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.
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