The Path of Opening

Angel Oak Tree in Angel Oak Park, on Johns Island, Southern Carolina.
Angel Oak Tree in Angel Oak Park, on Johns Island, Southern Carolina.

“The person who breathes deep and easy, who holds minimal tension in the shoulders, who lifts the heart and chest – she/he has a very different experience of life. The root of the word courage means heart.  When we collapse the chest, we become easily dis-couraged, dis-heartened.  When we fill our space and widen our chest, there is suddenly room for connection, purpose and passion. ”  Victoria Castle in The Trance Of Scarcity – Hey Stop Holding Your Breath and Start Living Your Life, pg 64

Reading this passage from Victoria’s book this morning I was inspired to write this blog post and also made painfully aware of my own bodies tension and contraction.  As I sat to meditate it became very clear that I was clenching my mouth and jaw for no particular reason.  When checking with my breath it was contracted as well!  This most likely represents many years of muscular armoring in perceived unsafe situations along the way.

The “story” that went along with this contraction spoke to me quite clearly – “Hold tight!  You don’t know what is coming at you next!”  What a terrible story to live by, yet I am willing to bet that many of us hold this type of story in our bodies and psyche – most often unconsciously.  I know that when I live in contraction the tension keeps me disturbed, off balance and attending to what is wrong – or in Victoria’s words “holds us in the Trance of Scarcity”…..  and I say perpetuates “struggle mode”.

The amazing tree above spoke to me of the OPEN way in which we are meant to be.  This Angel Oak is wide open, spreading, begging to be connected with (as there are so many lovely branches to sit upon), and completely available to you, I or anyone/anything.  She has learned surrender, openness, trust, and wisdom from her years of being present to the moment of nature.  She is completely embodied in her tree elderhood.

We too can be in that flow by coming out of the daily creation of separation and into the natural state of belonging.  When we are out of this flow our breath is shallow, or we stop breathing for periods of time; our shoulders are slumped; brows furrowed; tense necks; clenched jaws; and a collapsed chest.  When we release these contractions and the stories that have created them, our world opens up and we naturally “belong” without any effort on our part.

So, I leave you with some identifying markers for the state of OPENNESS.  Remember that this state comes with a full opennessembodiment of sensation and breath.  What we embody, we become!

OPEN is: (from The Trance of Scarcity)

Ease…Prevailing trust….relaxed body….effortless breathing….”can do” attitude….collaborative….curious, asking questions….see opportunities…..generous……willing to take risks…….laugh easily at self…….energized……fighting FOR (not against)…..resilient….grateful…..releasing things easily…..make clear requests and agreements…..generative, accountable……wholehearted – and coming from your wholeness.

When we each inhabit this place of openness it not only affects others, but inspires them to open as well!  I extend my hand to each of you on this path of opening.  Though the body memory may want to go back into a contracted survival mode – your willingness to be aware of sensation and breath will give you a choice.  The way in which we breathe and embody is the way in which we live our lives.  How do you want to live yours??  Create and live by a different story!!


941546_10201139084457154_1085573193_nOTHER BLOGS BY GAYE ABBOTT:

Give Us This Day Our Daily Breath Preview, Reviews and purchase links can be found here:Breath-Book-coverW2(1)


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Gaye Abbott

NATURAL PASSAGES CONSULTING Inspiring New Possibilities, Living From the Heart of Life While Co-creating Well Being of Body, Mind, Heart and Planet….One Breath At A Time. Gaye Abbott, is a wild and free soul who just so happens to LOVE writing, playing with energy, ecstatic dance and free form movement, living and breathing in nature, her 3 sons and 3 grandchildren, communing with friends and global community, organic food and cooking, creating home sanctuaries to live within, a lack of material possessions....and laughter every single day! As a wise elder of 72 years she feels decades younger....and acts it too! Devoted to being of service to the Earth and all living beings Gaye seeks the peace of mind and openness of heart that provides the foundation for effective action in the world and her community. OTHER BLOGS BY GAYE ABBOTT: Give Us This Day Our Daily Breath Preview, Reviews and purchase links can be found here:

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