It all began with breath...

It's time. You're ready for this. Breathe.

My mind triggered a deep inhale through my nose. I was aware of my chest and stomach expanding outwards and then caving back into my body as I exhaled through my parted lips. I gripped the steering wheel of my 2010 BMW, parked at Isabelle’s, my spiritual mentor and coach.

Again.

This time, inhalation and exhalation were held longer. It encouraged my body to calm and pushed away from the anxiety that arose. My fingers slid from the wheel onto my lap, still rigid and hard.

One more time.

The third one was the best one. My body succumbed to the tranquility of intentional breath and the rhythm of my heart fell back to normal. It spread, my shoulders fell languidly down my back, arms, and followed through, all the way down my legs. This was my routine. My personal practice to serenity after an episode of PTSD.

You're okay. Good job.

My dark brown eyes smiled at me from the rear view mirror. It empowered me to continue what I had come here to do.

It's time.

I nodded my head, shut off the engine, and freed myself from the confines of my car.

Keep walking.

The bell chimes addressed my presence as I walked in and Isabelle’s jovial voice, heavily accented in French and bits of Spanish and German, immediately eased me into comfort. “Hello, sunshine!” I gave into the sedating hug. “Hi, Isa.” I stayed in the warmth of her embrace, not letting go. “Hmmmm..how are you doing?” She inquired, releasing me and probing into my soul as usual. I returned her smile and squeaked, “I’m okay.”  She invited me up the narrow circular stairs to her studio, “Let’s go.” I followed right behind her and continued my breathing exercise. Meditation music welcomed us, playing softly in the background, all sorts of crystals decorated the room-some were on the loft ledge, while others were flying prettily from the ceiling.

I love this place.

There were books stacked neatly on corner shelves along with many different Angel Tarot cards by various authors; Doreen Virtue, Radleigh Valentine, Dr. Brian Weiss, etc. Married within the decks was the original and traditional Radleigh Wait deck. A lulling waterfall was the live aspect of the symphony being played and emphasized the serene ambiance the space evoked.

Two chairs faced one another at the far right wall and a massage bed furnished the back of the room. I took my seat closer to the bed and she sat in hers. “What are we doing today Krista?” armed with notebook and pen in hand.

It’s time. Keep breathing.

I took in a very deep breath, the ones that took at least three to five seconds to inhale, and even longer to exhale.

Thank God for all that yoga.

I looked straight into her eyes and matched her stare, “I think it's time to look into my disturbing past,” sipped in an inhale, “and figure out how I came out okay.” exhale. I smiled. It felt good to finally say it aloud. The result was a feathery light sensation from my head to toe. The uttered words removed the backpack of burdens I’ve been carrying for the past 33 years, they now laid open at my feet. Sifting through whatever was inside would be the next step. A heavenly smile revealed a row of straight white teeth from Isabelle, “I agree. It is time.” She opened up her book and readied herself, “Where shall we begin?”