Breathe: A Technique for Massive Life Changes and Child Birth

There are times when life is shifting under your feet so fast you can barely catch your breath. Like an earthquake, everything around you that you take for granted as solid is changing.

At times like this, you need to make a calm center to the universe. You need something to hang onto that will be still.

I learned about this technique when I was getting ready to give birth.

Having babies is the classic disaster – your body is changing, your emotions are wild, your brain is disconnected, and it really freaking hurts.

Except it doesn’t.

If you can learn to ride the waves, to breathe into it, to relax, to change how you think about it – you can get through the wildest changes of your life intact.

Certainly, it is uncomfortable. That doesn’t change. It’s not in your comfort zone. No. But you can walk it the eye of the storm, and you can get through this.

Part 1: Breathe Into The Discomfort.

When you are in a painful situation that you can’t get away from, the only thing to do is accept it. Thrashing around trying to avoid it only makes it worse.

So relax. It hurts. Yes. But it is okay. You can do this. Pain, in life, is normal. Breathe.

Breathe into it. The more uncomfortable it is, the more slowly you should breathe into it. In through the nose, out through the mouth.

Let your attention rest on the edges of where it hurts, the boundaries. Let the pain slide in and out of focus. And breathe into it.

Relax. Everywhere you feel tension in your body, as you notice it, relax. Let it go.


You can breathe through anything.

Part 2: It’s Just An Interesting Sensation.

The other trick with having babies is not to think of it as pain. “Pain” makes you clench up, it makes you freak out. It gets you all ready for fight or flight, instead of the fluid awareness you need to pass through life’s challenges.

So don’t call it pain. Don’t call it hurt, suffering, or discomfort.

Call it an interesting sensation, that requires all your attention.

Wiggle around. Joke. Find ways to have fun, regardless.

And breathe.

These times are not comfortable. But it is possible to find joy and peace in them and through them. Just breathe.

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  1. Leah Hynes says:

    Hey Morgan

    I am loving this post. To breathe is such a simple yet powerful concept. Something at our disposal every second yet we rarely tune into its power.

    I totally agree with what you say – that its all about how we choose to experience things. I know during my own childbirth, despite many yoga classes and meditation, I was clenching in fear during labour. I was scared that I couldn’t cope with my own ‘interesting experience’ as you re-name it (I LOVE that!). Perhaps I didn’t truly believe that I could get through it, that the experience would swallow me up, but ofcourse I did get through it.

    I am going to take your advice and begin to truly believe in the power of the breathe whenever I feel that sense of the earthquake happening in my life.

    Thank you for helping me remember the power that is already available to me.

    Leah xoxo

    • Morgan Alverson says:

      Hey Leah, Thanks for visiting!

      I spent part of my labor clenched in fear too. It’s sort of like riding out a hurricane in a canoe. Can be a little intense at times!

      To give credit where it’s due – I found that “interesting experience” idea from Ina May Gaskin, who might be the best midwife in the universe. I was doing all the preparing for labor stuff too, but I realized in the last few days it was just making me terrified, and I switched over to reading the stories from her book of women who were happy and peaceful in labor, who got through it. Sometimes I think all the prep can just scare you, and the fear is the worse than ignorance. Hmm, maybe I should remember that for my career. lol.

      I’m glad this helped you – I wrote it to help me remember too. So – Deep Breath!


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