Tuesday, April 2, 2013

B is for BREATHING



Since it was pretty obvious that yesterday's "Action" post was created in a whirlwind flurry I thought it might be nice to talk about breathing tonight. Slow it down a notch.

I don't mean just the act of processing air to live, but the symbolic act of pausing, taking in a lungful and creating a readjustment within myself to calm 1) fear, 2) stress, 3) anger, 4) sadness, or 5) excitement I might be experiencing. (Hopefully not all five things at once).

I thrive on deadlines and when I am putting fires out at work my adrenaline gets going and I really enjoy the stress of solving whatever snafu has just occurred (and in good order mind you). That's good stress. There's bad stress like my kids aren't listening or I 'm stuck in mad traffic or I'm pms-ing or someone has said something that hurts my feelings (I'm sensitive you know) or my head is in the clouds and I'm obsessing about something...and it is surprising how far and long I can go in my Tigger-like state not really properly breathing. I think at times I actually FORGET to breathe. I just have way too much stuff going on.

And then one day, someone laid it on the table for me. She was talking about how she can get so squirrely and she often times forgets to breathe. I had never heard of anyone else ever who forgot to breathe. I thought I was the only crazy breath-relapser. But no, she too often forgets to breathe and has to force herself to stop what she is doing, take in a deep lungful of air and slowly exhale it all out. And when she does that, something happens. Something good. Something calming.

It isn't just the physiological act that kicks calm into being, it's the symbolic pause, the spiritual cleansing. I think there's a kind of giving up...releasing....accepting. Even if it's momentary, a good long breath allows me to detach from everything around me - even if only for a second – so in that very small space of time I am free. My head clears, the chaos around me seems to diminish, and my perspective shifts.

The challenge is recognizing that I am at a point where I need to pause. Oh, yeah. That's the rough part. But like everything else in my life that requires positive action, this too is something I strive to work at every day. I am at a point in my life that I am ready to resume regular meditation, and I am looking in to going to a yoga class. That undoubtedly will help, but for the times I'm not doing that, those everyday moments where I am speeding to get a file processed for print, or racing to a red light or herding cats (aka my children) at night, THOSE are the moments where the beauty of BREATHING is most necessary.

Have a wonderful night (or day, depending on where you are) and remember to pause and breathe. Refresh your insides so you are better able to deal with the outside. :)

Talk to you tomorrow!
Kris

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