I am my Breath

by Beth Haley

How many times do we think of who we are by what we have?

I am my bank account.

I am my house.

I am my corvette (I’d be a corvette).

I am what I’m wearing.

I am my bills.



How about disabilities:

I am disabled, instead of: I have a disability.

I am a Social Phobic, instead of: I have social anxiety.

I am my loss, instead of: I have experienced loss.

I am what I lack, instead of: I am grateful for what I have.



Dr. Alberto Villoldo, who devoted 25 years to studying the healing practices of the Amazon and Andean shamans, starts his mornings with this ancient shamanic breathing practice:

Inhaling, he says, “I am”.

Exhaling, he says, “My breath.”

In, “I am.”

Out, “My breath.”



The concept is that we start our life in this world with a breath. And at our last moment, we will leave this world with a final breath.

Paraphrased:

… when you take your last breath, at the very end of your life, you’re not going to be saying, “I am my bank account, I am disabled, I am my body, I am my job, I am my family, I am my name… No, you can go, “I am my breath,” and you will follow that last breath out…

“This is my practice,” says Villoldo.

“Otherwise I wake up in the morning and I go, “I am my to-do list, I am my emails that I haven’t responded to, and I am this problem that is going on right now””… when none of those things are who I am, although they may be what I have… “you can cultivate that identification with that part of you that will continue beyond this moment, and it can be tremendously liberating.”

Dr. Alberto Villoldo


I may not have that Corvette, but I also wont be paying the insurance on it either!

I hear my father’s words whenever he would see something really expensive, “That’s some nice debt!” It was a way of teaching us that what we have, we also need to be willing to pay the price for. And sometimes the price isn’t worth it.


I’d still be a corvette.


So who are you really?

Inhale: “I am.”

Exhale: “Not a Corvette.”

Sigh. I digress.

Inhale: “I am.”

Exhale: “My Breath”

Inhale: “I am.”

Exhale: “My Breath”

Could I be a charger instead?


I listened to Dr. Villoldo speak on the podcast: My Seven Chakras, “How to Grow a New Body Using Shamanic Healing and Nutrition” with Dr. Alberto Villoldo

Corvette wish from angelic@pixabay

Charger dream from oktagon1@pixabay

Header Photo from johnhain@pixabay

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