Thought piece on breathing as a Fractal Rhythm

Fractal patterns in romanesco

The rhythms of my thought reflect the rhythms of life. How can they do otherwise? Go large and think about the cosmos, come in and think about lunch. Breathe in, breathe out. If you dance with it, it doesn’t feel scattered or weird.

I’m starting to see that we are all reflections of everything, in fractal proportions. By this I mean that there are patterns of form (structure) and movement that repeat on micro and macro levels: expansion/contraction, spirals, patterns in our bodies, in nature, in the universe. Maybe our solar system is a molecule in the thumb of a giant and in turn we have stars and planets in our own bodies.

I’m a doodler and I just realized I doodle in fractals. I was 45 when I learned that my birth mother (with whom I never lived) doodled the same way I do. That is (somehow) an invisible fractal, in itself.

“We measure the strength of the body by what it can take on. We measure the strength of the mind by what it can put down.”

Ongoing cycles

If you look at it from far enough out, the first part of our life is generally an expansion: growing bigger, learning new things, accumulating knowledge and possessions. Then at some point, things begin to contract. Breath in, breathe out. I‘ve gained back some of the weight I lost and I fuss about why. Until now, when I ate this cleanly and exercised this much, I got/stayed slender. Maybe this another one of the required adjustments of aging – simply eating less. I don’t want to let go of eating with gusto but I probably have to.

We loose function, need fewer things, eat less. Some people continue to accumulate things their whole life, maybe gain weight through their whole life, but ultimately it all ends with the final exhale. Take up, put down.

Breathing in our deaths

As much as one can, I’m preparing for a conscious death of my own – learning about death, hanging out with people who will die soon, and paying attention to life while I have it. At a very basic level, we are all dying and as my 99-yr-old friend says, none of us know our “pull date.”

“The only thing that makes life possible is permanent, intolerable uncertainty: not knowing what comes next.”   ~ Ursula LeGuin

This year I plan to tidy up my will, write out my advanced care directives, maybe even write my eulogy. I think I want to have a wake while I’m alive so I can enjoy it. 😉 My book club plans to have a Death over Dinner evening next month. That seems like a big-picture thing to do. And yet, I’m looking to buy a house and take on a mortgage, again. Exhale, inhale.

Constantly dancing from balance point to wobble, grace to awkwardness and back to grace. As I tell my clients, you can’t just breathe in. You have to squeeze out the old, used breath each time to make room for new, oxygenated air. Ultimately that’s all we can do. That’s all we need to do. Breathe in, breathe out.

Chapter One of Issues in Your Tissues is a concise, practical treatise on breathing. You can read part of it right now on Amazon.   Click here to Look Inside  Better yet, Buy the book now, yourself!

*I wrote this in my quote book but didn’t assign an author. I don’t know if I found this in a book I read or wrote it myself.


#cuttingoutsugar #Weightloss #healthyeating #Consciousdying #breathing