Like many of you, I needed to take some time to find my footing in these uncertain times. After a few days of finding myself constantly wanting to check the news, waiting for some new terror to appear, and feeling brokenhearted for the world, I decided that it was time to get back into the land of the living and get started on what gives me a reason to get up every day…finding ways to help you fine people breathe and BLOOM!
Learning to Breathe
I have been getting requests for a digital series, and so I am working on that for you all currently. I want to create a digital space where everyone and anyone can come and breathe together. Breathing is our lifeblood. It’s what connects us all, our need for air. It is the single most immediate physical need we all have. You can go without food, water, shelter, or love for a little while…but oxygen…minutes at best. Despite this, modern life has made it so that we all have forgotten how to properly perform this most basic and urgent function.
This #coronavirus is highlighting our lungs and respiratory systems, reminding us what’s essential. We need clean air. We can’t survive without caring for the needs of each other. Even if you don’t believe that you will be in physical danger from the viral explosion, (in which case you would be mistaken as data now shows) your choice to stay in reduces the risk to others. It will allow healthcare workers and hospital systems a fighting chance. It will help make care available to others who are vulnerable and may need it, like your friend who’s pregnant, your grandfather on chemotherapy, or your neighbor who just got into a car accident. Each of our choices now has a wide-reaching ripple effect, and the unintended benefit of a global pandemic is that it reminds us just how important we all are to each other.
So here’s my advice for today, it’s an adult-version of stop, drop and roll.
STOP. Take a moment and become present to your body and your surroundings.
DROP. Whatever you are doing, drop it. Put your phone down, go to a quiet corner of your home, if possible, away from others. If you can’t do this due to home isolation, invite them to join you and magnify your positive efforts!
BREATH. Turn your awareness to your breath. Close your eyes if you can, it helps tune out external distractions.
All of that work, all of those words, all of those thoughts–all of it can just wait. Unless you’re also in the midst of life-saving surgical procedures, it can all just wait. You will do everything you are trying to do better if you show up calm and with your full self.
Focus on lengthening your inhalation and extending your exhalation.
If you can, inhale for a count of 1-2-3-4, and exhale for a count of 1-2-3-4-5-6.
The numbers aren’t important, but the ratio is. As long as your inhalations and exhalations are longer than normal, you’re doing it right. If you can manage to make your exhale longer than your inhale, you are receiving even more benefits.
Try this at least once a day, and preferably three times. In the morning before you get out of bed and start your day, in the afternoon when things get nutty, and in the evening when you are winding down to relax. Your body will thank you.
Until next time BLOOMers, and as always, you are in my heart and prayers. Be well.