All of us have these little voices in our heads. They have been there since we were small. The voices kept us away from fire, told us to not talk to strangers, and reminded us to do our homework on Sunday evenings. These voices have been helpful, but there are times when we can’t seem to get them out of our heads. They linger, like that last awful song you heard on the radio. They talk to you when you drive. They whisper to you in your sleep. They chatter as you attempt to clean the bathroom. They clutter your brain with unnecessary and even sometimes damaging thoughts that run a fog machine through your vision. Damn these voices!
For me, the voices cause moments of melancholy and worry. I listen to these voices. They murmur. They hint. They insinuate. They assume. They are like ghosts haunting my mind as they slowly glide through it. They create detailed stories of people and events and imaginary scenarios that are more damaging than acid.
So how do I disinvite these unwanted visitors? How do I get them to leave after they have overstayed their welcome?
I breathe. I breathe in gratefulness. I invite warmth. I move in meditation. This isn’t a simple task. These voices are often like Lord Voldemort, causing destruction and chaos in their wake, and I am Harry Potter, the only one who can vanquish them. I take my wand and quietly breathe in a spell. Sometimes they quickly leave. Other times are more difficult. They fill my brain with darkness, so their exit requires more effort. I’m still learning how to quell these monsters.
My breath comes in many forms. I find it all around me.
It comes with my morning coffee. I’ve discovered real cream, the breath of a warm cup.
It comes as I put together a pie. The rolling of the dough and the cutting of fruit brings peace.
It comes when I read a good book. I become lost in the pages and forget my own worries.
It comes in yoga poses. My down dogs and forward folds chase away the demons.
It comes with holding hands with my husband. He is my peace, my contentment, my own anti-depressant.
It comes in music. There are songs that calm my soul and energize my spirit.
It comes in our grandchildren. I see them and know there is joy.
It comes with a quiet walk. I take in the butterflies and the grasshoppers and the squirrels that cross my path, and I see something larger than myself.
It comes as I write. These words are my therapist. They guide me through the minefield of life.
It comes with my breath, that simple action of breathing in and breathing out. My breath reminds me I am alive and I am grateful.
“Whenever I feel blue, I start breathing again.” - L. Frank Baum