Friday, 26 September 2014

The day I learnt to breathe

Learning to breath again. It sounds ridiculous I know, because we arrive here in a breath. And this breath of ours keeps us alive. But somehow, someway, and at some point I stopped breathing fully. Instead I engaged in a lively, rushed, frantic, stressed (but I wouldn't have admitted that to you at the time) out-of-control, desperately-seeking-control manner that became everyday life. And although I loved so many aspects of this life, it was messy. The stress part was messy, the rushing that kept me in a move-on-to-the-next-thing-without-taking-a-breath pattern was messiest. And that rushing meant I never really slowed enough to just be and connect with the inner me, never stopped to just breathe. So so far from the me I am today. Yet I remember so well how she felt. It hurts to feel like she did, but in a numb kind of way. 

And it feels like one day abruptly it all ended. But it wasn't really one day, not at all. It was a mammoth crescendo that started with my body falling apart (in so many ways: back aches and spasms, a breast tumour then an auto-immune disease to be more precise) and the end (which was kind of the start of change) was an 80km/hr head-on car crash. That's the part I want to talk about, because that's when I learnt to breathe again. 

It was eight years ago now. I was the passenger, my husband was driving. A car pulled out from the t-intersection four metres in front of us. He hit the brakes but there was no time to stop. I was looking at him on impact and if I hadn't been the doctors said my injuries would be a lot worse. I normally always cross my legs in the car too, and I remember noticing how straight I was sitting and upright minutes before the crash - I remember thinking how good my body felt sitting so still and straight and wondering why I didn't always sit like this. Later the doctors asked if I was sitting perfectly straight, because to not break bones was almost impossible.

My injuries were minimal soft-tissue ones, scratches and cuts - the airbag saved me yet did most of the damage. My face swelled an extra half its size and was covered in cuts, blood and bruising - as was my chest. I just remember noticing all the blood, pouring out my nose, tasting it in my mouth and knowing I needed an ambulance. It was me who called the ambulance, moments later interrupted by a man asking what I was doing, then promptly telling me to rest because he could make the call. I thought he was awfully rude, I was in control and could surely make the call myself! And the minute that thought entered my head I realised there was no control to be had here, and surrender was necessary. All at once I let go, all at once I felt my body relax in trust - that I would be cared for, that someone else had the situation and that would be okay. There was no rushing to be done, just waiting and breathing. Breathing was really all I could do. And breathing was all I needed to do.

As we arrived at the hospital I found myself alone lying on a trolley in a neck brace and panic set in. My breathing got shaky and became too fast. I tried to look around for someone, for help, but the white ceiling was all I got. 

Then a hand on mine. Just breathe, she said. It's all you have to do. You can help your body and mind with your breath too - you can manipulate your breath. Breathe deeper, all the way in. And slowly release. Just breathe. Slow your breath down, so all of you slows down....

She was an ambulance officer and I so wish I could remember her name. In those moments of reminding me to breathe, she changed everything for me. I wanted to get to know my breath. I wanted to just breathe. And just be. Breathwork became a part of my everyday. It still is. It's a big part of the meditation I practice and it reminds me always of the beauty, wonder and healing that can happen in a solo breath.


Do you remind yourself to "just breathe" each day?

{GIVEAWAY >> I made this print pictured above for my office  - a photo I took of the sky plus  the words "just breathe" because when I find myself stopping to just breathe, it's skyward I seem to want to look. Would you like a copy? It's 20cm x 20cm, printed on 300gsm card stock - mine is currently sitting beside my desk and framed in an $8 white box frame from Big W. I'm giving away two copies. Leave me a comment below. I'll select winners next Friday xx}    

Friday, 19 September 2014


"What are you doing?" she screeched.
"Umm... parking the car? What does it look like?" came my sarcastic reply."Here?"

"Yes here."
"No. Stop. Why?"
"What? Because it's an angle park and we're a one minute walk from the venue..."
"No. There could be another park so much closer. There will be another park. Keep on driving!"
"But I can see one right here. And what if there's not?""Have a little faith."
"What's faith got to do with it? This park is free and right here.""Blind faith. I know you have it in you. Drive."
"Okay, okay. Fine..."

I drove further on, thinking how ridiculous this exercise was. And then I saw it, a free spot right out the front. Waiting for me? I drove in without saying a word. We got out of the car and exchanged glances. Mine was a "well, whadda you know?" Hers said, "That there is what happens when you have faith."


You know when sometimes you remember memories from long ago and you wonder how that something that happened 11 years ago could pop into your head just like that... well this was one of those, from my uni days, except maybe it wasn't random or a coincidence either. Because when I remembered I most definitely was in need of a little courage, confidence and trust - blind faith.


Do you think we suddenly remember random memories from the past for a reason? I'd like to think so. Elisa xx

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Why I write

I think maybe when we resonate with each other little sprinklings of love are made - they follow us, stay with us and ignite passion, purpose and growth. The more we connect, the more love we create in our worlds.

And that's kind of why I write. That's why I share words here from my heart. That's why I love this space - for all those sparks of connection that have been made and shared. 

I suppose I've always been a writer at heart. Scribbling notes in journals at every time of the day for as long as I can remember. And not writing, well that means I just wouldn't be me. 


Do you feel like without writing {or photography, or creating or something else that speaks to your heart} you wouldn't be you? 

~ My friend Deb {read her beautiful writing here} asked me why I write a couple months ago, and the question has stayed with me and inspired me to share and to write a little more in my journal lately just for me too. Elisa x