August 2022 — A note from Psychotherapist Silvia Stenitzer: Hi, I am Silvia, and I am talking with you from my home in Santa Fe in New Mexico. I welcome you to my Soul Action podcast series: Connection & Belonging.
It has been my experience that it is of utmost importance if not our duty to dedicate time and space to ourselves and our nervous systems in these so challenging times of upheaval, turmoil, and rapid changes. It has been hard on our nervous systems.
Finding connection within ourselves, within our bodies is a practice that helps us to attune ourselves with our inner knowing and cultivate a deeper sense of belonging. Then we can show up for what is being asked of us: to be here for ourselves. Then we can be here for others and stay open and compassionate while not be overwhelmed by the amount of profound suffering all around us and of what is happening in our very own lives.
The Soul Action podcast series of Connection & Belonging offers you the opportunity to take time to tend to yourself, your body, and your mind.
Today, we are starting the practice of exploring our breath. Breath is a direct pathway to our nervous system (NS). As a I mentioned before, all of our NS have been under a lot of stress. Breath, our breath, offers us a possibility to consciously cultivate an intimate relationship to our bodies, to ourselves: breath can calm the mind and heal and energize our entire system.
The gift of breath is that we CAN consciously influence our breath, we can change the breath and thus our emotional and physical experience. AMAZING!
And yes, it does take awareness, practice and dedication. The emphasis is on conscious; conscious breathing is the key. Just by giving our breath attention, it most likely will start to change. As I said before, breath is a direct pathway to our nervous system, our autonomous nervous system. Every NS state fight/flight, freeze and being at ease and balanced, has its own breathing pattern, and by practicing certain breaths, we actually can change the state of our NS.
With every breath, we have the opportunity to shape our NS towards safety and connection. Generally, slower breathing increase parasympathetic activity and vagal tone – our NS is more at ease and calm. Matching inhalation & exhalation help us to maintain an autonomic balance; rapid and irregular breathing increases the sympathetic activity.
Breath is a shared experience that connects us with all living beings. Even fish breath, they use gills instead of lungs to extract the oxygen out of the water. What we exhale, the vegetation, forests and flora of our planet inhale, and what the forests exhale, we inhale. There is a constant exchange of breath and life force. We intricately belong to each other. Every breath is an act of giving and receiving. The simple act of breathing connects you to all life on earth.
There are as many ways to breathe as there are people, and many of us already have a trusted breathing and meditation practice. And for some of us, conscious breathing might be a new experience.
Either way, giving yourself time to appreciate and cultivate your breath is a worthy endavor.
So, today, l invite you that we explore the beauty and gift of breath; for here now and for you to enjoy breathing in your daily life.
We can always start within: and we can do this together!
- Push play to listen to this month’s mediation.
- Silvia Stenitzer’s Mediation 1: THE PLEASURE OF BREATH
Silvia believes: Coming to therapy is an act of love. My own suffering and longing for full expression and aliveness have led me on an ever-evolving journey inward. I could not have embarked on this perilous adventure alone: for good parts of the way, I have found support and encouragement from insightful therapists, the wisdom of Yoga, a most poetic Qi-Gong practice, and countless serendipitous offerings from friends and strangers. Out of a deep desire for connection and intimacy grew my passion to work with people therapeutically and creatively.
I use an eclectic approach: My emphasis is on experiential therapies such as action methods, psychodrama, embodied mindfulness practice, interpersonal neurobiology, and principles of C.G. Jung’s psychology. Drawing, painting, and embodying our experiences offer insight into our unconscious ways of how we live life. The body serves us so beautifully as a source of story, memory, and inspiration. Sensory self-awareness forms the basis for us to know what we feel and how we are. This self-knowledge ultimately can help relieve our suffering and guide us towards personal fulfillment and satisfying meaningful relationships.
In my work: I trust the deep wisdom of the body, our innate self-healing abilities, and the magic of interpersonal connection. Movement, action, psychodrama, improvisation, art expression, dreams, play, and meditation are our allies on the journey to Self; a recovered/reconnected Self, that then is able to engage compassionately with the “other,” living and thriving in the interconnectedness of all.
My clients: I welcome individuals, couples, and groups with emotional issues including anxiety, depression, loss, grief, body-and-health-related challenges, life transitions, relationship problems, and personal growth.