Endless Exhale: The Story
In May of 2015, I was watching a video on Jennifer Pastiloff‘s page (as I often do). she had just had a LomiLomi treatment in LA from Kate Brenton. She was blown away, and as I watched Kate’s sweet face I was already emailing her to set up an appointment for the following month, when she would be in Philadelphia.
So in June I drove the two hours up to Philly. I’d had a head cold not too long before, and allergies were killing me this year. I had an annoying dry cough on my exhale; I often couldn’t do a full exhale without coughing.
Now I have had decades of healing treatments: therapy, medications, acupuncture, Reiki, massage. Yoga, meditation, drum circles, Shamanic journeys. All have contributed in some way to my journey.
and, perhaps this was simply timing. Conditions merging. The perfect storm.
But that session was the most pivotal, healing 90 minutes of my life.
I was face down on the table, face in the face cradle, and within about ten minutes Kate was on the table, putting her whole body weight (which granted, is not much) onto my upper back. She makes this soothing whistling noise sometimes as she is working to release stuff. And she said to me:
“your only job is to breathe.”
And so I breathe I did. Obviously, we are always breathing. But as she place her healing hands on my back, pushing and pulling and moving limbs around, I just took the deepest breaths I could.
And on the exhale, in stark contrast to the dry cough that had been bothering me forever, I seemed to be able to exhale….endlessly.
You know when you exhale, and then there is that moment that you feel as if you might pass out if you don’t breathe in? During that treatment, that moment never arrived.
I only inhaled so that I could exhale again, so that Kate could inflict pain on a different part of me she from which she was facilitating some sort of release.
I remember first learning how to meditate about 20 years ago. My teacher said, over and over: the practice is simple: noticing when your mind wanders-which it will-and then returning the attention back to the breath. Gently. With friendliness.
Yeah…..right, I thought. Bullshit.
Over the past two decades as I’ve continued on my spiritual path, I cannot count how many times I’ve been reminded of this simple truth: back to the breath. Yes, the situations may be different. Some may be painful, some joyful, some stressful. The only real ultimate “fix” we have as humans is to return our attention, with friendliness, to the breath.
To return to presence.
for a long time (and sometimes still) this really pissed me off.
On the table, with Kate’s healing hands on me, in her feisty and loving presence, my exhale is endless. And it reminds me of a few important things:
*life is infinite
*healing is infinite
*possibilities are endless.
We have to inhale, so we can exhale again.
And, as long as there is breath to which we can return, possibility exists.