This week’s blog, Life’s Breath, is the next in the Spirit or Organs series where I’ve been exploring organs on all levels of being: physical, energetic, emotional, ancestral and spiritual. This week, I’ll talk about common ailments of the lungs and how true healing can be achieved using the practice of Consciousness Medicine. You’ll learn how the lungs are a bridge between the physical and spiritual essence of being. Understand the mechanisms of breathing better so that you can improve your lung health. Uncover the importance of letting go of the past and allowing yourself to grieve in lung health.
Your lungs are magnificent organs that are not only essential to keep you alive but also contain a strong spiritual aspect as well. As you already know, your lung’s main function is to take in oxygen from the air you inhale and release carbon dioxide as you exhale. They also serve as a line of defense protecting you from harmful substances through coughing and sneezing. Located within your rib cage, which provides bony protection for these delicate spongy tissues, they are driven to fill and release air by your diaphragm. The diaphragm is a muscle that is attached to the bottom of your rib cage and connects to the back of your spine along the bra line, or mid-back region. It separates your chest cavity from your abdominal cavity and is hardwired to your brain which controls the regulation of your breathing.
Take a moment to tune into your breathing. Don’t alter your breath as your awareness goes there, instead take an honest assessment of your breath in this moment. Most people breathe more shallowly than the lung capacity can achieve. Shallow breathing means not taking in a full breath with every inhale, and exhaling too quickly or incompletely. Notice how when you bring your awareness to your breath, your inhalations deepen. This may be our inner child trying to not get caught for doing something incorrectly, but honestly, it doesn’t matter. What I want you to get from that is the simplest way to begin improving your breathing is to bring your awareness to it. Start doing this 3 times a day for example, or more if you want. Each time you correct your breathing to take fuller breaths you are working to increase your lung capacity to its best potential. Other ways to build your breath and lung capacity are with practices that focus on breathing like yoga, pilates or aerobic exercise.
Now notice where the majority of the movement of your breath takes place by becoming aware of how your body moves with each inhale. Is your upper chest the only part moving? This will lead to shallow breathing. Take a moment on your next inhale to consciously expand your ribs in all directions, frontwards, backwards, sidewards, downwards and upwards. Notice how much more air you can take in. Notice any points or constrictions and simply bring your awareness there as you focus your breath on reaching that area.
In between your ribs are muscles called intercostals. They support the expansion and release of your ribs as the diaphragm breaths your lungs. As with any muscle in the body, if you don’t use it’s function will diminish and become calcified or hardened. Having shallow breath, that doesn’t utilize the full expansion of your rib cage will diminish the function of these intercostal muscles and they will lose flexibility making it difficult to achieve a full breath. The good news is that with regular breathing exercises like the one above, you can work these muscles back into shape so they allow you to bring full breath into your body.
Becoming aware of breathing from your diaphragm is the other way to increase lung capacity and breathe correctly. I first learned this when I was a teenager playing the flute in school bands and orchestras. I had enough raw talent to warrant private lessons and on my first day with a new teacher, I can remember her teaching me to breathe from my diaphragm. To improve the sound, range and the important vibrato factor flute players hope will happen naturally, but wasn’t for me. She taught me that the vibrato happens from the pulses of the diaphragm, and when I could learn to breathe from the diaphragm then the natural vibrato I was seeking would become natural. She sent me home with an exercise to tie a belt around my waist and try to push against the belt each time I inhaled. This was a game changer for me, as when I first did it (being a shallow breather) I didn’t notice the belt. The more I practised, the more my breathing deepened bringing positive effects to my music, sports, sleep and emotional well-being (we all know how challenging the teen years can be!)
The Lungs represent life and are an organ that bridges the spiritual and physical bodies with each breath. Life force energy is all around us including the air we breathe. With each breath, we take in not only oxygen but vital life force energy. Our lungs are well known for the physical role they play, but have you ever thought about all the life force energy your lungs take in and process? When your breathing is shallow or your lung capacity is limited, then this is a reflection of your reduced ability to access the full potential in life. This is also true for issues affecting the lungs like asthma, pulmonary sarcoidosis, cystic fibrosis, chest infections, pneumonia and COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). Anytime there is an issue affecting the lungs, this tells me that there is a limit to the ability to fully access one’s life that was gifted at birth.
One of the biggest culprits of limiting the amount of life force energy one can take is the presence of ancestral entanglements. These are unconscious ties to the suffering, trauma and difficulties experienced by past generations. Any situations that lead to secrets, guilt, shame or the exclusion of people in the past will recirculate within the family soul and replay themselves generation after generation. Things like violence, abuse, dying young, losing children or infertility, financial distress, business failures, depression, anxiety, chronic illness or any inability to thrive or achieve success are usually related to ancestral entanglements being present. When we carry these burdens for our lineage, we are essentially giving our life force energy away to the cause. We try to carry the burden for the ancestors out of love and healing, to attempt to lighten the load for them. This effort is futile since there is no way to make life better for someone who lived a hundred years ago. These ancestral entanglements are also tied to a survival instinct since we are trying to belong to our family by connecting with the suffering. This is what makes ancestral entanglements so difficult to unwire, as they feel life-threatening to let go of.
