I took a deep breath and listened to the old bray of my heart. I am. I am. I am.
– Sylvia Plath
Life gives us so many opportunities to practice acceptance, understanding and peace. Coming to peace with the moment as it is can take some practice. Begin by reminding yourself that only this moment exists and to live life from this sacred space and not in the past or future.
Let us practice being here now. The easiest, fastest way to become present is to focus on your breath. Also, listen, look, feel, smell and take in your surroundings. At this moment for me there is piano being played beautifully by a visitor upstairs, there is a gentle breeze coming in the window and a fresh smell that comes with it. There is peaceful art and vibrant plants that surround my desk. By taking notice of my breath and my surroundings I am instantly grounded, centered and present. Even in a crowded plane or a busy street we can find calm simply by focusing on the breath.
You are reading this now, but I ask you to pause for a moment. Close your eyes now and take a deep breath. Notice any resistance. Did you close yours and focus on a nice deep breath? It not let’s do it again now. Notice how perhaps the mind wants to rush the process and get on with the next moment. A long deep breath is like a meditation. Notice if you are met with resistance when you mindfully breathe. Practice this through your day. This is a helpful behavior to program. The power of the breath is profound. Proper breathing brings much needed oxygen to the brain, organs and cells. Deep slow breaths calm the nervous system. When I am having a panicky moment I count as I inhale and exhale. (Inhale 1, 2, 3, 4. Exhale 1, 2, 3, 4.) The counting gives my mind a task to distract myself and the breathing tells the body I am safe and all is well.