“Did you breathe on it?” Sounds like a question you would’ve asked your brother or sister about the last slice of pizza sitting on the counter when you were kids. But in the breathwork world this is a common proposal I’ve heard from every breathwork teacher I’ve worked with. On a Saturday in September I finally put this question into action and it changed the course of my life forever.
It’s the first Saturday of September 2019 - I remember the date and the day vividly. I just received a call from my girlfriend in a quaint parking lot in front of a beautiful meditation hall in Westwood, MA just outside of Boston. I’m attending a breathwork weekend intensive. I answer and she tells me that the deal on the apartment we were trying to buy in the Bronx had fallen through. A small toad hops by my feet on the grass and disappears into some bushes. After months of work, thousands of dollars in legal expenses and glowing expectations of our future, it just wasn’t going to happen. The apartment appraised for 50,000 dollars less than the asking price and the seller wasn’t going to budge.
It felt like our future was ripped out from under us. The next step in our lives together was no longer there - it evaporated into thin air and left us feeling flat. I walked back inside the meditation hall and shared the new information with the group as we prepared for our second breathwork session of the day. It was going to be a full hour of rigorous breathing, the fourth session of a three-day intensive workshop.
I set my intention to receive some guidance for what comes next in my life and then I lied down on the floor, closed my eyes and “breathed on it”. I breathed like a locomotive engine on a freight train for the full hour.
I often tell people that the breathwork itself doesn’t always give you what you need right then and there when you’re actively breathing, it sometimes comes after the breathwork, in the rest phase, where you find a deep state of meditation. That’s when it hit me. The next step in my life was not buying an apartment with my girlfriend. It was to marry her! That’s the next step! It was so clear, nothing had ever been that clear to me before. It was the biggest download of intuition I had ever received in my life. It was so big and powerful that I had to act on it immediately.
I raised my hand to share with the group and said, “I’m sorry everyone - I know we have another day left of the workshop, but there’s something important I need to do. I don’t need to be here. I need to go home.”
Twenty minutes later I was in my car driving from Boston to the Bronx rehearsing how I was going to ask her. I even called her father from the car to tell him my surprise plan - my way of asking for his blessing.
“Well… she’s the one that has to say yes.” He replied.
His response still cracks me up.
I arrived on our street in the South Bronx around 10:30pm and ran up five flights of stairs. I gave a surprise knock on the door and asked my girlfriend, Adrienne, to marry me. She said yes.
We got married a year later. Two weeks after the wedding I quit my job and we moved to Greenville, South Carolina . We now have a house on a half acre with chickens, grapevines, blackberry bushes, and a pond with koi. A stark contrast to the future we envisioned in a New York apartment a few blocks from Yankee Stadium.
Sometimes when things don’t work out as expected, it’s actually a gift. Trust that the universe is happening for you and not to you. And when in doubt… Breathe on it!