Soul Musings/Day 13: Trusting There Is Enough

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Trusting that there is enough air to breathe is an underlying sustainable process that goes on day after day without our conscious attention.  Imagine for a moment that all aspects of your life carried this much trust.” Gaye Abbott from Give Us This Day Our Daily Breath

It is within the exhale that we trust there will be another inhale to follow, for if we did not we would never let go of the air that is nourishing us at this moment. We would cling on to it as if it is our last breath – our last chance at life.

The quality of your exhale then represents how much you do indeed trust your life. Holding-on to the exhale, or in other words holding-back from exhaling, mirrors areas of your life that could be immersed in conversations that hold doubt, fear, protection or contraction in your body.

Here, within the bodies sacred union of air and the process of breathing, is nested an opportunity to come into direct contact with what may be holding you back from taking that next active step, or fully expressing yourself.

Take some time to play with your exhale (yes PLAY!) by singing, chanting, laughing, or sounding on the exhale – perhaps with an extended “ahhhhhhh” sound, or the sound you make when traveling down a roller coaster with your hands up in the air!

This gives your body a thumbs up to reinstate the liquid relaxed flow of the exhale and to interrupt conversations in your body that create stagnation and potentiate contraction.

Use the breath to be aware of ways in which you are holding back on your own life ……and play with the freedom and trust that an unrestrained exhale provides.

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Inspiring New Possibilities, Living From the Soul of Life While Co-creating Well Being of Body, Being, Heart and Planet….One Breath At A Time

Soul Musings is a 31-day practice for the month of December immersed in deep listening to what is emerging and unfolding day by day.  Eight sentences with occasional resources to explore more deeply.

Each post, invited by Soul, allows the words to emerge unscathed from prior planning, editing, or censorship.  Dwelling in uncertainty and dipping a toe into mystery this union of words is an attempt to resonate within an innate way of Being…. returning “home”.

To receive daily posts simply sign up for this blog and you will be notified through e-mail.  In addition there will be daily posts on the blogs below.  Thank you for being part of this practice with me!

Gaye Abbotthttp://www.GayeAbbott.com

OTHER BLOGS:

WildlyFreeWoman

NaturalWealthJournal

Breath-Book-coverW2(3)Give Us This Day Our Daily Breath Preview, Reviews and purchase links can be found here:

http://gayeabbott.com/books/

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Soul Musings/Day 6: Essensual Breath

senses

All life that came before us depended on senses to navigate their particular place in the world, their physical survival actually depending upon it. As this connection deepens, and in some cases returns, our direct experience of life in the moment expands.

Simply taking one full breath floods our sense of smell with scent as nasal passages are stimulated.

Increases visual depth and acuity as oxygen stimulates our visual receptors.

Creates a soft sound that reminds us we are alive.

Expands ribcage, back and belly massaging the organs and moving the fluids within.

Increases sensitivity to touch as the breath moves in and out.

Stimulating appetite to “taste” more of life, enhancing aliveness…

….with simply one essensual breath.

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NATURAL PASSAGES CONSULTINGphoto58

Inspiring New Possibilities, Living From the Soul of Life While Co-creating Well Being of Body, Being, Heart and Planet….One Breath At A Time

Soul Musings is a 31-day practice for the month of December immersed in deep listening to what is emerging and unfolding day by day.  Eight sentences with occasional resources to explore more deeply.

Each post, invited by Soul, allows the words to emerge unscathed from prior planning, editing, or censorship.  Dwelling in uncertainty and dipping a toe into mystery this union of words is an attempt to resonate within an innate way of Being…. returning “home”.

To receive daily posts simply sign up for this blog and you will be notified through e-mail.  In addition there will be daily posts on the blogs below.  Thank you for being part of this practice with me!

Gaye Abbotthttp://www.GayeAbbott.com

OTHER BLOGS:

WildlyFreeWoman

NaturalWealthJournal

Breath-Book-coverW2(3)Give Us This Day Our Daily Breath Preview, Reviews and purchase links can be found here:

http://gayeabbott.com/books/

 

Soul Musings/Day 3: Laughter for the Soul

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Laughter, a universal vocabulary without words.

A connector in mirth or an attempt to belong.

Stimulator of feel good endorphins or scornful disdain.

A veritable landscape of sounds capturing humanity in free for all expression.

Belly laugh or quiet giggle.

Breaker of tension.

All out uninhibited, wet your pants, tearing eyes, can’t stop, good for your soul breathing.

Do it….today.

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NATURAL PASSAGES CONSULTINGphoto58

Inspiring New Possibilities, Living From the Soul of Life While Co-creating Well Being of Body, Being, Heart and Planet….One Breath At A Time

Soul Musings is a 31-day practice for the month of December immersed in deep listening to what is emerging and unfolding day by day.  Eight sentences with occasional resources to explore more deeply.

