This space is all about seeking
the moments that cause
'excited chills' and creating a life
that's simple, authentic and beautiful.
Today's word is BREATH. This one is both extremely complex and ridiculously simple at the same time. I am fascinated by the breath. I find in very interesting that most of us only ever think about our breath when we are having difficulty taking one. When our breathing is impaired, we are instantly in touch with the present moment and our lack of air.
I remember the first time I visited Boulder. We visited as a family the summer before we moved here. One morning, I was working out in the basement of our rental house, I was so surprised by my inability to take a full breath. The thin air made my workout much more difficult and had me gasping after only a few minutes. I had never felt anything like it.
I became acutely aware of my breathing. My focus could only be on my need for air. As I calmed my thoughts, I realized how fortunate I am to be able to breathe easily...with the exception of high altitude workouts:-)
Over the years, I've had many opportunities to concentrate on my breath.
When I delivered my babies.
While doing yoga.
When practicing patience in long lines or excessive traffic.
When I'm feeling overwhelmed.
I've learned to use my breath as a tool. I rely on it to calm me when needed. I know I can count on it (literally) to center me and remind me to stay present.
Our breath is a gift. It's something our bodies do automatically and with extreme precision. The older I get, the more aware I become of the precious nature of my breath.
I'm striving to respect my breath and not take it for granted. I rely on several different techniques to stay aware of my breathing.
Breath is our life force.
The constant rhythm that keeps us alive.
Learn to use your breath and enjoy the benefits of this readily available mindfulness tool.
I use the following to keep me connected to my breath...
Headspace - This incredible app has been on my phone for years. I've mentioned it in previous posts...like this one. I enjoy being able to drop in and become present at any time.
4-7-8 Breath Exercise by Dr. Andrew Weil. I rely on this breathing exercise almost every day. I use it to fall asleep, to calm down during stressful situations and to return to the present moment when I'm overwhelmed.
Thich Nhat Hanh- Ages ago my husband and I saw this incredible man speak in Washington, DC. The evening and Thich Nhat Hanh's words were so special that I still call on them regularly. The following song was taught to us that evening. It has since been used by all members of my family to provide peace and clarity by bringing attention back to the breath.
Click on the lyrics below to hear the song. Well worth the quick break:-)
As I refine my life for the next decade, I plan to continue working with my breath as a way to bring peace into my life.
There is such beautiful simplicity in using the breath to stay grounded and centered despite our hectic lives.
I still have work to do in order to make this a consistent practice, but I'm determined to stay in touch with my breath...until the I reach my very last one.
How do you use your breath?
Don't miss a single day of Write 31 Days!
Sign up for updates here!
Curious about my past Write 31 Days challenges?
You can check them out here...
31 Days of Travel
31 Days of Simple Style
Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts.