The breath of life

It has been over eight years since my father has left his presence with us and on Earth. He was diagnosed with stomach cancer and his life was taken within one year of his diagnosis. My father was an incredible man with a brilliant mind. He was actually a well-known free style Iranian wrestler, and won silver metals in the 1970-1971 world championships and 1970 Asian games. He was an outstanding athlete who I really admired, respected, and looked up to. I can vividly remember seeing him exercising an being in-tune with his body—pushing and challenging himself more than the day before; breathing in and out intensely. I compare these particular moments to the last days of my father’s life. I am holding his hand while he is struggling to breath while trying understand how his breathing was limited and gradually becoming permanently void. Experiencing this tragic and excruciating pain has brought a deep level of appreciation for breathing. Throughout this process, everything started to unfold and show its true essence of being in multiple different lenses. The sense of deep understanding towards the entanglements of life started to arise and be in affect in the most profound way. I was connecting to Earth, life, and myself more than I ever was before.

Breathing– is life. Breathing plays one of the most powerful roles that we don’t think about on a regular basis because it comes to naturally to us. It is beautifully intertwined with every piece of ourselves and everything that is surrounding us. We are all connected. Everything has its purpose. Our home, Earth, is truly a work of art that has been continuously in the act of making; birth, growing, living, and dying. When we go forward by simply thinking about this particular idea, it gives us an opportunity to truly connect with ourselves, comprehend where we are situated, and how to we choose to live with an alternative lens and mindset. If we were to think about it more in depth, everything that we do and everything that we know would be non-existent if we didn’t have the core of our creations; Earth, the mother of all art! This thought simply on its own has a magnificent beauty and meaning that gives us a deeper level of appreciation and understanding of what it truly means to be alive.
When we face discomforts and tensions, we feel it with the depths of our soul. The heart starts to beat faster, the body travels from one place to another, our breathing becomes heavier as if there is some sort of barrier or blockage. A powerful emotion grows and we have the ability to connect with it and overcome it. The way we breath during these moments is entangled with our miraculous mind. How we breath influences how we live. It’s so profound and beautiful, this breath of life. It is visible and invisible at the same time. We might think that we don’t see it but we can feel it. In true reality, we do see it and feel it at the same time. The visibility of breath is right in front of us with every step we take. The soil, plants, and trees. The sky, clouds, and rain—Everything. The simplest act of waking up in the morning and starting a new day speaks louder than words. As we travel from one destination to another, our being is in relation to everything else. Each moment of our life, there are various ways of breathing and manifests itself in a particular situation showing a profound and uniqueness to it.

In our society, we have a particular image of what we would want out of life and goals that we would like to achieve at a certain period of time. We have been situated in a position to believe that a corrupt American dream is the ultimate goal of happiness, success, and to feel a sense of power. When true reality, nothing that is in relation to that would matter if we are suffocating, gasping for air. Oxygen is a necessity that you simply cannot live more than few minutes without! Ultimately, who really has the power then?
We are all learning and growing throughout our life experiences and who we become is not static. We are in an ongoing motion of becoming because each chapter of our lives has its own story and it adds a layer to who we are and who we continue to become. Eventually at a certain period of our life, we realize that life is so much more than what we know. It is more than what has been drilled into our heads and our questioning is what brings us together. We can thrive when everything starts to unfold in act of listening and being in-tune with ourselves and our surroundings. We know that knowledge is power. Therefore, how we choose to use it and how we choose to carry ourselves is what makes this journey and cycle of life extraordinary. Instead of overpowering one another we should empower each other. Instead of leading people to isolation and neglection, we need to take action. Instead of labelling based on appearance, sex, nationality, and status, we can see as one; simply a human being. Let’s not forget where we all end up when our time is expired.

My father held me as I was just a couple days old—taking the newest breaths of life. I’m sure he could feel the sense of pure love, joy, and happiness as he holds his new born daughter. I held his hand as he took his last breath. As my father left, I could feel the energy I carried within my body being sucked out of me. I could feel the sense of suffocation and the inability to breathe. I could feel an intense, heavy, and excruciating pain in my stomach that has overpowered my whole body. There is something to be said about the journey and cycle of life. If I truly want to accept, appreciate, and understand the beauty of life, the end is part of it and breathing is the core of it all. As we connect with ourselves throughout these experiences of life, we unfold, learn, and grow. Breathing in and out.

Breathe. It's going to be okay.