Each post, invited by Soul, allows the words to emerge unscathed from prior planning, editing, or censorship.  Dwelling in uncertainty and dipping a toe into mystery this union of words is an attempt to resonate within an innate way of Being…. returning “home”.

To receive daily posts simply sign up for this blog and you will be notified through e-mail.  In addition there will be daily posts on the blogs below.  Thank you for being part of this practice with me!

Gaye Abbott – http://www.GayeAbbott.com

OTHER BLOGS:

WildlyFreeWoman

NaturaWealthJournal

Breath-Book-coverW2(3)Give Us This Day Our Daily Breath Preview, Reviews and purchase links can be found here:

http://gayeabbott.com/books/

 

 

 

Embodied Samadhi

Alex Grey Chakras

Image by Alex Gray

I was being asked to “drop the body” and I felt rebellion brewing up under the surface.  The well meaning yoga teacher was attempting to point out the many ways in which we contract our bodies in fear or barricade ourselves from the assumed trauma which we believe will invariably reach us in the next moment or two.  In fact, this protection, shutting down, hiding and breath holding has taken up residence in so many of us without our conscious awareness.

The “rebellion” that I felt came from many years of being within meditative and spiritual communities that encouraged us  to “drop our bodies” or “leave our bodies” in order to become “enlightened” or reach the state of Samadhi or pure consciousness apart from the mind (and body).  Since I inhabit a creative woman’s body this time around and am extremely connected to the natural world this always made no sense to me.

Spending many years making myself “wrong” for feeling as I did I would return over and over to a practice that had no grounding – or if the truth be know “meaning” for me.  It was easy for me to access those “higher states of spiritual consciousness” however my body was begging me to not leave it behind and to inhabit the “soul” of my being which can be a little messy and definitely divinely feminine!

Take a good long look at Alex Gray’s famous image above and note that this being is not only completely present in  body, but also interconnected with the earth and all elements.  We also see this in the image of Buddha below and within the quote from an influential and famous ascetic-philosopher of the 20th century Buddhadasa Bhikkhu (1906-1993) who was known as an innovative re-interpreter of Buddhist doctrine and Thai folk beliefs. Buddha’s right hand touching the earth informs us that without using any words, the Buddha calls on the Earth to bear witness.  This “earth mudra” is a beautiful example of the integration of  “embodied cognition” and a respect for and celebration of the divine feminine, creative embodied presence.

ashvattha-buddha“The entire cosmos is a cooperative. The sun, the moon, and the stars live together as a cooperative. The same is true for humans and animals, trees, and the Earth. When we realize that the world is a mutual, interdependent, cooperative enterprise — then we can build a noble environment. If our lives are not based on this truth, then we shall perish.” –Buddhadasa Bhikkhu

The times we live in are requesting – no demanding – that we embody and perhaps redefine the concept of samadhi – to acquire integration, or wholeness, or truth within the awareness of deep interconnection or “being” with all that is.  This means staying in the body and integrating it as an amazing vehicle from which we can serve others and bring our own wisdom, talents, creativity and gifts.  This means remembering that we are the earth and all elements so deeply interconnected that it would blow our minds if we could really see and feel it!

“All is one” – a non-dualistic frame of reference for relationship and cooperation.  This means taking action from a fully integrated body inhabiting the miracle of breath that moves in and out from a universal source that gives life to everything and everyone in the cosmos.  Ubuntu – essential interdependence. The Divine Feminine in partnership with the Divine Masculine.

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Everything is energy.  The blueprint that we came in with at birth is fully integrated at this deep level of Source – deeply relaxed, open and available with access to an unlimited source of energy.  After years of living in this body we have somehow managed to cover up this innate blueprint with layers and layers of protection, assumptions, beliefs, past traumas, and hiding.

This is not a “bad thing” – it simply is a state of being for survival that we have accepted and perpetuate in our day to day life moments.  This is what my yoga teacher meant by “dropping the body” – simply being aware of and then letting go of anything that is in the way of living from your natural state of being.

Fully inhabiting the breath and clearing away patterns that block this way of being is essential for living life in the deepest and most creative expression that we came in with – resonance with life.  Neglecting the “brain” of the intellect, the heart, the gut, our animalistic rhythms and even the minutest of cells within our body will only bring us to separation from ourselves, others, the natural world and the entire cosmos.

True belonging is embodied, collaborative and cooperative.  We are evolving into Universal Humanity.  Take your place….

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photo(58)  Gaye Abbott, RYT assists individuals to drop the layers that cover the natural innate blueprint we came in with and reveal, through a combination of evolutionary energy work, Jin Shin Jyutus, Reiki and breath re-patterning, the larger purpose and co-creative expression that we are here for.

