Have you ever noticed or experienced how much easier it is for people to offer support, help and even empathy for someone who is in some way physically ill on the outside compared to someone who is physically ill on the inside? For example, someone who has a broken leg versus someone who is diabetic?
It’s easier for us to relate to things we can physically see, something external, and harder for us to connect with and relate to things that are unseen, internal. And yet a person with a diabetes may be suffering as much or even more than someone with a broken leg.
It’s exactly the same when we consider ourselves and our own body. It’s easier to gain an appreciation for the things that we can easily see and experience, the outward things, than it is to appreciate and truly express gratitude for the inward and internal things.
Today (and tomorrow) we’re going to gain a better appreciation for the internal workings of our body so we can gain a greater appreciation for just how hard they work.
Our body operates using both voluntary and involuntary actions. A voluntary action is, for example, when you hold a toothbrush in your hand. And involuntary action is, for example, breathing.
An involuntary action tends to be an action the body needs to take to keep us alive. Quite frankly, if involuntary actions, such as breathing, were voluntary not many of us would live for very long.
And yet it’s these very actions, life-giving actions performed by our body, that we take most for granted.
To encourage you to gain a greater appreciation of your body and the involuntary actions it performs, we’re going to purposely interrupt and stop the involuntary act of breathing.
I invite you to hold your breath, to stop breathing for 5 minutes. Can you do that? Of course you can’t!
Most people can only hold their breath for a maximum of 90 seconds and then the body’s reflexes kick in to save you and forces you to breathe.
So, hold your breath for as long as you can, up to 2 minutes maximum. And notice everything that happens in your body when you do.
Do you feel pressure anywhere? Do you see dots in front of your eyes? Do you feel dizzy? Notice everything that happens as your body fights to survive without oxygen.
And then when you take your next breath, how does that feel? How does you body feel getting oxygen back into it?
Do you think you could hold your breath for 2 minutes, gulp one breath and go back to holding your breath for 2 minutes, and do this for an hour? It’s highly unlikely. There’s a chance, for example, that you might faint.
When you think of how efficiently, how effectively, how easily your body naturally breathes without any input from you and that it does this every second of every single hour of every day, do you have a little more appreciation, admiration and gratitude for your wonderful body?