Being Seen

The other day I was reflecting on my Breathwork journey and how it all began... which involved becoming comfortable with being seen for my shamanic work. The first phase of that was to emotionally detach from human-work (aka day job)- and this post relates to a secondary phase of that path - and it relates to understanding what it truly means to "being seen."

What does it mean, "Being Seen"?

"Being Seen" means standing in our truth, genuinely engaging with the external world/public from a place of authenticity, performing/doing what we call our "purpose" without shirking away when faced with possible judgement or disapproval. It also means being in integrity - acting from a place of education, of experience, and stability. "Being Seen" often requires us to go against "the norm" and let our "freak flag fly." It is something that many spiritual practitioners have various types of struggles with - and frankly, my own struggle has gone through times of great momentum and growth as well as times of retraction and nerves.

I already have a website and a lovely yet modest clientele base... so, am I not already "visible?" In many ways, I am "seen." But my understanding of being seen was that it was an active behavior - an effort. Posts on social media, talks, writing, podcasts... getting "out there." But I have been burning the candle at both ends and putting way too much pressure on myself to achieve goals that I never genuinely set out for myself - but instead created out of response to what I believed other's expected of me, or that I felt I had to do in order to prove my worth.

Recently my breath has called so much attention to my chest - the place where I (and many people) hold stress. My desires were not being fully heard or held because I was too busy doing doing doing. In giving all my energy to the list "that has to get done," I was putting everything ahead of myself. I had firmly lost my daily breathwork practice and was barely carving out time to do a 30 minute practice once a week. Everything was compiling and I was going underwater.

I wasn't "Being Seen" by the most important person: myself.

Each time I would do conscious connected breath I would bawl and would be flooded with this sense of rage and sadness -- I missed myself. In giving everything I had to my list - I was CHOOSING to put myself last. But in a world where we are taught to value over-production, normalize fatigue, and expect the feminine to prevail while solving the worlds problems and have dinner in the oven at the same time (without asking for anything in return) - how do I actually put myself first?

My only solution was to introduce something simple that I could do throughout the day when things get intense: I turned to coherence breath -- 5 seconds inhale, 5 seconds exhale, repeat - calm mind focused on counting and breathing. It helps with stress, no doubt. However, it did help me uncover a question that yielded a solution to my own problem.

"How do I wish to 'Be Seen?'" - Do I wish to be seen as a"do everything all the time, sacrifice myself to make others happy" person? Or as a "will get it done within a reasonable time frame, but will take my time as it aligns with my highest good" person?

The coherence breath shifted my perspective on how I held expectations about tasks in my own body. It was an invitation to release attachments and emotional burdens that I was subconsciously associating with my task list. So this phase has become about me releasing my misconception that achieving multiple tasks was the key to finding my self-worth, and that accomplishing notoriety was necessary for me to fulfill my purpose. Most frustrating of which was recognizing that I was living life in between the tasks and work.

Furthermore, the coherence breath made me realize that I was going from one thing to the next without a break in between. It is incredibly sacred to take 2-3 minutes in between tasks to sit and think, "what did I just accomplish? How do I feel now?" By processing after each task, I can be more present in my actual life and discontinue carrying a bunch of extra "to be processed" baggage to the end of the day (which was totally keeping me from sleep)!

So. "Being Seen." What does that mean to me now.

Being Seen used to be all about being active and producing content in the public sphere for my shamanic work. But now I understanding it totally differently... Being seen is about expressing my authenticity from a place of autonomy, self-respect and boundaries.

By slowing down my breath, I slowed down my brain. And in doing so, I learned how to truly see myself.

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