For those interested in receiving private sessions please contact Gaye at: JoyfulGaye@NaturalPassages.com.  Travel to your location in the U.S. or globally is available.  Please inquire.  Skype: gaye.abbott

OTHER BLOGS BY GAYE ABBOTT:
www.WildlyFreewoman.com
www.NaturalWealthJournal.com

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

http://gayeabbott.com/books/

Breath As A Tap Root

Imagine if you will a very large dance floor where everyone is moving freely in their own rhythm weaving in and out among other bodies in motion.  Sometimes making contact with others by mutual consent to play with movement, dance, touch, and energy – and at other times silently exploring a unique world of your own.

In the very center of this dance floor is a woman who often breaks out in gales of laughter.  People move in and out of her field sometimes connecting physically and other times merely sending her love, smiles or energy – in other words nourishment.  Every time that this woman laughs it sends reverberations throughout the room and smiles break out everywhere.

She is feeding the dance like a “tap root” from which other “roots” sprout laterally out in all directions.  This tap root forms the center upon which rides the well being and growth of all the other roots.  Without it the vitality of the organism as a whole would not continue and new growth might not be supported.

The breath is like a tap root with the lungs on the inside and the air from without giving and receiving within each inhale and exhale.  Our breath grounds us in the present moment and reminds us that we are here to thrive and passionately and compassionately live our lives to the best of our ability.

We share the nourishment with others in a deeply interconnected dance of life that has been choreographed expressly for us by a central force so strong that often we just begin to imagine and embody the power we are being given.  The tap root continually reminds us that a fully lived life is within a fully embodied creative breath.

If you have never even thought about moving freely from the tap root of your breath…you might give it a try.  A breathing space of ecstatic, free, unrestricted movement from the center of your being!

WEBSITE:  www.ResonanceWithLife.com

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STOP! Unplug…..Focus One Point and Breathe

Yes.  I am going to invite you to go on a “media fast” this week.  That means smart phones, internet, television, newspapers, ……   Choose one day, or take the entire week.  It is up to you.

The reason for this is to open into possibilities that are obscured by the sheer volume of stimulus that captures our attention every single moment of every single day.

What would it be like to have space to notice what is going on in the world around you….not what you are being told is going on.

Take as an example my experience in doing this for the past 3 days in which I let go of my resistance to writing the first draft of a book on the breath that I have been sitting on for the past year.  I knew clearly that there were ideas and  creative paths that would not be open to me if I was returning e-mails, talking to people on the phone, and going out to make social connections.  Television and newspapers have not been part of my daily life for many years now, so that part was easy.

So I stopped.  I created a space for writing and just being with what unfolded itself before and within me.  So much more space appeared….and time slowed down.  The creative muse inside woke up and started an ongoing celebration resulting in an out pouring of ideas that resulted in 12,000 words written in 3 days.

During this three days I took a walk around the local lake here in Austin, Texas in the sultry 90 degree heat.  Not plugged into anything while I walked I was free to observe nature, people, dogs and the morning.

Half way through my walk I took a seat on a bench placed high above the lake on a pedestrian bridge.  My back was to another rail bridge that I had noticed before.  On it is painted in colors:  Focus One Point…and Breathe.  Graffiti art of the sacred kind.

With that reminder I did just that, and instead of being distracted by my minds constant barrage of chatter I was quieted as I gazed at the Lamar Street bridge directly in front of me, constructed with gracefully curved cement supports.  Sunlight helped to mirror these supports in the water creating an art piece of beautiful duplication.  What was above the water was also below.

It appeared to be another world in the water that was reverse from the one in air.  As I continued gazing a cloud obscured the reflection for a few moments and the magical world beneath the water was in shadow, disappearing before my eyes.  Once the light came out from behind the cloud this under water world was revealed once again.  It was there all along.

How many worlds, or possibilities are in the shadows, but still really there for us to shed light on and actively explore? Sitting with this I gazed down at the sidewalk just to my left and on it was written in colored chalk, “God bless you  friend” with a heart drawn at the end.

Walking back along the path I greeted an Austin resident who had brought his wheelbarrow down to the lake in order to transport water to the drought affected trees that grace this path.  Thanking him for what he was doing out of the kindness of his heart we exchanged a smile.  I am certain the trees felt the love directed at them.

Finally, climbing into my car and reaching to peel the juicy orange that awaited my return a man approached with a one gallon gas container.  He asked if I could spare some money to complete what he had in his pocket to purchase one gallon of gas.

Reaching into my wallet I took out my last dollar bill and grabbed some quarters and handed them to him commenting to please excuse the quarters as they had a bit of dark chocolate melted onto them.  We exchanged a smile and I was told once again “Thank you and God bless!”’’

