It’s easy to take for granted the things that come so freely to us. Our ability to breathe is one of those things that comes so naturally that we never give it a second thought. But it’s a miracle in itself that we are privileged to live on a planet that has continued to provide us with just the right kind of life sustaining air that we so desperately need to live here. I’m no scientist so I’m not here to tell you all about the technical stuff in the air we breathe but I am here to remind us all to step back, reflect, and take a moment to bask in the awe that is our ability to breathe on this planet.
Take a minute to silence your thoughts, feel the stillness, and take a deep breath, as you appreciate the very life force in the air we breathe.
When I see people get worked up over something emotionally distressing, adrenaline pumping, heart racing, tensions high, I am reminded of the power we all possess to reverse course from these all consuming and emotionally charged moments that may seem out of our control. How do you do it, you ask? The answer is simple: breathe.
I would love to share some tips to help you refocus and destress through a proper alignment with your breath:
1. Count it out. I’ve practiced many forms of deep meditative breathing over the years and customized what works best for me. When you get into a good groove you will find what feels natural for you. For me, it’s an inhale on the count of 4, hold in for the count of 4 and exhale on the count of 4. If I do this for a few minutes I feel grounded in my body, which helps to reduce the racing mind.
2. You can also try focusing on something you’re grateful for. With each inhale you breathe in gratitude and with each exhale you breathe out any fear or energy that is working against you. Set the intention that on the out-breath whatever gets released is what needed to naturally come out. You may want to envision the exhale as a gray mist, releasing that which does not serve you.
3. Get into nature! Being in nature and focusing on your surroundings helps you connect to the rhythm and pulse of the earth. For me, when meditating in nature, I may feel a breeze, see a butterfly, hear a bird chirp, or smell a fragrant flower, and this grounds me. All these elements bring me into the present moment. When I breathe I am taking in the life force of everything around me, heightening my connection to the oneness that is the energy of Spirit.
4. Go deeper with your prayer or spiritual practice. Develop your own sacred rituals for meditative practices. Maybe you don’t wear shoes when you meditate so you feel your feet firmly on the ground. Or maybe you only light incense when you pray or meditate. Whatever your practices may be they are your own but always remember to pay attention to breath as this will help control your pace. Being aware of your breath will only enhance your sacred rituals by aligning you with your sacred self—your higher self. This is the part of you that is all knowing, all trusting, and in a surrender state to what is. You will begin to glide through the rhythms of life, rather than dodging and battling the obstacles, because you are aware that you are not separate from the world around you.
As you spend time in your day becoming one with your breath and aware of its presence in your life you will automatically be more in tune and hyperaware of the signs and synchronicity that spirit and the universe send to you. Your first sign may be as simple as becoming aware of your own breath and learning to control that from wherever you are in any given moment.