My parents taught me a song when I was a kid while we were camping that went as follows:
Down by the Station, early in the Morning.
See the little Pufferbellies all in a Row.
See the station master turn the little handle
Puff Puff, Toot toot, off they go!
As the new year begins, I am all too aware that I have a Pufferbelly. I am definitely NOT a steam locomotive, what I have is a balloned out gut, despite endless attempts to de-tox, juice fast, get colonics, change my diet,exercise and whatever. I started doing the Bulletproof coffee, which jumped my weight up and down for about 2 weeks, but then I couldn’t do it for awhile and began eating flour out of the insanity of the triple whammy of 3 holidays in a row: Thanksgiving, Xmas and New Year. I knew somehow New Year’s was going to be risky, could feel it.
And it was. I went to 4 12 step meetings, one part of an alkathon, and a 2 hour yoga class, and the man I live with got blackout drunk and got himself arrested. The arrest was not a shock, but the aftermath has been the same old same old limbo I live where focusing on what I need to do is difficult to near impossible. I had a real attack of anxiety after the dust settled from the arrest. It dawned on me that the big A is what has been going on since forever in my life, undetected in my earlier years and blithely ignored in the energetic and vibrant life energy of my teenage and young adult years, but THERE none the less. When I fell through the cracks of a supposed to be achieving life of my thirties, despair and confusion began ruling things, and my forties saw me sliding down into an abyss I’ve never quite left, though amino acid therapy changed my mental health significantly for good. I’ve never been able to fully grasp WTF was wrong with me besides the usual ignorance and flaming immaturity.
A few years back, and I can’t remember exactly how many, I dragged the guy who was drinking at the time and suffering from YEP, ANXIETY, to an Art of Living course after reading a book on how yoga and breathing can alleviate depression and anxiety in people. The centerpiece of the workshop was the Sudarshon Kriya, a set of slow breathing while you count, bellows breathing, where you flood your lungs, and some pranayama fire breathing to three different meters: slow, medium and fast. It works if you do it everyday, just as all the other forms of breathing I have repeatedly studied do. Chi Kung, Astanga Ujiac breath, Rebirthing, Reichian breathing, the list goes on. And FINALLY I know I can get myself to do it. EVERYDAY. I have been doing it, and throwing in some sun salutes, mixing it up. I seem to have arrived at BEING ABLE TO PRACTICE. Drums and Breathing. At 60, all I can say to myself is better late than never.
It has also occurred to me getting outside, walking barefoot, and getting an Earthing pad for my bed will add to the effect of my grounding, which has been deficient all my life. Without it, I have been a ship adrift, and I’m excited to finally have a clue what has been wrong. I don’t imagine the breathing will take away my pufferbelly or solve all my problems, but it is a start. And it’s start that I can do, right here, right now, everyday, no matter where I am or what I’m doing. And I think I’m going to look up a local Art of Living teacher and do a refresher. I might as well, having wasted so much time running in circles and relearning the same thing in zillions of forms but never keeping it up.