Breath of Life
Breath of Life …we come into our life as a tiny baby launched into taking that first breath. As we leave this temporary body… we take that last Breath of Life! Baby Jesus did the same long ago. Every human being that has ever lived on our planet earth began with the Breath of Life!
Let’s all breathe deeply…
The magnificent holiday season is coming to that big day we have all been anticipating. If we have our TV on, or if we are in the stores, we are bombarded with visuals convincing us there is MORE we need or have to do! We are compounding that stress as we get home and find our own list. We are in those last days of making sure we have everything so perfect, that sometimes we are oblivious to the messages our body is trying to share with us! We feel bodily stressed, but our mind is making it even worse. So, what can we do?
Lately I’ve been trying to remind myself to stop, sit, take a deep breath, gently touch my heart, and visualize my most relaxing place in full gratitude threaded with love. It moves peaceful feelings into my heart, and my brain sends that to my body. It takes 3 minutes, but I find I need at least 10. Perhaps you are like me and need a little nudge and reminder that I am PERFECT the way I am, everyone around me is perfect in their own way, and all is well! I surrender control, let the Universe take over…God is always there in love.
I am quoting today from a small little book, The Daily Relaxer by Matthew McKay, PhD and Patrick Fanning. I found it lying on a table in Barnes & Noble awhile back as I was in the bookstore doing some early Christmas shopping and it literally jumped out at me to buy it! I didn’t know the author or anything much about it, but it spoke to me. I found out that the author is a Psychologist from California that specializes in the behavioral treatment of anxiety and depression. It was designed to be read a few short pages at a time. It’s great! It is packed with some great simple and quick exercises. Breath work is interwoven into all of them!
Breath work has been a part of my daily routine for so many years that I’ve forgotten where I learned all of the techniques. Every ancient health practice such as meditation, yoga, Tai Chi, or Qi Gong uses them. All of the energy medicine gurus talk about the healthy breathing practices. I built them in my daily routine, especially when I was healing. I wrote about that breath work in our book, The Light GAP: God’s Amazing Presence. I find myself talking about breathing practices following my Reconnective Healing Sessions because so many want to know what they can do at home to facilitate more healing. Meditation is TOP on my list, but my meditations are always preceded by breathing exercises! Go back to our book and re-read pages 193-196. I found almost all of these in this little book too…coincidence? No, they work. This different cover is found at Amazon. New it’s way to expensive, but there are used ones for CHEAP. It all appears to be the very same book!
Breath of Life is spiritual in nature when we realize the beauty of creation by God. Our bodies were created to be incredibly intelligent.
“Breath is a necessity of life. Each breath you take is a small miracle of chemistry and physics, yet most people never think about breathing…they take the everyday miracle of breathing for granted. Take a moment to pay grateful attention to the breath of life: Like all movement in your body, breathing is powered by a muscle – your diaphragm. ” ~ Matthew McKay, PhD
We are sucking in that vital oxygen and expelling carbon dioxide with each breath. Blood flow carries the oxygen to every area of our body. Deep breathing starts down low in the belly. We need to breathe through the nose first expanding the belly. Then we use the diaphragm to launch the breath up through the lungs, holding the breath, and blowing it out through our slightly open mouth a little at a time. Your body immediately relaxes. In meditation, doing this 4 -5 times is optimal to calm the mind and the body.
“When you’re under stress, you tend to tense your stomach muscles, interfering with the full, natural movement of your diaphragm. You may compensate by ‘chest breathing’ – making up for the limited range of diaphragm movement by using your shoulder and chest muscles to expand your rib cage. This is an inefficient way of breathing that further increases your tension!” ~ Matthew McKay, PhD
He reminds us to tell ourselves, “I can relax myself this way any time I want.”
It’s also good to remember that we are responsible for what our mind is thinking at all times. Change your thoughts, change your mind! That is where closing your eyes and imagining that beautiful restful place I mentioned above really helps! Here’s one of the places I imagine. Not that I can be at the beach, but I know I am peaceful there and I can relax! I chose this photo because the color purple really relaxes me too and I totally LOVE sunsets!
“It’s possible that you can learn to relax your body, yet still never achieve true calmness. That’s because within thirty seconds, stressful thinking can undo the effects of any relaxation exercise. You must learn to live in the moment, by surrendering your anxious thoughts to moments of peaceful reflection and rhythmic breathing. Calming your mind is a necessary step to lasting stress relief.” ~ Matthew McKay PhD
We know that all of you will have a wonderful and beautiful holiday because you are already wonderful and beautiful inside! You can relax in peace…