"Do not go where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail."

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Just Breathe

Cause you can't jump the track, we're like cars on a cable
And life's like an hourglass, glued to the table
No one can find the rewind button, girl.
So cradle your head in your hands
And breathe... just breathe ~Anna Nalick

Yesterday, the kids and I were at a homeschool group play day at a local church (and by "group", I mean us and one other family) We were sitting in a huge kids' classroom, very well-stocked with blocks, lots of dress-up clothes, kitchen, play food, et al. The big kids were lounging on little futons playing with their DSes, and the little kids were, well, being little kids.... running around, playing, laughing, and making a general rumpus.

How can you not love this kid? :)

It was all happy, noisy, babble... and then for one brief second there was a moment of silence. Without intending to, I sighed. It wasn't a dainty little sigh, but a big, heaving, whoosh of air sigh like you'd do after you've been holding your breath for a long time.

I'd forgotten to breathe again.

It sounds ridiculous to say it, but it's true. And I do it all. the. time. Sometimes I get so caught up in the noise and the hustle and the bustle and the business of life that I almost quite literally hold my breath. I'm just kind of hanging on, waiting for that next quiet moment when I can let out that whoosh of air. When I can relax, when I can settle my mind, when I can BREATHE.

The ironic part about it is that I know the importance of breathing. I do yoga, I had natural births, I study natural health. I know about breathing. Even my kids will tell you the importance of breathing because it's something I talk to them about often. I remind them to take deep breaths when they're angry, when they're injured, when they're feeling sick, when they're anxious. It oxygenates the body, it calms us down, and it centers us. There's virtually no ailment that it doesn't help in some way.

Dr Andrew Weil, one of my favorite natural health gurus, has this to say about breathing properly:

Breath is the master key to health and wellness, a function we can learn to regulate and develop in order to improve our physical, mental, and spiritual well-being... In many languages, the words for spirit and breath are one and the same (from Natural Health, Natural Medicine)

Proper breathing seems like such a simple thing, but for some reason it's one I have to be continually reminded to work on. And I am always glad when I do. It makes me feel better, makes me a much more effective parent, and makes the day a whole lot more enjoyable (or tolerable, depending)

If you're reading this right now: take a nice, deep cleansing breath (in through your nose, out through your mouth) because you probably need it. Take another. Take seven.

Feel better? You. are. welcome.


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