I can’t breathe

This is terrible. The first allergy in my life. I have never had any allergies in my life before, I have been healthy and loved springtime, summer and fall. Now, in this country I am itchy, my nose is swollen and I can’t breathe. I am sneezing and huffing and puffing all day long and feel like a giant snail that has been sprinkled with salt.

I think this is a lesson about humility that life is teaching me right now. If you have never had a problem with any part of your body, you usually don’t appreciate that your body works fine. For example, if you have never broken your leg or sprained your ankle, you probably won’t even think about using the stairs. If you have, you can remember the time when you had to use crutches and every staircase was a huge challenge. And you also remember the time after that when you are very happy that you are able to use the stairs again freely.

Now, I am experiencing the same with breathing. If you have never had any trouble breathing before, you just do it without thinking. Well, Yoga or meditation teach us to focus on your breath: During a beginners Yoga class, your teacher will usually remind you a few times to go back to your Ujjayi breathing (if you have forgotten to do it). Also you have to coordinate your breathing with your movements. Therefore, I am a little bit used to focus on my breath. But I have never felt myself focus this much on my breath before. This allergy thingy really makes me think about how I usually breathe without thinking and how nice this has been.

Which gets me to think: We usually only appreciate things after they have been taken away from us. But I think if we learn to appreciate things even without them having been taken away, we would live a richer life. So, my request for today is: Stop whatever you are doing now, and just focus on your breath for a minute. Be thankful that you can breathe freely, appreciate the feeling of the air passing through your lungs.

Or, if you are suffering from an allergic reaction like me right now – welcome to the snail party –  feel free to use some bad language (I promise I won’t tell anybody), and focus on your breath another time.

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I can’t breathe

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