No one taught me in my youth the importance of mindful breathing. When I was in school there was no class on how magical breathing is. I remember noticing my breath at the end of a run, or when I was crying over a broken heart, or yelling out of frustration. When I turned forty, I had my first guided breathing meditation experience. I took a 21-day meditation challenge, and it forever changed my life.
When we pause to take a guided breath, we have an instant and personal experience in our body, mind, heart, and soul. It brings everything into the present. In the present moment, the past and the future come together. It invites us to sit with all our stuff. Some people will run from their stuff, not ready to sort through it, sift it, forgive it, love it, and be at peace with it. And that’s OKAY. However, when we constantly run, we give our power over to the “stuff”. If we can sit daily with our breath and breathe long and deep, we give space for the stuff to be felt. It allows us to feel the tender parts of our body, heart, mind, and soul. Our heart opens to deep moments of feeling that at first might cause the eyes to leak tears. We might feel sensitivity for the physical body and its aging process. We might notice our very active mind as it chases thoughts like a dog chases its tail. We might have a deep connection with God and experience our vulnerability. We might feel anger, grief or overwhelm. However, the longer we breathe, everything just might melt into a deep kind of love, peace, and connection to all that is and will ever be. We might experience a state of wholeness in our evolving human life. At least this has been my experience. It has not always been easy, but I can honestly say, I can look at the past with no attachment to the experiences that once caused me to suffer. I can look to the future and be at peace with what is yet to come. Most importantly, I can be present in the here and now and enjoy this day. Until something pushes a button that reminds me, “I still have work to do.” Perfect, no…. learning, yes.
Our stuff shapes our journey, and our journey becomes our message to the world. When we learn we rise. When we rise, we break free from our stuff. I am thankful for all the stuff in my life that has shaped me into the me of today. I like the me of today.