Spiritual Baby Steps

"Doing" spirituality in the real world

Breathe in…

and breathe out.

What is it about focusing on the breath that is so calming? Is it just that our mind slows down for a minute? Maybe it’s the fact that we’re tuning in to our physical body. I’m not sure what it is about mindful breathing that relaxes me, but I’ll tell you this… I’ve been very thankful for it this past week. I think I read somewhere that it’s actually really good for our bodies when we breathe oxygen in and out of our diaphragm. Have you ever tried breathing from your diaphragm for any length of time? I have, and I’ll tell you that it’s not easy! Apparently, we’ve become lazy with our breathing and we mostly breathe in and out of our chest… so when you do go in for the deeper breath, it kinda wears you out! I think it’s just another thing that we feel the need to speed through these days… who has time for a whole breath? That is just a luxury… I can breathe in half that time, my friend!

Just a few minutes ago, I was given an opportunity to practice this deep breathing that I speak of. I wrote an entire blog post… maybe it was a little bit more of a rant, if truth be told, which apparently was not meant to be shared this evening. I walked away from the computer to check on my daughter and when I came back, the computer was dark. I assumed it had gone into sleep mode, so I pressed a key and waited. Then I waited a bit longer. Then I realized the computer had shut down. Fun!

I restarted the computer and restored my internet explorer session… one can always hope, right?! For obvious reasons (which, by the way, I don’t know what they are… but it seems like maybe they are obvious to someone… or the universe… or something?), the blog post had not saved and I couldn’t seem to find a previously saved version, either.

I took a deep breath. And then I took another. I decided to write about the practice that has helped me cope this last week and that I’m thankful for whenever I remember to use it. It’s free. It’s easy. It takes no gadgets or gizmos to implement. And while it’s possible that not everyone finds deep breathing helpful… I do think that for many, like me, it’s more a matter of remembering to do it than wondering if it’s actually helping. There was a point when meditation became easier for me… when I realized that what it actually entailed was becoming aware of your breath. I can do that! And so can you.

So, breathe deep everybody! Love and laughter to you all.  ~Rashel

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9 thoughts on “Breathe in…

  1. Shelley Johnson on said:

    I learned about “deep breathing” when I starting learning the practice of yoga, some 43 years ago. I found it to be an amazing tool to help me in coping with life. As you mentioned, the only “fly in the ointment” is simply remembering to do it. I wish I could say I practice it daily, I’m sure I don’t. I do turn to it first though, when I encounter anything stressful or painful, and it helps me every time. Thanks for your post and this reminder to breath! Apparently it was what the universe wanted you to say this week.

  2. I’d say you need to breathe after deleting a whole blog!! Hyper ventilate more like :-) Following the breathe is the buddha’s practise for entering a mindful state by connecting with your body. Its easy to forget that conscious breathing is just a means to connect with mindfulness and not necessarily an end in itself. The more ‘narrow gates’ we can find to connect with the present moment, the better!

    • Jerry- excellent point! Actually, there is so much more to say about breathing… Guess I pushed forward because of my renewed commitment to publish on Mondays… perhaps my blog post for next week… Commitments!! ~R

  3. Rachel Levy on said:

    Can you remind me to do this on Tuesday as we send our girls off to camp? My mom will be in an MRI at the same time to see if her breast cancer has metastasized. I will need those breaths.

    • brookeee77 on said:

      Thank you for the gentle reminder…I have a note posted in my office that says “Are you breathing? Remember to breathe and stop holding your breath”…it helps. :-)

      • It does help!!! I have a breathe sign too… It’s amazing how often I’m not breathing! Thanks for commenting- enjoyed being with you last week… Hope your theme is going well. ~R

  4. I have a breathe card on my computer. I think we all fall prey to shallow breathing and it’s so important to be reminded. I loved the comment about finding “narrow gates” to the present moment. Thanks, Rashel, for this thoughtful post. I’d love to have you as a guest on my blog sometime in February. Let me know if you’re up for that.
    Eleanor

  5. Pingback: Luck « walkin' on sunshine

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