Tag Archives: breath

“As Long As You Are Breathing”

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As I went through my own struggle with my health issues this past year it was difficult to think of anything else except what I was going through. Bringing myself into a place of mindfulness that reminded me that I wasn’t living now and that I can’t ever get this time back took a conscious effort.

In Full Catastrophe Living, Jon Kabat-Zinn writes, “As long as you are breathing, there is more right with you than there is wrong, no matter how ill or how hopeless you may feel.”

He goes onto say:

“When we’re ill, we obsess about what’s going wrong in the body. We don’t think about the fact that since we’re alive virtually everything in the body is going right! And when we’re healthy, how often do we celebrate our good health? Hardly ever, for most of us.

So I’m going to suggest that you devote more mental space to celebrating and rejoicing in the ordinary things that are going right, and that you’re doing right, in your life.

-When you’re driving, notice that you’re driving with care and attention, and celebrate this. Say to yourself things like “Yay, me!”

-When you’re reading, pause once in a while and rejoice in the fact that you can read. (As a father whose oldest child is only just beginning to stumble through reading primers, I’m at the stage of recognizing how amazing this is.)

-Notice that you’re conscious. What an amazing thing that is! No one has the faintest idea what consciousness is — how matter interacting with matter can create this thing called “experience.” You’re a miracle!

-Pause and celebrate your good health. Say “thank you” to your body. If you’re in bad health, rejoice in the fact that your body is forever trying to heal itself, and that most things in your body are in fact functioning.

-Celebrate having access to clean drinking water, clean air, food.

-Celebrate having clothing and having possessions. If you’re poor and live in the developed world, you’re probably still richer than 90% of the world’s population.

-Celebrate family and friends.

-Celebrate the fact that you’re alive.

-Celebrate that you’re able to celebrate.

“My Well Intended Day”

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It’s easy enough to get out of bed with the right intentions of making the best out of my day. But wait! It first takes a moment of conscious effort, to know what it is I want, before the wheels of intention can start spinning. But wait! Even more important than that, it all begins with awakening. “Smile, breathe, and go slowly,” I hear the quote of-Thich Nhat Hanh playing in my head. But just as my thoughts are written in a reverse manor. I would turn the quote around at the beginning of my awakening and ‘go slowly.’ ‘Breathing’ in the breath of life. Breathing out the whispered words of praise and thanksgiving for another day. How could I not ‘smile’ as my intentions of the day had already been set in motion simple through the awareness of my awakening. 
Now the quote is put back in its proper place as I start the rest of my day with a ‘smile,’ and use my ‘breathe’ to keep my focus. I “go…slowly” with the intention of making the best of my day.

The work begins the moment I walk through the doorway of my bedroom. It is the world of distractions that I must face. It’s within the choices I make that my day will be determined. The first thought that comes to mind that starts the tug-a-war inside is, “should I turn the news on as I eat my breakfast?” My inner voice says “no”, my ego says “yes! We need to know what’s going on in the world.” I will refocus when I go into my sacred space after I eat, I tell myself. The negativity begins as I watch the news, read the paper, then onto the internet. If only I could focus on the few good things I see, but the cloud of negativity has begun to overshadow it. With coffee in hand and hope in my heart I head to my special room. As I light my candle to set the mood, I wonder why we humans so easily do the very thing we know we shouldn’t? As I try to quiet my mind for prayer I can’t get the news out of my mind. Like a wall across my path, its blocking my way. Entertaining the thoughts only makes it worse, “Breath,” I hear that voice inside me, but the ego wants to entertain all the things that make me frustrated, anger, and anxious. “Breathe,” I hear the voice again. Closing my eyes, I slowly breath in and out until I’m able to let the thoughts pass through me, and my intentions of the day come back into view. The ‘smile’ returns as I remember the focus my ‘breathing’ brings into play, and I’m reminded of how much easier it is to stay on track when I simple ‘go slowly,’ mindfully remembering what a gift I’ve been given today.

“Enthusiasm”

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Today’s reading talked about “enthusiasm.” I learned a new word I’ve never used before ‘etymology.’ It’s not a definition for a word but an explanation of what our words meant and how they sounded 600 or 2000 years ago. So I learned that the etymology of the Greek word “enthusiasm” literally means the breathing of the divine within.

“So when we are enthused, we are breathing spirit into what we do from the breath of our divine nature.” -Rev. Katherine Saux

What a great lesson to learn at the start of our holiday season. To be excited and enthused means we have to choose to embrace it rather then simple seeing all the work that it entails. All the hustle & bustle becomes fun the way it’s meant to be. Remembering the reason for the season, it’s all about giving, touching and loving one another.

The beauty that comes from our enthusiasm is the joy it creates in our selfless giving. Yet what we give of ourselves always comes back to us. It’s the gift that never stops giving. How can we go wrong when we’re breathing in the divine with each enthusiastic thing we do. I know from my own experience that it’s a life changing gift to receive. All we have to do is choose this instead of that. The question we need to ask ourselves is, why would you want to experience anything less?

“Sunday’s With Ollie”

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I can smell when other people are sick, but I can’t tell them what’s wrong. We dogs have certain smells too that are indicators that something is wrong with us. We can’t tell you that we have a rotten tooth, kidney disease or liver problems, but our breath and actions speak for us if you’re paying attention.

My Connie’s always saying how bad my breath is. She has tried to brush my teeth, but I’m sorry, I don’t like it, so I won’t let her. She sometimes buys me treats that are suppose to help clean them, but instead of gnawing on them the way I’m supposed to, I practically swallow them whole, they taste so good. She’s been putting off taking me to the vet for a teeth cleaning because she knows how much I hate going to the vet. I think too that she’s afraid to find out that there might be something wrong with me. It’s called denial.

I guess just like aging human’s, us old dogs have to go into the body shop once in a while for an overhaul too. I suppose I should look at my Connie as an example, if she can do it I guess I can as well. It helps having your favorite person by your side to comfort you. Plus The vet speaks dog language, and can interpret for you, what we dogs can’t say in words.

I think I’ll take a nap now. When I awake the entire thought and worry will be gone as if it never took place. Hot diggity dog, I’m glad God made me a dog.