Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Don't Forget to Breathe
"I open my palm and my lifelines look like branches from an Aspen tree, and there are songbirds perched on the tips of my fingers, and I wonder if Beethoven held his breath the first time his fingers touched the keys the same way a soldier holds his breath the first time his finger clicks the trigger. We all have different reasons for forgetting to breathe. But please let my lungs remember."
When I read this, I thought about the first time that I was told to "breathe". I'm pretty sure it was in yoga class and I remember thinking to myself, "Is this woman crazy? Of course I'm going to breathe. I have to in order to survive.". It was after the instructor talked to us about awareness and that we do indeed hold our breath when under pressure that I began to revise my thinking. I've become much more aware of how I breathe and when I hold my breath and how mindfully breathing can calm me. Every morning I have established a bit of a ritual. As you likely all can imagine, I find mornings stressful after the exercise and the breakfast are over. They seem to be filled with a multitude of details that need attending to before I can get to work. Pack my lunch, brush my teeth, choose my outfit and accessories, find my mittens, charge my blackberry....and on it goes. As I'm putting on my watch, I always stop and take a deep breath and tell myself that I can face the day no matter what it brings. I'm not sure when I started this ritual but I find it helps center me and brings me a feeling of calmness even if that calmness only lasts for a few seconds.
Don't forget to breathe.