as we encounter the onslaught of information each day, our brains process each bit of data according to importance. if you’re at work and ‘in the zone,’ you’re not going notice the gatherings at the water cooler or another pot of coffee being made…but when you need social integration or a break, these things will come to the forefront of your attention and distract you from the task at hand. likewise, when mediums such as television, magazines in the grocery check-out line, billboards on your commute all tell you what to be and how to be that thing and what product you need to get you there, don’t think that you are immune to its message. depending on your mental state, you may be more or less susceptible to the message of the mass mediums of our day.
set your focus on positivity and allow the positive of each bit of data flow through you. acknowledge your emotions and your reactions throughout the day. if you’re angry, you might really just be hungry or thirsty or tired. examine your actions throughout the day….are you eating enough vegetables and drinking enough water? are you getting enough rest and sleep? did you know that rest and sleep are not the same thing? do your actions reflect your lack of breathing into each moment or are you calm, cool, and collected despite adversity? what kinds of situations make you hold your breath or induce shallow breathing? remember that it begins and ends with the breath, so using it to move through difficult moments is as helpful as it is in keeping you alive throughout the day….it’s just that you have to think about one of them.
combine your thought with your breath. the best way to begin is to set an intention and then inhale and exhale 10 times, thinking only about each breath as it is happening. don’t worry if it’s perfect, we’ll get into the intricacies of breath work soon…just take a moment to think about your breath today, give gratitude for this involuntary reflex that keeps Life in us! BREATHE!
From the first gasping breath to the expiring exhale and each respiration between, it is the breath that propels every single solitary thing one does and thinks and is….
I breathe, therefore I am.
It is the difference between a fetus and a newborn. It is the breath, the first cry for love and attention and warmth and comfort and nourishment of all kinds that is the difference between the happiest or the saddest day in a parent’s life. For the first few weeks all we do is watch our little ones breathe, check to see if their bodies rise and fall to the rhythm of Life, worry about all the millions of ways they could possibly stop breathing, and do everything in our power to make sure none of those things happen.
It is the breath that is the difference between sleeping with your loved one…
and sleeping with a corpse.
It is the breath that involuntarily fuels the flame of our spirits, that connects our minds and our bodies and literally moves the blood through our veins. It is the breath that regulates the heart and the things of the heart; our thoughts, fears, hopes, dreams, ambitions, doubts, solutions, and facilitates the very ability to conjure up a meaning for any of these things.
If the breath is our LIFEFORCE and we breathe roughly 20,000 precious respirations a day – how much more can one do for one’s self when one takes a few deep and meaningful breaths throughout the day?
In a previous post on Psychic Powers I briefly got into the connection between the mind, life, and the breath, but let us explore that concept further here:
In Sanskrit, Greek and Latin we find the definition of Breath is the Vital Force, the Psyche, the Spirit, the Wind and the Air. In the Bible it states that God spoke the heavens and earth and the mountains and the sea into existence and Genesis 2:7 says, that God “breathed the breath of Life” into Adam to create the first human creature….
The French word for the “mind” is l’esprit which looks a lot like the words spirit and respirate….
The words inspire and expire have two definitions – one dealing with New Ideas, Beginnings, Creation and one dealing with The Conclusion of an Idea, Endings, Death – the other definitions are the inhale and exhale of the breath, respectively.
In Maslow’s hierarchy of needs the most fundamental to our existence is AIR.
The breath connects us to the present moment. It cools our anger and allows us to make a better decision. It helps us focus on the task at hand. It delivers us to our inside self when we seek an answer not easily found.
As if a perfect reflection of our existence, the breath resembles the ebb and flow of the tide, the phasing of the moon, the daily and bi-annual journey of the sun across our sky and horizon…
The breath, by its very nature, is the answer to all things.
Here are two Breath Exercises for you to try:
For Balance – using your right thumb to close your right nostril and your right ring finger to close your left nostril, begin by closing your left nostril and slowly inhaling through your right. Stop at the top of the inhale for a moment, release left nostril while closing right nostril, exhale through left nostril. Now inhale through the left nostril, stop at the top of the inhale, release and exhale through the right nostril for one cycle. Repeat 9 more cycles and reap the benefits of balance!
For Sleep – using your right thumb to close your right nostril and your right ring finger to close your left nostril, begin by closing your left nostril and slowly inhaling and slowly exhaling through only your right nostril. Do this ten times total and notice how your thoughts change. Now switch nostrils. Slowly inhale and slowly exhale through your left nostril while holding your right nostril closed. If you can get through 5 cycles of this without falling asleep, call me!