Breathe deeply. I’m sure you have heard these words spoken many times before – whether it is during a yoga class, on a walk in nature or even to yourself in a forced moment of pause so you don’t lose it on your kids.
The breath is THE tool that can instantly transform any moment.
Human beings are unique in that we can breath both automatically and volitionally – meaning we can make a conscious choice of how and when we decide to breathe. And the ability to bypass automatic breathing has some pretty incredible effects:
- improved focus, concentration, calmness and emotional ease
- additional synchrony between brain areas
- access to parts of our brain not normally available under conscious control
And deep conscious breaths can actually change the brain! The performance of the anterior cingulate, premotor, insular and hippocampal cortices are all enhanced – meaning that our self-awareness, perception, decision making, memory and access to empathy and our emotions are all greatly improved.
My practice with the conscious breath has created seismic shifts in my day to day life and opened portals into new levels of awareness and depth in my relationships.
Interested in also experiencing this? Why not start right now. Sit tall. Relax your body. And take a few deep, full, expansive, life affirming breaths. How does it feel? What do you notice?
Can you make this a regular practice in your day? Here is a Pro Breathing Tip – schedule 2-3 one minute meetings in your day with yourself in your phone. Set the Alert at the time of the event and put the repeat to Daily.
And after a couple of days, send me a note and tell me what you’ve experienced. I guarantee it will be incredible.
This week I am in Joshua Tree, California attending the 2019 Global Inspiration Conference (GIC) – a gathering for breathworkers from around the world. There are more than 25 countries represented and 250 incredible breathwork facilitators sharing their teachings, ideas and gifts. Pure magic.
I wanted to share some words from a master teacher Jessica Dibb that touched my heart and moved me deeply. This, to me, expresses the essence of the breath so beautifully.
Every cell of this body
Every feeling of this heart
Every thought of this mind
Every atom of this soul
Every action of this lifetime
This sacred Breath.
May you be inspired to breathe consciously today.
A couple of weeks ago I sent out an email called The Fundamental Practice – which speaks to the art of slowing down. I’m curious if that newsletter resonated with you? Have you been able to be a little more purposeful in these past several days about pausing and just being in the moment?
Maybe you find that difficult to do. Maybe it is your intention, but the next thing you know the whole day has flown by and each moment was jam packed. Happens to me all the time.
So I am going share a little secret that helps me. And you need just 3 things:
- a moment of your time
- a pen
- several sticky notes
This is what you do, write the word BREATHE on a bunch of your sticky notes. Then I want you to put one on your computer, one on your bathroom mirror, one on your coffee machine, one in your car. Put one wherever you are regularly in your day.
And when you see this note, start to train yourself to take one conscious breath. 2 breaths. 3 breaths.
That is all it takes, 3 conscious breaths to slow down the sympathetic nervous system. In less than 20 seconds you can drop into a sense of calmness and presence.
Try it and notice if your capacity to slow down, even just 5% more in your day starts to happen. Take some pictures of your sticky notes and post them on my Facebook page. I guarantee the effect will be nothing short of magic.
Are you someone who is super busy, working, creating, being on and running from here to there? I’m guessing yes. In my world, time often feels like it is sped up and that there is so much to do all the time. Sound familiar?
But here is what I know. In order for you to truly connect with yourself and your essence, there has to be a willingness to slow down.
Slowing down is hard. We resist it. We often actually keep ourselves busy on purpose. Why?
In my experience, the reason we don’t like to slow down is that we actually start to feel things and recognize where we are out of balance. Where we are out of integrity. Where we are not in our centre,. Where we do things that don’t feel aligned. We start to feel the places where we experience shame. That we are disconnected from. That we judge.
It all comes up.
So that is why we keep busy – to escape feeling all of these things.
But as you and I both know, the reality is that if we don’t slow down, we can’t grow, we can’t evolve as a humans. We will never bloom into our full potential unless we are intentional about meet ourselves exactly where we are. And to do this, the basic fundamental practice is to slow down.
Right now, take a deep breath in and slowly exhale out. When you slow down your breathing, you relax the central nervous system and begin to change your brain wave state. You activate the parasympathetic nervous system which sends a message to your being that it is ok to rest. Ok to let go. Ok to open. Ok to receive.
Take a few more deep breaths – right into your belly. What are you experiencing? Can you sense a willingness to drop in and feel more connected to the world? To surrender into this moment into something much greater than you and your busy-ness? How does that feel? The present moment is the only moment we can truly be alive. It is your presence that is the greatest gift to humanity – not what you do but who you are.
I hope you can feel it – the magnificence of you simply being.
On Monday I received the heartbreaking news that a good friend of mine suddenly fell very ill and is in the ICU. The unexpectedness of her illness has hit me quite hard and I’ve been experiencing many waves of sadness over the past couple of days.
I’ve also felt called to drop deeply into my body to feel and experience her in her aliveness. To pause and just let myself feel everything – the emotions and the sensations that become available in a moment of presence. As is said, life is indeed precious. Pausing, sensing and just being makes me feel more connected to my dear friend.
It is easy to take life for granted. I do it all the time – life is happening, often like a whirlwind and rarely slows down. And it is often only when there is some terrible misfortune that we briefly acknowledge how fragile life is.
I invite you today to drop in and appreciate your life, your body, your capacity to have a human experience simply because you are a miracle and are worth honouring.
- Sit in a quiet place where you feel comfortable and close your eyes.
- Take a few deep breaths, inhale through the nose and sigh out through the mouth. When you feel more relaxed and settled, come to breathing in and out through the nose.
- Notice now, how you are feeling…. how you are doing right now in this moment.
- How does your body feel? Scan your body for a moment now, starting at your feet, simply noticing how your body is feeling. Continue scanning your body, moving upward until you reach the crown of the head.
- Visualize that your crown is opening and above you is a beautiful column of light. Receive this light in your body from the crown. This light is filled with the luminous qualities of appreciation, gratitude and honouring.
- Let this light, like liquid honey, pour into you – filling every part of you from the head all the way to the feet. Notice what this feels like. Create even more potency by using conscious breath to activate the healing qualities of this light.
- When you are full take your hands to your crown and stroke/touch the entire body as a blessing. Enjoy.
- Finish with a few deep breaths and when you are ready, open your eyes.
If you enjoyed this meditation, why not call a friend and offer to guide them through experience this as a gift of recognition for their presence in your life. If you do, I’d love to know how it was received. Just hit reply to this email so we can connect.