Wellness Coach

Breathe in…Breathe out

Spiritus ~ Collage by Martha O'Brien

Once I volunteered to teach classes for the Girl Scouts so they could earn a Stress Less badge. Even the Brownies learned a technique called “Elevator Breathing” to take long slow breaths. One simple practice I use to stress less is to attend to my breath.

Breathe in…Breathe out
I remember the moment in my mid-40s when I observed my pattern of shallow breathing. I was living in the “shallow waters of life” afraid that I should not exist and take up space. I was not aware enough to stretch my arms toward the sky like the wings of a bird and breathe giant gulps of Life.

Then I gained a new perspective during a cranial sacral therapy session. I breathed a long inhale and exhale from my toes to the crown of my head like a figure eight of air flowing all through my body. The sensation felt like taking my first breath as my stagnant body responded to the healing power of a deep breath.

Now, when I check-in with myself and notice tension, I usually discover that I am unconsciously holding my breath. The breath is like an anchor that grounds me in the present moment so I do not wave jump into the future where the problems and anxiety await. Right now in this breath, I am OK.

The Hebrew word ruach has three translations ~ breath, spirit, wind. The ocean winds fill the sails on a boat so it can ride the waves. I inhale the Spirit of love like a breath prayer that calms my Beingness. That is enough for this moment and this day.

Practice: When you observe tension in your neck, jaw, head or a flutter in your stomach, walk outside or go to a quiet place where you can be alone and take three deep cleansing breaths.

Each breath we take is a gift…each moment of life is a grace. Thomas Merton

3 Responses | Add your Own

  • 1 Susan Campbell yazmış:

    Hi Martha,
    I am a friend of Janis Lovecchio’s from Holy Family and met you this past Saturday at the Centering Prayer workshop. This post brought to my mind the quote from Rilke about the wind of grace is always blowing we just have to raise our sails. Thank you for the reminder to just BREATHE!!

  • 2 Kristin yazmış:

    LOVE this post, Martha. Breathing is a cleansing, calming gift which we take for granted every 2-4 seconds of every day!! Thank you for giving another lense through which to look.

  • 3 Juliana yazmış:

    As a therapeutic breath coach I am pleased to see you share information about the gentle healing power of conscious breathing. Most people breathe only 20-30% of their capacity, leaving them feeling fatigued, cloudy-thinking and even sickly. Our organs run on oxygen so it’s really important to B-R-E-A-T-H-E! Keep breathing, Martha! Love, Juliana

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