Good morning.There’s a common medical condition called atelectasis (at-e-lec-ta-sis). With atelectasis, the tiny air sacs (alveoli) do not fully expand causing the lung to shrivel up and make it painful when we take a deep breath and try to expand our lungs.There are many causes, but one is prolonged shallow breathing due to pain.Those lungs shrivel up, real tight.
I believe we’ve been seeing ‘emotional atelectasis’ in this country for a while now.
Atelectasis is painful. You don’t get over it immediately, it takes time, but you almost always have a full and complete recovery.We treat it in part with deep breathing exercises, often including the ’breathing thingy’.
Now, as many are taking their first deep breaths in years, I suggest you lean into it.Or dive, if willing.So, if we stick with the analogy, what is our ‘emotional’ incentive spirometer/breathing thingy?
Self-compassion, right? At least part of it.A gentle reminder that…Self-compassion is NOT selfish, it is actually generous.When you take that breath, you can be there for the ones who need you.I lucked into having a brilliant chief resident, Dr. Jim O’Brien, who taught our class something that has stuck with me all these years.“When you go into a ‘code’ the first pulse you need to check is your own.”
2021 is about simplicity, love, kindness, and healing so let’s do one very important tip.
Please treat yourself today, and tomorrow, as you would treat a friend. Simple. That’s it.But, you have to do it.Don’t worry, even knowing this golden rule, like me, you will break it countless times (today). But, if you recognize it and peel back even once today, that’s a huge win. You’re well on your way.
Slow down to go faster.You got this.
david*see you in the Canyon