Recently I attended the Breathe weekend up at The Haven.
The program was perfectly timed to fit between meetings and the start of a Come Alive. What better way to get prepared for leading a program than breathing!
I knew I would enjoy the weekend. I love the wisdom of Linda Nicholls and though we get to spend time together in meetings – we rarely are together in programs.
The weekend more than met my expectations. Thus the reason I am now writing about the program.
Breathing is so simple. It’s free. It’s healing. Yet, when I ask people how often they take the time to consciously breathe deeply – the answer is usually – rarely or not at all.
Some share that they meditate or do some sort of mindfulness practice – but that isn’t quite the same in my view. Sure it is something and valuable. But does not always involve breathing deeply.
I know how valuable breathing deeply can be and though I would say I am a pretty committed to some type of regular practice – I often miss a day or more – when life gets busy. I will often put my exercise routine before just breathing. (Again exercise and consciously breathing are not the same!!!)
Though I say I want to be alive – aliveness is not always comfortable! often I consciously or unconsciously opt for comfort, control and certainty – over aliveness and uncertainty!
To drop my jaw and breathe deeply and fully (for those unfamiliar with Haven breathing – I mean taking a full deep breathe through an open mouth). This does open me up for feeling more. There is no guarantee that means feeling good, happy or satisfied. Often these days if can mean feeling my fear, my sorrow, my rage or my pain.
Sometimes I am not so willing.
There were many nuggets of wisdom offered during the weekend program. Linda does have a way of integrating science, poetry and experiences that allow for the mind, the body and the breathe to mix and play well together!
Myself, I loved the breathing. Being re-introduced to a variety of ways to deepen my own practice and having lots of time – I believe three blocks of 45 to 55 minutes of just breathing.
Breathing deeply demands a conscious choice – my will and my willingness to loosen my control and be vulnerable.
Pills and other measures are often more predictable in terms of eliminating symptoms or easing suffering.
However, aliveness isn’t really predictable.
I am not saying give up on prescriptions, exercise, meditating or whatever it is you or I do to find some comfort and ease in this human experience – I am though encouraging you to consider spending a little more time and attention on just breathing!
It’s free. Drop that jaw and take a deep full breathe. (Highly recommend doing this more than just once!)
I came away with the intention to take twenty minutes each day and just breathe. I am enjoying the practice! Life is richer and more vibrant as a result!
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