Our greatest gift is breath. It is available in any moment. In every moment. Begin to take regular pauses in your day. Maybe when you eat or prepare food. Or if in the previous lesson, you identified a time during your day when you become ungrounded, that is the time to practice. Pause and take 3 deep breaths. Bring your awareness from the busyness of your day and mind to the present moment.
First breath: just breathe.
Second breath: notice any tension in the body or mind.
Third breath: release the tension.
Physically release the place in the body where you are holding tension (belly, shoulders, jaw, the space between the brows).
When something positive or healing happens in your day, pause and take the 3 breaths, fully enjoying the experience without grasping at it. Breathe it in and let it be.
When you begin to make conscious breathing a practice, soon you will be able to employ it during times of struggle. It might not change the fear you feel, but the awareness of feeling that fear, acknowledging there is no real threat and releasing the tension will draw back your personal power.
Likewise, breathing into moments of positive experiences, invites more awareness of positivity in your day.
When pain was a daily companion, I took the words of beloved Buddhist teacher Thich Nhat Hanh, “I have noticed that people are dealing too much with the negative, with what is wrong. … Why not try the other way, to look into the patient and see positive things, to just touch those things and make them bloom?” and I applied them to my physical pain.
I sat on my front step and scanned my body. It's easy, when you are in pain, to focus on the pain. This is like putting a spotlight on it. Instead, I searched my body for a place that didn't hurt — where I had no sensation. Some days that took awhile. Nope, that hurts. No, that too. But eventually I'd find a spot, even if I worked all the way down to my left baby toe.
Then I would keep my full attention on that toe. Before long, I noticed my pain subsided in other areas. I found the positive and rested with it, allowing it to bloom.
Find the positive in your body or day and breathe with it. Allow it to bloom. Even if it is your left baby toe.