Now, my question is would I have experienced all of this if I had earplugs in listening to music or whatever, allowed my mind to set an agenda of a certain time I needed to be back home to begin writing again, had my eyes down on the path focused on how many miles I needed to go today in order to get a good workout, or was even busy thinking about what my next chapter in this book was going to be?

My point is – unplug.  Unplug from the distractions that put your life on hold while you are caught up with everyone else’s opinion, judgements and agendas – or your own for that matter.  Not forever mind you.  Just for periods of time to be reminded of the extraordinary life you have before you in this moment.  Relax into the spaciousness,  beauty, and unseen worlds that appear from out of the shadows.  Focus one point….and breathe.

OTHER BLOGS BY GAYE ABBOTT:

www.WildlyFreeWoman.com
www.NaturalWealthJournal.com

Breathing In A Danish Psychomotor View

Breathing Spaces is blessed to have a global readership which brings new perspectives on the breath to my attention.  I was most fortunate to connect with a Danish “psychomotor therapist” by the name of Siff L. E. Skovenborg just a month ago.

Siff  shared with me that Denmark has a high level education training program completely centered on a humanistic approach to movement, breath, and body awareness.  Of course I was intrigued and asked if she would write an article for BreathingSpaces.

Below you will find her article.  I invite you to dialog with Siff either via a comment here, or directly to her e-mail below.

Breathing In A Danish Psychomotor View

By Siff L. E. Skovenborg – psychomotor therapist

Being a therapist and teacher of psychomotricity in Denmark, working with breath and breathing patterns has for years been a special interest for me. Psychomotricity is a therapy with roots in phenomenology and body therapy (Reich and Lowen) as well as anatomy and physiology. The tradition however goes further back than that. The Danish psychomotoric tradition started in the 1930’s and sprung from dance, performance and gymnastics into a manual treatment therapy. The focus has always been to balance the work of the muscles and to increase the awareness of the body so that the bodily impulses could spring more freely and expressively. In that way the view of the body has roots in the humanistic approach.

The body is viewed as a totality – there’s no real division between mind and matter – only when we focus the attention to one dimension it seems to be a difference in expression. The same goes for the breath. The way we breathe is the way we live. Holding or controlling breath is holding or controlling the life we lead. Breathing solely in the belly or the chest is avoiding contact or relation to the emotions or sensations in these areas.

Still there are two ways for the breath to function: autonomic or voluntary. Voluntary is when you control the breath either to increase the expanse or to decrease or even stop breathing for a shorter or longer period. Still we breathe when sleeping, when being unaware or in need for more air for instance when exercising. However the controlled breathing can become a pattern that affects the autonomic function. Doing breathing exercises or being afraid of being in touch with emotional responses can limit where the breath goes, how much air we breathe in or out and how the muscles that make the breathing happen works.

So the work of a psychomotoric therapist is to open for the breathing space and for more autonomic control, so that you get a free, diverse breathing that regulates itself according to the situation. In order to do so, we have different approaches depending on the client’s history and resources (bodily/mentally and socially).

If a client that has learned a controlled breath for example in yoga classes and believes that a belly breath is the only right way to breathe. Here the therapist can choose to educate the client about the physiology of breathing and the autonomic function. If the client has the possibility of viewing a small baby in his or her sleep the variety of breathing can be seen and understood. Then exercises to learn to let the breath control itself can be relevant. Jacques Dropsy author of ‘The Well-Tuned Body’ describes such exercises, that we also use in psychomotricity.

Another example could be a client who is afraid to be in touch with emotions, you need to teach the client to deal with emotions first. We do that by letting the client describe the bodily sensations in a matter of a fact way. What is a matter of fact is the heart beating, the sweat, the pulse, the muscle tension, the breath. If the client tends to talk from the emotions or the mind, the therapist keeps helping the client back to a descriptive approach. When this approach succeeds, the client experiences that the emotion or sensation lingers off. Gradually he experiences mastery of being in the present with the sensation without changing it willingly or forcefully. When this is learned we can start working directly or indirectly with breath.

As a psychomotoric therapist we tend to begin the work with the breath indirectly, as the direct approach can make the client too aware of the breath to let it work automatically. Indirect work is for example manually or through exercises which increase the elasticity of connective tissue around the body, or by doing exercises that demand more oxygen and therefore forces the body to take deeper or stronger breaths.  Direct work is breathing exercises, manual treatment on primary or secondary breathing muscles, or breathing awareness. When working directly with breath we almost always return to exercises that help the client to return to autonomic breathing.

Which approaches the therapist chooses, depends on the type of client. Every client is met on his or her own terms and the therapist always strives to engage the client to investigate the bodily/emotional/mental phenomenon together.

For more information you are welcome to contact me at sisk@ucc.dk or post@kropsliv.dk

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