After working in media and communication for years, I came to discover that surprisingly we loose three major gifts while growing up. This loss affects our way of dealing with conflicts or daily situations in our lives drastically.
-Until the age of three, we breathe in a healthy way: we fill our lungs and our stomach with air, then we exhale it (try to watch a baby breathing). At the age of three, we loose this gift. We start filling our lungs only, the reason is not clear to me yet. But society, stress and fear have a lot to do. What difference does it make?
When we breathe right, and the air gets to our stomach, the blood circuit is boosted in all our bodies, clean oxygen gets to every cell, helping our body eliminate carbon monoxide. This simple right breathing lets our body stay calm, relaxed, clean and zen. Stress has small chance of driving us far in violence or over reaction. Don't we hear "take a deep breath" all the time before doing something important or when stressed in a conflict situation?
Yoga comes to restore this natural reflex lost with years; many people know how important is breathing as a major exercise in Yoga, and the benefits they get by trying it.( I'm not a Yogi, but adopted the breathing part.)
-When we were kids, we were amazed. The world was our playground and the adventure awaiting everywhere. Our eyes were not "used" yet. We had fresh look on almost everything. Surprised by everything. Like Christmas morning or Fitr morning. Surprise and fresh look used to charm our parents and encourage them to tell us more and more about this wonderful place called world. Surprise and fresh look was our strength to be outgoing, exploring, challenging, trying...
Of course experience steals a big part of our fresh look, but other society factors come to steal this gift too. We want to give the impression that "we know", "we've done that", "we are used to"...we want to give the good impression to professionals around us that we have "experience". So we adopt the "used to" look. The look without any amazement or surprise (be it good or bad). And without even noticing, we become really and effectively used to many wrong issues, we accept violence and try to explain it, we accept non-equity, we become grown ups...we have so many ready answers to questions we know so little about...
-When we were kids, we used to smile a lot, laugh a lot, giggle a lot...we used to be open to the world, with a smile. It wasn't that difficult to make us smile... remember what a beautiful "weapon" we had? we could make wonders and take wonders when smiling. And it usually came back doubled on us! remember those great moments of giggling in class? with friends? with grandparents? with family? We didn't know how to take things very seriously...
While growing, we discover that we need to be more serious because life is not a continuous joke. We discover that we have to wear a mask in our professional life, the mask of seriousness, effectiveness, professionalism...it is not a bad mask, it is the good impression we seek to have on others.
And without noticing, we forget to smile...we gain an awful grin, the "not so sure I can laugh, or smile, or keep it serious" attitude. And it becomes a habit. We forget that smiling is contagious, and having a smiling positive person in front of us, cuts the miles of difference in two (sometimes even more). Smiling works for grown ups as for kids, it opens the doors of the world!
May you always breathe right, open your fresh eyes and smile, because then, the world will be a better place.