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The Lungs: Equipped with Both Manual and Automatic Transmission

Lung healing: Of all of the organ systems in the body the lungs have one unique property the others don’t; the ability to be both voluntary and involuntary. All of your other organs cannot be directly controlled by you. You can certainly influence your organs but you cannot control them directly. You can, for example slow down your heart rate but you will have to go through your lungs by slowing down your breathing in order to get there.  

Your lungs are like a car with both an automatic and manual transmission. Having been an owner of both, a manual car transmission is more work but you are more aware of the fact that you are the driver. You can literally feel your actions controlling the car's movements, whereas with an automatic transmission it’s easy to drift off and simply become the passenger in a moving vehicle. Breathing will either happen or you can voluntarily take a breath.

lung healing

Breathing will happen or
you can take a breath.

What is the purpose of giving us manual control over our breathing?

Your lungs embody two aspects of you, animal and spirit. Your animal nature being the automatic and unconscious part of you that happens without you needing to think about it, while your spiritual nature is conscious and the true chooser in your life. The conscious use of your lungs gives you the most direct connection to spirit. Inhaling is giving you life. The word inspiration means to breathe in spirit. Your breathing, like your life, is built with the choice and opportunity to connect you to higher realms.

What separates us from animals is choice. Choice is what makes human life unique. While I can train a dog or even re-train a dog, a dog cannot train itself. An animal has its intrinsic programming as well as training from its parents and animal group. Even if an animal is trained by a human, it still will never be able change its inherent programmed nature. While it’s true humans have some inherent programming and most vertebrates are sentient, in that they can feel emotion and respond to love, an animal’s programming does not allow it to think or act independently from their group. What makes humans different is that we have the choice to live within or transcend our programming, both the basic programming we are all born with and that which is trained by family and society. We can achieve uniqueness and individuality if we want, while still being part of the tribe.

Born with specific lessons which will arise in your life no matter what, you can always find choice in the moment. Your spiritual self is the conscious chooser and your animal self is here to survive and procreate.

Where you end up in life is the consequence of choices you have made. While you may have had some things happen that you had no control over, your choices in adulthood determine what you do with the after-effects of those choices, yet like your unremitting breathing, one hardly pays attention to the immeasurable choices made in a day. You have to remind yourself to “take a breath”.

Recognizing choice is waking up to who you are as spirit, removed from who you were taught to be.

is breathwork healthy

Let’s start by considering that without your breath you would not be alive. You can live without food for a long time. There are people who have reported fasting for over 40 days. You can go less time without water, but oxygen is the only thing you need all the time. Anywhere from three to ten minutes without oxygen and you cannot stay alive. This means that your breath is the most life giving force you have.

The Chinese call this force “qi”. If food from the earth gives nourishment and energy then the oxygen you breathe is the food for your connection to the spiritual world from where you came. Consider that your inhale was the first thing you did when you were born making breath life itself. 

One of my favorite movies of all time is The Truman Show. Truman is born into a reality TV show that he doesn’t know he is the star of. Everyone is an actor in his TV show, he is the only one that doesn’t know. Everyday until adulthood Truman goes along not realizing that everything he says and does is a result of how he was trained. He is essentially asleep inside his pre-scripted life. There are no conflicts and therefore there are no choices to be made. Every apparent choice leads to a predictable safe outcome. His parents, friends, teachers are all actors playing their part, which includes making sure he plays his. Everything is just hunky dory 24/7. He wants to believe he is happy and likes his life, yet something isn’t quite right.

I grew up in a quiet middle class Jewish home in Toronto. I had friends, community and religious training. I was not abused or poor yet I failed a lot of school. No one could figure out why I couldn’t read or write and my attention and concentration was bad. Growing up I was led to believe (and did) that my childhood was great. My problems though reflected something that my environment wasn’t showing which was that there was no room for the “me” that wanted to investigate what was behind what I was looking at. Everyone agreed on the same picture except me and I didn’t know how to play the part expected of me.

We are all born into a life trained to be someone before we have had a chance to investigate who we really are, and like Truman, a moment comes where you will question who you are.

One day one of the lights falls out from the fake sky and Truman begins to question what’s going on. It begins his questioning about what’s real in his life. He slowly begins to question his world and it begins to unravel in front of him. At some point the veil lifts and he sees that he is not locked into the pre-ordained script and he can do whatever he wants. No longer feeling constrained by the part he had been playing he boldly ventures out. It all happens in a slow motion montage where he’s watching the whole world through new eyes while the great Philip Glass piece “Powaqqatsi” plays in the background. He realizes “all the world is a stage” and he is not only the star; he can be the writer and director, too. As he begins to exercise choice and abandons the script, all the actors around him freak out… they are not improvisers.

