Why Breathwork: How experiential practices can deepen connection to intuition and awaken the spirit

This week on the blog we're excited to be sharing a written piece from Zencare therapist Jessica Garet, a Florida and New York-based social worker specializing in therapeutic modalities that integrate the body and the mind. In this piece, Jessica shares her experiences with breathwork and discusses how the practice has shaped her relationship with herself and those around her.

I never could have imagined that saying yes to a breathwork class with a friend, in a downtown space in New York City, would lead me here.

By here I mean living by the beach, writing poems, pulling tarot cards, throwing stones, and forming a stronger sisterhood with my female-identifying friends. I’ve completely reshaped the spiritual, emotional, and physical quality of my life.

Where I am now has everything to do with trusting my yes; listening to my intuition.

Jessica Garet, a Florida and New York-based social worker specializing in therapeutic modalities that integrate the body and the mind

What is intuition anyway?

I now recognize intuition as the innate, divine gift with which we are all designed. It's the womb/gut wisdom nested in our being from the very beginning of our cellular existence.

We are embedded with this sense-based knowing. Our senses are tools devoted to observing. On the surface, they’re designed to inform us of what is available to see, hear, smell, taste, and touch. We also recognize that there exists an inner path of sensing, a sensing from the inside – this is the power source of our intuition.

The word itself is derived from the latin verb intueri, meaning “to look upon or watch over, to instruct with contemplation, to be directed by spirit with interior sight.”

Where does intuition live and how do we awaken it?

The beauty of intentional breath and body-based practices is that they deepen our connection to our intuition. This is because our intuition lives deep in the well- threaded neural pathways of our sacred belly, our sacred vision, and our right-sided brain.

Taking time to track our inner belly sensations while connecting to our breathing body invites space for our third eye, allowing our right-sided brain to receive and remember.

As we cultivate time for curiosity and softening, we begin to open space for our inner knowing to speak to us through images, rememberings, words, colors, and sounds.

For our spirit and our body speaks in poetry, in archetypes, in symbols, and in signs. This is why practices such as dream keeping/journaling, tarot or pulling cards, throwing and reading stones, creative writing, and getting back into nature can be so pivotal to the awakening and embodiment of our divinity.

Divinity truly just means returning to our most beautiful, essential, expansive, and creative self. The self that is here in this physical plane – ready to shine its light, breathe soul back into this body, and create something full of spirit. For the truest meaning of the word inspiration, is to breathe spirit into life.

When we allow ourselves to receive these messages from our spirit, it can nurture us forward in life. These messages can illuminate answers to parts of our life or self that have felt blocked or stuck. It can increase our capacity to trust in our sovereignty, allowing for the courage to take greater risks in an effort to liberate ourselves from outdated worn-out narratives of a life that no longer requires our dutiful participation.

What makes us lose our connection to our intuition?

So often, our early life experiences can disrupt this innate intuitive pathway, congesting it with messages of doubt, fear, insecurity, worry, instability, shame, and mistrust.

It takes courage and safety to play again. We can’t establish a connection back to our playful beginning self without this safety. Humans are social beings, and we instinctively benefit from other safe human attachments/connections.

Finding that safety can come in so many ways.

We can find that safety in communities with other beautiful courageous souls. We can feel deeply grounded and nourished when we find our tribe that reminds us of our primordial home.

We can also find this safety in soft-hearted practices, such as movement that invites breath into the body.  These practices can support us in returning slowly to a body we left because we had to keep going because we had to survive.

Practices that invite in soul expression like painting, sculpting, drawing, writing, singing or making music/sound – these can liberate our silenced voices and offer our body a channel for energetic communication.

Returning to earth rituals can also remind our spirit of its roots to this natural world. Lighting candles and speaking words of affirmation, burning dried flowers or herbs, and sending messages of gratitude to the sky, soaking or bathing our skin with water as a practice of washing away and hydrating anew are just some ways we can use the elements to support embodying our intuitive soul.

How these practices have helped me:

Ever since I began returning to my body and breath with consistency, I have noticed a tremendous shift in my experience of myself, especially in my nervous system. Now, I have more space to slow down my reactions to everyday stressors. I have increased my capacity to recognize that present-day stressors do not have to be responded to from a young buried place of fear, doubt, shame, or blame.

Let’s be honest, I sometimes still find myself constricted by the trappings of my younger experiences, but I have more grace and compassion for myself now.

I also have more space to create something new. I play more now, creating time for waking up and pulling a tarot card or looking up at the sky and noticing how life is waking up with me. I write every day, not because I set some rigid must-do list for myself, but because I want to. I look around my environment now and see signs of how the universe is communicating with me, instead of how I’m being negatively impacted by my surroundings.

Most importantly, it has led me here, to dream of what else is possible when I make space and time to listen and connect to my divine inner wisdom. I hear how my elders support me in my unfolding and how my current tribe and community co-create with me.  These spiritual tools have allowed me to connect to my gifts, and this is the beauty of these practices.

You don’t need access to wealth, an abundance of time and space, or even the perfect home or office space to get started… All you need is one moment to meet your body with curiosity, to connect to your breath intentionally, and to listen to the wisdom of your intuitive soul.

Connect with Jessica by visiting her profile or visit our page on breathwork to read more about the approach and find a therapist who offers it in your area!