Have you ever experienced the feeling of misplacing yourself? Those odd times when you don’t recognize your actions, you are unsure what you, or your life, stand for anymore, or, more simply, you feel lost?
I was reminded of such sense of misplacement twice this week, in conversations with two friends. One, normally extremely assertive, was baffled by her lack of reaction when a complete stranger verbally abused her. The other was surprised to find herself knee-deep in an affair with a married man. Both were at a loss to explain how they got to that point.
There is a form of yogic breath awareness that teaches to focus the attention, not so much on the intake and outtake of air, but on the pauses in between, on the movement that happens in the absence of breath. It can be a very powerful tool of observation and that is what came to mind as I was talking to one of my friends.
What if temporarily misplacing the core of who we are was needed, on occasion, to reclaim control, or to correct the course of our lives? What if calling into question our intrinsic beliefs was akin to the pause between breaths, the pause that allows for the next breath to come in?
I can see now that those times when I felt adrift eventually led to unexpected outcomes, that the colossal mistakes I made helped me reaffirm my core beliefs.
Mostly, the pause between breaths is a reminder that taking care of ourselves, taking that next breath, is, first and foremost, the only choice we have. Feeling lost, if it leads to reaffirming our truest self, should be honored. One breath at time.