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overcoming (Photo credit: Francisco Sánchez)



Many of the guided meditations I use discuss the concept of constriction.  I’ve come to realize that virtually all of the constriction in my life is self-imposed.  It’s based on fear.


Some of those fears manifest as worry, anxiety, regret, or self-destructive inner voices.  Sometimes my fear manifests physically; I’ll become so anxious I cannot catch my breath.  A true constriction.


I’m learning to use my breath and attention to my breath to release the constriction and fear.  One especially helpful technique is to breathe in for the count of 4; hold for the count of 7; breathe out for the count of 8.  This forces me to pay attention to my breath (and the counting), and removes my attention from my fear.


There are mantras, affirmations, and visualizations that can also be helpful.  Breathe in love, breathe out fear; breathe in peace, breathe out conflict; breathe in openness, breathe out constriction; I can make up whatever is appropriate to my situation.


Realizing that my fear is the basis of my constriction has been freeing.  I can choose to take action to change rather than remain in a place where fear is in control.  Climbing out of my box of fear has motivated me to take kickboxing classes, learn some basic car maintenance, and sign up to write a novel in a month.  I’m showing myself how much I can do, and if I can choose to do these things, I can choose to do anything.