It’s hard to meditate when you’re a mouth-breather.
I’ve been a little stressed the past couple of weeks, partly due to my jam-packed to-do list and my over achieving attitude. Needless to say, “woo-sah” has been an inevitable mantra I’ve been chanting.
I’ve noticed that most meditative advice begins with breathing, and while that’s well and good for most people, it doesn’t really work when you’re a mouth breather (which I’ll abbreviate as MBR).
I’ve been a MBR for as long as I can remember. I have allergies twenty-four hours a day, seven days week, 365 days a year, and I am never without Kleenex. I should be getting paid for the amount of Kleenex I purchase. I have tried everything from Nasonex to Reactine. When you’re blowing your nose every ten minutes it’s pretty hard to prepare your mind for a meditative state.
When visiting my parents this summer, my mum being the busy body that she is, insisted I try one more thing and gleefully bought another nose spray. I used it once while I was there and regretted it. But being the pleasing daughter that I am I brought it back with me but don’t have the faintest idea where it is now. Sorry mum.
Being a mouth breather can put you in some pretty awkward situations especially, when you’re trying to pretend like you’re not. For example, mouthing the words to songs while listening to your iPod, pretending to yawn, or faking a cough.
I wrote this when I was on the subway one time:
Her mouth is open
Their nostrils flare.
Even the old woman’s.
They don’t struggle,
But she does.
It’s a fight with nature.
Why doesn’t it happen as easily for her?
Why must she be different?
The man stares as she fights.
The woman frowns.
She’s thinking it’s not that hard.
But it is.
They’re both staring, frowning.
She takes a deep breath and closes her mouth in pretense.
She can hear her watch ticking.
She can’t hold it for long, so she fakes a cough.
Finally, a breath.
But still nothing.
Her nostrils remain un-flared, clogged by mucus.
She relies on her mouth.
And the staring continues.
When you’ve sneezed a couple of times and are constantly reaching for tissues, people start to inch away from you slowly, perhaps thinking you’re carrying the latest strain of some hideous virus. This reaction mostly happens at work, where I have to repeatedly remind everyone that it’s just allergies.
I attended a workshop a couple of weeks ago and just before we were to break off for lunch, the facilitator asked us to prepare for meditation. I quickly adjusted myself but not before scanning the room to check if people were going to close their eyes as she’d suggested. It looked like everyone did but I didn’t take the chance, I bent my head as low as I could and when she said to take a deep breath in, opened my mouth, both to inhale and exhale. I peeked open one eye and everyone inhaled the natural way and I couldn’t help but feel a little jealous.
When you’re a MBR you appreciate those momentary deep breaths that come once every twenty-three hours and only last mere minutes. So whenever I get those chances, wherever I am, I take a moment to meditate and appreciate the very rare times I get to breathe like everyone else. And if not, I put on my headphones, turn up the music and embrace my own form of meditation.