The Truman Show, a modern day Wizard of Oz, is a story about enlightenment, about waking up to who you really are and realizing everything you are looking for is inside you. It shows the reward for choosing your reality, of facing your fears, and questioning and rejecting the story that you are being told is true.

The Healing Path - Lung Healing

On the path of self-improvement you are beginning the journey of choice. The first step involves improving your physical and mental health. Those choices involve diet, exercise, and sleep. You may read books and take supplements. On this level you want your body to be natural. The more natural it is the more healthy it will be. Since animals can only do what they are programmed to do, your job is to train your body to be the healthiest and most efficient version of what it can be. It is just like training a pet. It’s a benevolent hierarchy. You’re a loving master of an unconscious part of you.

There is no doubt that the state of your body will also affect your mental and emotional health, however, when you go to the gym or cut out sugar to change your mood, you are working from the outside-in. It’s not wrong but it’s inefficient to work on your inner life solely by working on your body. It’s a step but it's only the outer part. It also takes a lot of energy to make your body work hard just so you can be in a better mood. The effect is temporary.

To affect stress levels and hormones start by improving diet, exercise, and sleep. However, to transform your inner state, you will need to access processes beyond the basic mechanical nature of the body. What your healthy body won’t do is tell you the meaning of your life. Here you will have to change at a molecular level and therefore you will need to get into your programming. In other words, you will need to work from the inside-out; from spirit to mind, to energy, and then the body. Like Truman, you need to remove the programming that removes choice and trains you to live to the expectations of the outside world reflected by your focus on your external world, the physical body.

Choice is given to you so that you can find meaning and purpose. When you are either passive, not making choices, or making unhealthy choices, then your spiritual health will be reflected by non-physical ailments like depression, rage, lust, or fear.

For Spirit to get a workout is for it to be able to live through us

For Spirit to get a workout is for it to be able to live through us. Bringing spirit into the body is like taking a breath. This is the way to heal ailments that are non-physical. This is exactly the reason we are given the ability to control our breath. It is the most extraordinary metaphor for life itself; choosing to breathe is choosing to live consciously.

When you take conscious breaths you will travel toward spirit since breath is the bridge between animal and spirit.

Conscious breathing also known as breathwork is not only the simplest, most available and free tool available to you, it is also the fastest and most profound way to cross that bridge. You don’t need to be smart, rich, religious, or adopt any creed or wear any special uniform, you just need to breathe. Breathe consciously that is.

Breathwork, (and specifically Effiji Breathwork which is the work I do) is about removing the barrier between you and your spiritual nature. This matters because in order to be truly happy in both your natures you will need to feel that your life has purpose and meaning.

If you don’t want to be an animal living for survival then you have to see your life as your choice. You have to come in contact with spirit to know what you are supposed to be doing. Choosing to breathe means you want to direct your breath from the place of spirit which is a metaphor for directing your life.

When you use your breath consciously you will absolutely become aware of this bridge between where you are and where you want to be; a journey from your animal self to your spiritual self.

Doing Effiji Breathwork is simple, you don’t have to figure anything out, just keep breathing and you will cross the bridge. It’s guaranteed.

While it is simple we are often afraid of being open to crossing the bridge.

How open are you? How much do you allow spirit to inhabit your life?

Allowing or not allowing the connection is the definition of resistance. Resistance theoretically is neither good nor bad. It is how a volume dial works. To raise or lower volume you put more or less resistance into the circuit to inhibit the flow of the signal. Spiritually speaking though, the more resistance to allowing spirit, the less life force you will have. Resistance is the main cause of non-physical problems because resistance creates tension and inhibits flow which affects the health of all parts of you. It’s simple. What is not so simple is what to do about it. The how-to is the process that you can develop over time but first understand that if you are looking for meaning, purpose, mental and emotional health then look to your breathing for help.

Consider what your lungs do. They give you life. Without breath, there is no life. The lungs give and take all day. They are designed to transform the oxygen taken in, converting and processing it and giving the life-giving force or qi to the rest of the body. This is how you get energy. Breath is life.

The fact that we can control our breathing is a miracle because it’s right there all the time and connecting to it is connecting to choice. Your life can be chosen or you can just go along. Your destiny is yours to live. It’s right there every moment for you to choose. It is perfectly mirrored by the fact that you can take a breath or you can let your animal self do it. They both lead to something. All choice, every breath you take whether conscious or unconscious leads to something.

By going to your breath you are working from the outside-in and no doubt physical health will follow as a byproduct. If you want to grow a healthy fruit tree then you will need to have healthy roots. Start at the core and move out from there. Start with your breath and you will always be connected to your spiritual nature. The first thing you do when you are born is breathe in. You breathe in spirit and it gives you life. It is your connection to the spiritual world from where you came. The function of your lungs is your ticket to happiness. Use it for all its worth!

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