The most effective way I’ve found to release these ties to the past is Hellinger Family Constellation work, and more specifically my unique approach called Movements of the Family Soul. This approach focuses on 6 main movements done in a particular order to free the soul from the need to carry the burden so that you may embrace your life fully. When I use this for lung issues, I will be looking for anyone in the past who had similar lung issues, died of tuberculosis, was a heavy smoker, died of respiratory issues or worked in a job that affected the lungs like mining or working with asbestos. I will then work to release the ties to this ancestor’s life by honouring and including them fully within the family soul or collective energy of your ancestral lineage. When this is complete, I will then move on to treat the energy centre associated with the lungs as well as the deeper emotional components held in the emotional body.
Because ancestral entanglements are driven by deep loyalty and love, they will hook into the heart chakra, which is also the energy centre associated with life. For more on the heart listen to episode 32 of this series, Healing Power of the Heart. The heart chakra is located in the chest area and its health will have a direct reflection on the health of the lungs. When dealing with lung issues, I will evaluate the heart chakra for any leaks due to old heartbreaks or betrayals. Especially the back of the heart chakra, where betrayals like being stabbed in the back often leave energetic scars. To heal this, I first bring in the healthy frequency of the heart chakra by amping up my own heart chakra vibration or using music chanting or sound healing techniques which will allow the other person’s system to attune with this healthy frequency. I’ll then evaluate the auric layer associated with this region of the body to be sure the energetic boundary is intact. Old wounds to the heart will cause breakages in the auric layer here, or scars that are used like armour for protection.
Once the heart chakra is in good shape, I will then turn my attention to the emotional body to take a look at the person’s relationship with grief, which is the emotion associated with the lungs. Grief is a primary emotion that must be felt in order to be released. If someone has suffered the loss of someone close to them and has not given themselves the time to grieve then there will be unresolved grief held in the lungs that will affect their health. Grieving is a sacred journey that everyone experiences in their own way, and should be treated with care while being given the time it needs to process fully. Grieving is part of the human experience since no one gets out of life alive, so all of us at some point in our lives will be faced with it.
Some examples I most commonly see of stuck grief are caused by a loss happening at a young age where the adults did not include the child in the funeral, to try to protect them or thought they were too young. A sudden loss can activate a trauma trigger which dissociates a person from their emotions and unless they are reconnected to their feeling and are allowed to feel and process the emotions, the grief can get stuck. In the case where a significant loss is experienced by someone who is responsible for others, like being the sole earner supporting a family, grieving will often be avoided at all costs due to the fear of not being able to provide or maintain their role of being the pillar of strength for everyone else. Avoiding grieving may seem like a good idea at the time, but like emotional physics, it cannot be destroyed as it will only change into a different form that most frequently affects the lungs and heart.
It’s important to note here that a loss doesn’t have to be a death of a loved one. It can also be the ending of a relationship, marriage or long-term friendship. Or a moving of house, ending of a job or any long-term situationship with significant emotional ties.
If there is a lot of deep grief in the ancestral past, this will add to the avoidance effort. Because the nature of the ancestral entanglements are like a tsunami-sized emotional hit triggered by the feeling being felt at an individual level. This is another reason why working to release ancestral entanglements is so important, as it reduces the emotional tsunami to an individual serving, which is far more manageable.
Another way to evaluate the emotional body’s role in a lung issue is to take a close look at the events of childhood between the ages of 8-12. Any significant or traumatic event that happened during these years will leave an energetic imprint in the heart chakra energy centre that can also show up in the lungs. I use the NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) toolbox here to allow imprints from childhood to find a more peaceful place in the psyche. Psychotherapy and counselling are also good tools to look more deeply into the emotions of childhood to allow for them to be resolved.
Grieving may feel overwhelming, but know that the rewards of giving it the time, space and support you need to feel it will come in the form of greater inner strength, self-value, self-love, personal empowerment, alignment with truth, and the releasing of old patterns that no longer serve. It takes courage, resilience, support and a lot of self-care to face grief head-on, but this is so important to be sure that it doesn’t fester in the system and lead to more complications down the line.
From the spiritual body perspective, the lungs are so important to connect us to vital life force energies in the form of the pure spiritual frequencies of energy. When you can clear the patterns across the other elements of the body matrix associated with the lungs you will be able to access the divine energies, wisdom and unwavering support for you to create the life you want.
Join me for the next Consciousness Medicine Healing Journey for Self-Empowerment that begins November 23, 2023. More details here:
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