I’ve been thinking some about breath. About how it feels to take a real, deep, full breath. And when I choose to take the breaths. And how I feel after I take one.
I’ve noticed that we go through life panting. Short, shallow breaths that fill only a quarter or a half of our lungs. Not real breaths.
I’m confident that there is solid physiological research that supports the benefits of One.Deep.Breath.
I got a magnet from a friend and I hung it on my refrigerator. It says, “Peace. It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.” – unknown
It occurs to me I always feel that calm after one deep breath.
I started paying attention to when I take them:
*When my kids are fighting and I feel my cortisol levels rising.
*When I’m almost, but not quite relaxed.
*When I’m feeling out of control – like being in traffic and knowing I’m going to be late.
*When I’m frustrated.
*When I taste something delicious.
*When my husband touches me.
*When my kids cuddle with me.
*When I want to get centered and in touch with the Divine.
*When I want to collect my thoughts.
*When I have something important or difficult to say.
*When I have something to do that I’m nervous about or don’t want to do.
*When I need a pause.
And in turn – I started paying attention to what one deep breath gives me:
*A calm within the storm.
*The ability to release the last bit of stress.
*Perspective that I’m not in control.
*A pause before I lose my temper.
*A slowing so that I can enjoy and savor a delicious moment.
*A centering that I can enjoy intimacy.
*A union with my kids breaths and a releasing of other thoughts so I can just enjoy cuddling.
*Connecting with something bigger than me.
*A calming of the jagged edges that come with feeling scattered.
*The wherewithal to draw from within for hard conversations.
*A calming of nerves.
*A connected, very real, pause to help me stay present.
Meditation can be daunting for people. “I can’t even sit still for a moment, let alone five…” So – what if it is just One. Deep. Breath? And then – what if we strung a few of those deep breaths throughout the day? Moments of calm scattered throughout our days.
I propose that our blood pressure would lower, our heart rates decrease, our focus become centered and our spirits become present. I propose that it is a very real part of helping us ‘be well.’ That One.Deep.Breath is the cool drink of water on our sometimes parched desert roads.
Breathe in. Breathe out. Slow down. Get centered. Be present.
Love. Peace. Joy.