In January of this year, with full joy, I launched a book on the breath entitled, Give Us This Day Our Daily Breath: Weekly Breathing Spaces to Delight, Rest and Reflect In“. It was a birth that had been in gestation for quite a long while…and the actual delivery left me filled with grace and a joyful satisfaction that I had courageously said YES to what I am passionate about without holding back.
For me, it was an action of awareness. Awareness that I had something to share with the world that every single person could benefit from. This action of awareness has taken me into the joys of writing and sharing with essentially abandon to the process of creation. Mining the depths of something that continually fascinates and feeds me – the breath – and expanding that passion to other areas of interest is a “practice of awareness in the moment”.
Just today I received an e-mail from a dear friend which moved me to write this post. Below is an excerpted part of what she wrote to me and a portion of my response.
“I don’t know if I told you but I carried your book in my bag for a long time. I would read it at work or in the evenings when I was home and had more time to savor the delightful passages. My issue is that I get started on a breathing/meditation program but the enthusiasm only lasts for a couple of weeks or months; then I taper off and before long I have stopped my practice. “ R.B.
“I have a bias R. To me any “breathing exercise” or “technique” is really only beneficial if it creates a state of being consciously aware of a full embodied breath from moment to moment. There are many breath techniques that can be immensely beneficial, however are they sustainable and do they shift our awareness to be present in our daily moments of living?
I have learned to simply take 5 minute (or less) “breath breaks” scattered throughout the day to check in. Scanning the body brings awareness to any tension in the body, holding of the breath, or shallow breathing….. without judgement. Taking a few fully engaged breaths expanding and releasing all of the primary breathing muscles – diaphragm, intercostal (between the ribs) and abdominal, reminds me of being present NOW no matter what is happening, and allows me to feel alive not just in my mind! The body loves this attention!!
This breath practice of awareness has now become a “habit” in my tool bag that I carry with me everywhere. I say, if the breath allows us to be more present in the moment to what is happening, and deepens our participation and awareness in that moment, then it has done it’s job (more than merely keeping us alive that is..:-) What a great tool to enliven our life moments!” G. A.
FOR BREATH IS LIFE, AND IF YOU BREATHE WELL YOU WILL LIVE LONG ON EARTH – Sanskrit Proverb
Give Us This Day Our Daily Breath Preview, Reviews, and links to purchase can be found here:
OTHER BLOGS BY GAYE ABBOTT: