I was recently reminded how powerful one simple breath can be. I was in the middle of my work day. Crazed, of course. I happened to pop onto instagram to post a recent blog picture and this prompt appeared in my feed: “Pause. Look up from your phone. Breathe In.” Unflinchingly, I obeyed. I put my phone down. I closed my eyes. I took one purposeful breath and the energy around me shifted in a magical way. I was calm. I love moments like these. Life often surprises us in a magical way. We just have to be open to receiving it.
I don’t usually associate social media with mindful, inspiring moments. Let’s be honest. It can be mind-numbing and life-sucking. It can stir up a bunch of negative emotions as we ohhhh and ahhh over everyone’s seemingly perfect lives (gentle reminder that life is not perfect. Its just that most people don’t share their crap on facebook). I digress.
So, I was psyched about my experience. My mindful moment. I actually giggled at the fact that I so institutionally obeyed the this instagram picture’s prompt. I am still trying to figure out if that is a good thing or a bad thing. What am I sure of? The result was by all means positive. I was reminded of the power of my breath. Just one breath. It totally chilled me out.
I think meditation can be really overwhelming for most people. I get it. We struggle to find the time to fit it in and then, when we do, we end up sitting there, in a quiet room, breathing and judging ourselves because we don’t feel like we are doing it right. Our mind races. We wait for “something” spiritual to happen. We get bored. I could go on.
Don’t get me wrong. I am not poo-pooing meditation. I actually love it. I find it to be very helpful and grounding. I use it often in my day to day life and that is the important message here. I have found that meditation doesn’t mean you have to sit in silence for a prolonged period of time. It can be as simple as ONE cleansing breath. You can meditate anywhere. At any time. Give it a try.
Stop what you are doing and take one really awesome breath. Notice how your body feels. Your mind. If you are feeling adventurous. Take another breath. Maybe even three.
You can do this in your office. When you are walking down the street. When you are stuck in traffic or trying to fall asleep. You can do this when you are annoyed with someone (it happens). You can do this when you are angry (this also happens). You can do this when your kids are freaking out (in these moments…I often recommend that my kid do the same–and he, in turn has reminded me to take a deep breath when I am freaking out).
The point is. Meditation can be as simple as taking one deep breath. You can feel a slew of wildly amazing benefits from that one breath. If that little voice in your head says “I can’t meditate. I am not good at it”. Take one deep breath and congratulate yourself. You just did it. And, you did it well. Swim in the goodness that one breath offers you. Considering it feels so good–you may even do it again.
Breathing is free. Do it often.
Inhaling Gratitude. Exhaling the Ick.
Enjoy your week!