Take A Deep Breath

Take a deep breath.

Now let it all the way out.

Take a deep breath in, breathing in the Spirit of God.

Now breathe out and feel the tension leaving your body with your breath.

This is how many guided meditations begin.  Breath is, literally, life.  Becoming aware of my breath and learning to use it to connect with the divine has been a life-long journey for me.

When I am tense or nervous, I feel my breath coming in short, uncomfortable spurts.  My body systems become oxygen-starved and my performance suffers.

When I am relaxed and aware and mindful, my breathing is slow and steady.  I remember to fill my lungs with each breath in and empty them completely with each breath out.  I can feel the oxygen swirling through my body, carried everywhere by my bloodstream.

Meditation has helped me to notice my breathing.  Whether it is through listening to the words of a guided meditation or focusing on a verse of scripture or just sitting in silence, I have grown to appreciate my breath.

Now, when I am somewhere and the atmosphere becomes tense, I remember to breathe.  I find that I do not have to fall victim to the tension in the room.  I am learning to control my physical and emotional responses by keeping my breath steady and slow.  When I feel myself tensing up, my shoulders knotting, my head pounding, a few deep, cleansing breaths carry me to a more relaxed state.

My awareness of my breathing is tied in with prayer, somehow.  When I force myself to slow my breath, a little Scripture verse often pops into my head.  “Peace I leave with you.” or “Trust in the Lord with all your heart.” or “Renew a right spirit within me.”  Through practicing memorizing these verses along with breathing slowly, the two practices have become linked together somewhere in my mind.

I sometimes forget to think about my breath when I am in a tense or uncomfortable or frightening situation.  But, when I do remember to control my breathing, it changes everything.  My breathing becomes calm, I become calm, I see things more clearly, I feel God’s presence with me, and I know that everything will work out okay in the end.  When I breathe slowly and deeply, I can meet even particularly dark circumstances with a sense of peace and calm.  I am not perfect at this yet, but I am see that I am making progress.  All it takes is practice.

Take a deep breath.

Now let it all the way out.

Take a deep breath in, breathing in the Spirit of God.

Now breathe out and feel the tension leaving your body with your breath.

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One thought on “Take A Deep Breath

  1. Thais for sharing your cataract experiences.
    I am having my first removed on Monday and am terrified.
    I totally relate to your comments about losing the ability to see close up.
    That frightens me most, I wonder if I am crazy to have this surgery. But my vision is worse and worse, my right eye can barely make out more than shapes, except very very close. I’ve never worn glasses and don’t want to risk the premium lenses which my doctor advises against. Overwhelmed, feel quite hopeless with fear. Your blog is wonderful. I appreciate reading about your experience. It gives me hope. I will be thinking of you on Monday. And the little piece of plastic that you saw on the floor!

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