I wrote in an earlier post about tiny habits. Small, easily accomplished habits, which we attach to other habits we have already acquired. One tiny habit I started a couple years ago is still going strong. I start my day taking five deep, lung stretching breaths as I gaze out my bathroom window. In the process I remind myself to be in the moment… not thinking about what needs to be done , or beating myself up for a myriad of weaknesses. Just “be”. As a singer, this breathing exercise has beneficial consequences. And it fills my bloodstream with oxygen, which for a human being is helpful.
One day, as I stood at the window, weeping as I inhaled, grieving at the death of my friend who is like a sister, Cindy, I had a little epiphany. I kind of think it might have been Cindy communicating with me, but that’s not essential to know. I had found myself hyperventilating, trying to inhale, filling my lungs as full as possible. Standing there, my chest puffed out, my eyes all swollen and red, this little thought came to mind as I stared out over the wooded hollow:
EXHALE is as IMPORTANT as INHALE.
I felt Cindy, and my mom who had passed the year before, both whispering that I needed to let go as much as I needed to acquire. And so I began focusing as much on the slow exhale as I focused on the steady inhale.
In life as in breath – we achieve balance – Qi – peace – when we release things that are no longer useful to us. Spent air, with its oxygen depleted, needs to not only leave; sometimes it needs to be pushed out!
In all aspects of our lives: physical, emotional, spiritual, it is my HOPE that my children, and others whom I love, will raise their consciousness … that I will raise MY consciousness…of things, ideas, beliefs and other spent items, so that I free myself up for a good healthy inhale to follow.
During the season of Lent I make the personal commitment to write every day. I’ve done this for the past eight years, as a token of devotion and thanks to the Lord for giving me a brain that works (usually). I publish these writings here on my blog, unedited and splattered like wet paint, as a way to share them and to keep them for myself and for my posterity. This year I have decided to ruminate on thoughts, ideas, habits and miscellaneous personal practices I would like to put in a figurative HOPE CHEST to take with me into the rest of my life and the life beyond. Besides that, there are bits of advice I would like to tuck into the HOPE CHESTS of my kids and grandkids.