaling back that far in existence helps me zoom out from our current global issues and get as centered as possible for whatever's to come. It helps me choose to exist on the side of joy, and hope of joy for all.
Thank you, Wim Hof, and Beast Nation for something so indescribable that I feel compelled to try and describe, before falling into blissful, earned sleep.