When I began to work with a personal trainer, she pointed out the folly of my ways. She taught me to breath in on the relaxation of a movement and to breathe out on the exertion. Weight lifting and exercises like crunches were suddenly so much easier to complete in multiple repetitions.
I cross stitched this sign and hung it in my exercise room to remind me to breathe.
At a recent weekend retreat, the presenter was working with us on using the breath for relaxation. She divided the circle of women in half and indicated that those to the right of her were to inhale while those to the left of her were exhaling. As I was right across from her I quipped, "I'm in the middle, I can't breathe." The next day several women mentioned how true that quip was. They're right. When I was on the fence, trying to decide what to do about my failing marriage and where to go with my life, I often felt I could not breathe. Getting off that fence and on with my life has freed me to take deep, satisfying breaths. Being in the middle is a very uncomfortable place to be. Moving forward is like exercising, breathe out on the relax, breathe in on the exertion, but breathe.