Thursday, May 21, 2015

Tips for Living Wicca: Breathe and Eat Correctly (part 10 of '13 Goals of a Witch)

Finally, back to the series of Scott Cunningham's '13 Goals of a Witch':

X: Breathe and Eat Correctly

"Breathe correctly? Like, there's a wrong way to do it?" Was probably my first reaction to that statement way many years ago. 

As it turns out, yes-- there is a wrong way to breathe. And most of us are actually doing it the wrong way. Most people breath more shallowly than they should. This has all kinds of consequences: it signals the brain that there is danger, which keeps us in a state of anxiety and stress. It can contribute to chronic pain, tight muscles, poor posture, imbalance and fatigue. Shallow breaths can raise the pH level of your blood, ultimately effecting how much oxygen your blood delivers to your brain.

As for eating, I probably don't have to explain that one as much. Poor eating habits are positively an epidemic in our society, and contribute to things like obesity, heart disease and diabetes. 

So why does Scott Cunningham care if Witches don't eat or breath correctly? What does it have to do with Witchcraft?

Well, everything. Your physical body is kind of the foundation. Your body is your temple (I'm sure you've heard that one before). It houses your mind and your soul. If your temple is weak, crumbling, or in a complete shambles, don't you think that's going to affect your mind and soul as well? After all, it's all inter-connected, and they're all equally important. 

Yes, equally important. A lot of Wiccans/Pagans might place more emphasis on the soul, or the mind and soul, seeing the body as just a temporary vehicle that takes them through life. But they are all three of equal importance, because if your vehicle isn't capable of making the journey, the passengers fall short and get stranded. 

Think about it-- do you have trouble falling asleep while meditating or studying? Do you postpone rituals or spell work because you have low energy? Do you suffer from things like depression and anxiety, which gets in the way of your ability to experience and enjoy life?

If so, then it's time you start focusing on the body-- and that starts with your breathing and eating. 

My Tip for You Today: Start making small changes to help you eat and breathe correctly. 

Before you do anything else for yourself, before you worry about chores, work, or even rituals and spellwork, put your breath and diet first (I say 'diet' not in the fad/deprivation sense, but in the sense of what you eat on the whole).

Instead of worrying about meditation in the mornings, or that first cup of coffee, get up and breathe deeply through your nose, down into your diaphragm, for about two minutes. Sit up straight and suck in that breath through your nose, or if you can't breathe through your nose, force it through a small hole while you purse your lips. 

Start getting into the habit of stopping for a breathing break every couple of hours, do it as soon as  you get home to help you unwind, and do it before bed time. You will see it makes a difference and that will motivate you to pay more attention to your breath in general. 

Likewise, begin paying more attention to what you eat. You don't have to change to any diet overnight, but if you believe all of nature is sacred, and realize that nature includes your body, then you start to realize that eating junk is the equivalent of throwing your trash into the ocean. Your body is your own personal physical sacred piece of nature-- worry about saving it the way you would worry about saving the rainforest. 

You might start slow-- such as drinking more water, or switching drinks like soda pop and sugary sports drinks out for water, coconut water or herbal teas. You may start to pile more veggies on your plate, or keep them more in their natural state rather than drowning them in chemically laden cheeses and deep fried in fats.

It all starts with just being aware of your body, and that it is nature, and has needs. Foster this awareness and it begins to change your attitude, which motivates changes in behavior.

How are  your breathing and eating habits?

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