Can Breath Practices Bring You a Sense of Belonging?

Laying the Foundations of My Authentic Self

Mary Clymer
5 min readOct 18, 2023

Recently I joined a mentorship program to help grow and develop as a breath facilitator. I noticed right away some old familiar stories came up from the moment I arrived at the first session. Thoughts of feeling like I didn’t belong were a common thread throughout my life that I have used to hold me back. In real time I began to use my breath to help regulate my nervous system so I could stay connected to my observations while remaining open to what was happening in the class.

I looked around the Zoom room and discovered through conversation that probably everyone here was experiencing some push against their comfort level. Isn’t that why we sign up for classes, workshops, and seminars? In a way, you are asking to be pushed, challenged, and uncomfortable in order to learn and grow.

Navigating My Comfort Zone

I had a clear vision in my head of a very safe zone of knowledge that I came into the mentorship already having. This gave me an edge, and also an opportunity to help others along. Becoming aware of this gave me a sense of belonging that was absent upon arrival. It was always with me, but that old familiar story was making my value hard to see.

I saw areas of unease as I was presented with new information that I was to immediately integrate, along with everyone else, in front of our peers. I could feel in myself and in others, this area of comfort being stretched.

The environment feels healthy and welcoming and you can see the relief, growth, and joy of the challenge in this space.

And I can feel a danger zone inside me as well. This area in my body and mind starts to challenge me to where I no longer feel comfortable or effective. A place that needs my breath practice to guide me back into a safe zone.

Moments of Unease

Getting to know this tribe as we develop and grow together I am realizing how many small moments of unease show up for myself and others in the group on our daily check-ins. This idea of growth is widening my eyes, helping me to see that even when you ask for it, it’s challenging to release old ways of being.

As my old self battles for its identity to be felt and experienced, I see the foundation of my new self beginning to sprout.

Breath is a glorious and funny thing. It happens automatically and affects so much of our daily life and how our body functions, yet we never really think it can change the trajectory of our lives. Learning to utilize your breath in a conscious way gives you pause. Allowing you to reflect on your situation and those thoughts you create around what’s going on. Helping you to respond accordingly instead of reacting based on old ways of thinking.

My breath practice continues to grow and develop and I am still learning so much about myself, my triggers, my comfort zone, and my ideas of self. The breath is constantly revealing me to myself and giving me an opportunity to grow from that knowledge or continue down the old familiar path.

Belonging to Myself

Becoming an observer of my experience in this mentorship program is shedding so much light on my inner beliefs. I am seeing how my breath practice has drastically changed how I show up. The thoughts in my head are just a product of habitual thinking patterns, but they can be changed. I see that now that I am more present, that I am comfortable with myself, and that I feel safe in my body. Things a younger version of me would be pleased to hear.

I am finding myself asking more questions and allowing them to challenge the information that is being delivered. Not because I want to be challenging, but because I want to be effective and knowledgeable. I find myself asking questions and suddenly realizing how good it feels to be activated in a space where I would normally feel exposed. Instead of buying into the stories running through my head, I find myself box-breathing back into a comfortable space. One that now allows room for discomfort and sees it as a friend.

This is why I got into breathwork! It’s working! It’s happening, and as it’s happening and actively challenging and changing my life I want to share this with others. Part of sharing is cyclical. I have to be challenged and vulnerable if I want to be a good coach and facilitator.

Breath Holds the Key to Change

Growth can be hard, and navigating life while staying connected to our authentic selves is a skill. No wonder we see so many adult children running around, ghosting each other, and showcasing a fairytale life on social media. I too am no stranger to running from growth, and understand why people do. Eventually, for me, not facing my truth was not an option.

I now see growth as energizing and this tribe of fellow breathworkers as inspiration to keep going.

Kindness is key, towards yourself and others. Using your breath to combat anxious feelings and see yourself and others as the same. A human on a journey to be a better person. To spread light and love and connection.

Nothing is more connecting than breath.

It is the most intimate relationship you will ever have. It affects all that you do and how you show up in this world. Your breath helps you to see beyond your stories, and show up confidently in your own skin even with old beliefs of being an outsider try to muscle their way back into the power position in your head.

Your breath, your constant companion, is always there to help connect you back to self.

As you check in with yourself throughout the day, notice your area of comfort. What are you experiencing? Is it healthy? What does your breath tell you? Danger? Discomfort? Unsease? Build this toolbox and you will soon discover yourself showing up in new ways. Feeling more connected to yourself and at home in your body feeling the presence of constant connection.

If you are interested in how breathwork can help you, take my 7-Day breath challenge to see how 5 minutes a day of conscious breathing can change the trajectory of your life.



Mary Clymer

Breathwork Coach, Pulmonaut Explorer, & Content Creator. Taking it one breath at a time. Join me at