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.
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.
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.