Breathe In Breathe Out

I have always had a precarious relationship with breathing.  My very first breaths were problematic, or so I have been told.  My childhood and school years were punctuated by asthmatic episodes; I toted quick response meds as regularly as pencils and erasers.  Thankfully the constant challenges to breathe subsided in adulthood; however, I quickly remember those sensations when, like today, I wrestle with some virus that turns each inhale into a litany of spastic hacks and coughs.

Oh the reassurance of a deep, unhindered breath!

It enthuses the day with hopeful expanse.

It reinforces the essential rhythm of life.

It roots me deeply in the present moment.

It raises my chin and nudges me a connecting smile.

In our dispersed community of contemplative companions, named Selah, we desire to pause and nurture contemplative living with Jesus.  One of the regular, simple practices that supports this desire is simply pausing and focusing my attention on my breathing…whatever state it happens to be in at the time.  Disconnecting from everything else that spins and swirls around the moment…drawing my attention to what is going on in my body right here and right now…I settle in and direct my focus to breathing.

Breathe in.

Breathe out.

It reminds me that I am right here in this moment.

It reminds me what is essential in this moment.

Receiving the inflow of life.

Releasing what no longer supports life.

Inevitably I end up reconnecting much deeper with the Giver of All Breath and with this present moment where life is and is in its fullness.

Breathe in.

Breathe out.

It’s that spontaneous.

It’s that accessible.

It’s that life-giving.

So be it.

Peace and love – and ample deep breaths – to you today.

 

 

Unfolding in Presence

I don’t know about you but I was a little startled the other day realizing that Thanksgiving dawns in a mere week.  This morning I stared out the kitchen window at the falling rain and noted that I keep waiting for that shimmery “we’re entering the holiday season!” feeling.  I generally love this season….the juxtaposition of Life in both the dark and the light suits me very well….but this year that love will extend from a different space inside me.  I’m entering this season in an unusual way for me.  Not so shimmery.  Yet, awakened.  I felt peaceful, grounded on the path toward Thanksgiving in that watching-the-rain-fall moment.  Accepting what is present in this time instead of waiting for how it’s been before is allowing me to wonder how I might experience the coming weeks in ways I haven’t before.  And as Advent approaches, I cannot help but hold the question — as Life unfolded into the world, how might Life be unfolding me?

I wonder where you are with this season?