(Foreword to Emotional Utopia)
Your destiny is determined by how fully and deeply you breathe.
Humans are breathing machines. Take away our ability to breathe, and you take away our ability to live. Breath is life, and how you breathe has a tremendous impact on how you’ll live.
Breathing is both a conscious and unconscious activity.
On one hand, we are consciously aware of our breathing when being suffocated or choking on something. On the other hand, we spend most of our day breathing with very little concern. Breathing is a biomechanical mechanism, meaning that our body moves when we breathe. How our body moves is determined by factors including injury, poor posture, and muscular imbalances. Poor posture caused by muscular imbalances can occur both physically and psychologically.
Physical injuries, sedentary lifestyle, and ill health may clearly be seen as causes for poor posture and muscular imbalances. What is not as obvious is how our minds and emotions also create physical tensions and imbalances within the muscular system.
Our beliefs and our judgments have physical consequences.
For example, we may remember a time when we were in the presence of someone who did us wrong. We may not have been aware of it, but our breathing frequency and depth were disturbed. All of this happens at an unconscious level, meaning that it is a habit.
One way to gain self-control is by first noticing the habit. By attuning ourselves to the sensations in our bodies, we become aware of when we are reacting out of habit. We might go further, though, and seek to confront the belief that is causing us to react in the first place.
This is where a good method for analysis becomes necessary. To explore the roots of the muscular holding patterns that impede deep, life-giving breath, we must explore the symbols, patterns, and experiences stored in the unconscious.
Leah Benson and I met at a bioenergetic analysis workshop in 2013.
Leah was a skilled psychotherapist looking for the missing piece to helping her clients. Having already become a master of the traditional psychoanalytic method, she is now paving the way for a new approach to psychoanalysis through bodily sensation, movement, and deep breathing.
Her method joins together the brilliant insights and life-affirming value of psychoanalysis with the practice of bioenergy expansion through deep breathing and movement.
Emotional utopia is our natural state and is felt when we breathe in a relaxed state.
Our body is relaxed because our mind is relaxed.
And our mind is relaxed because our body is relaxed.
We are alive and breathing.