I got diagnosed with VCD (vocal cord dysfunction) last June of 2020.

When triggered my vocal cords close instead of open when I try to take a breath. It makes it feel like I can’t breath and usually misdiagnosed commonly as asthma.

What triggers this? For me, it was my bodies new way of processing the extreme anxiety and stress I was experiencing due to the pandemic shut downs along with allergies, which have been a challenge to keep at bay - living in Austin.

What makes it worse or is also a trigger? Moving my body - aka - dancing, exercising, walking my dog in nature.

Movement - the one thing that was my go-to stress relief for mind and body was “taken” from me at the time in my life when I need it the most.

I have spent countless days since feeling helpless and a victim to the fact that I can’t control or fix this with medication or a definite therapy. Going to a speech pathologist and learning ways to help relax my vocal cords through breath has been my only relief.

Who knew BREATH + BREATHING air was going to become the center focus of my world.

Never will I take not having to think about breathing for granted again.

When we enter this world we breathe in and as we exit we will breath out.

Our life is within a breath. So precious and symbolic of our current times.

I have been resisting and hating what this strange weird vocal thing has meant for my life…… but with all my spiritual practices there is the lesson of EXPANDING where there is CONTRACTION and sending love where I have fear and anger.

So, like all things in my life that I find need healing - the dance begins.

Instead of resisting it, I become SO CURIOUS!

Why is this here?

Where did it come from and where is the lesson?

What is the symbolism?

And after I get curious and let my mental mind get its fix on trying to “understand”, as it always likes to do……

….I just give it up to spirit ….let it be what it is ….and accept it as a part of me.

I start to surrender to my need to control and resist.

This video is me dancing with it for the first time with full acceptance. You can totally see me get all cheesy with myself at the end flirting with myself in that mirror!

I couldn’t dance for as long as I wanted to, or with the expression and movements that would take more cardio……

…and towards the end you can see my efforts to control and relax my breath as it was tightening,

…but I danced anyway in the discomfort while at the same time got to connect to my bliss for a few moments.

A remembrance of what my soul aches to do is express through movement.

My VCD is getting better slowly, and I am more in tune with my body and my health more than ever.

The lessons of dealing with this has been deeply profound, so I thank it and love it for however long it will be with me.

It is so easy to resist the things in life we don’t choose or that just “happen” to us.
I keep seeing evidence that when these moments in life come up, it is the leaning in and EFFORTS TO EXPAND THE LOVE that ends up releasing you from the suffering.

And so here is to dancing with what life brings you anyway, despite the feelings of restriction and limitations within!

Blessings and love, Amber