Soul Musings/Day 1: Generous Breath

Banjara School of Dance (2)

Focus on the pelvis. A basin for the breath. How can we possibly breathe fully if the receptacle that provides the primary foundation from which our being fills is locked and rigid. There is no room for generosity of life here.

Rocking gently back and forth….. to sensuous small circles.  Pelvis the uninhibited composer of this dance of freedom.  Tightness releases into pleasure and spaces appear to explore.  Opening to creation within the subtle rushes of breath that whisper through your Soul.



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 resonates with something deep within.

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 –




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Drink In The Breath

Image by Louie Schwartzberg

Image by Louie Schwartzberg

Drink in the magnificent world that has been given to you.

Take a full breath and know that this very inspiration

could be the one that the Amazon rain forest, or the tree outside of your window

has gifted to you

from a deep interconnection that yearns to remain unbroken.

(South America) - Amazon

Drink in another full breath and know that every single thing that is alive now,

and has existed before this moment in time

shares this rich resource with you.

Sip the nectar of your next in breath and be grateful for the very act of breathing

for it is the Source that keeps you alive

within this miracle of embodiment.


Now,  as you let down your defenses

and dismantle the timbers of your protection,

allow the exhale to slip  from your body

unimpeded as a flow of water

leaping off the edge of the cliff side

falling into the depths of the pool below

instantly connecting with the elements

that create life – your life.

Nourishing the soul of being….

Amazon Rainforest South America_4




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How you breathe is the way in which you live your life.  If this statement is true, then how would you like to breathe?  Shallow and restricted or full bodied and naturally?

Use a focus each week for the entire year to promote the vibrant aliveness that is your natural birth right!


Breathing Room


These three things that matter can most often be found within another three states: Silence, Stillness and Spaciousness.  How our ego puts up a fight against even dipping one single toe into a space large enough to hold a full inhale and exhale in this very moment.

Try this simple exercise and see what happens – stand with feet planted on the floor about a hip distance apart, arms at your side with palms facing forward.  Watch as a full breath starts from the belly, expands the ribcage and back, then cascades like a waterfall on the exhale pausing in the pool of breath at the bottom.    Take several breaths this way.

Now close your eyes and lean forward as far as you can without tipping over.  Watch what happens to the breath.  Now come back to center and root down.  Watch what happens to the breath and be aware of all the micro-movements and adjustments the body must make in order to simply stand upright.

For most of us this simple exercise reflects what happens constantly all day long.  We lean into the future and our breath is literally held as our mind takes us to the next thing on the agenda.  There is no breathing room.

I experienced that today in a conscious exercise in yoga class.  As we moved very slowly from one pose to the next the mind wanted to revolt, to run, to judge, to do anything but be quiet to the burning muscle or the reflex thought about tomorrow.  Instead we were instructed to place our mind on gentleness within the silence, stillness and spaciousness that grew as each breath passed.

To gracefully let go of the ego’s urging to move out of the pose, run to the bathroom, or chant the mantra – this is too hard!  Watch the breath, love the body, let go gracefully of what is not meant for you.  How much more do we suffer if we don’t give enough breathing room to expand the moment that we are in right now?




941546_10201139084457154_1085573193_nOTHER BLOGS BY GAYE ABBOTT:

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Return To Deep Harmony


My recent offering of a class called Decrease Anxiety, Indulge Inner Peace has been an awakening on many levels.  Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the United States affecting 40 million adults age 18 and older.  That equals 18.9% of the U.S. population and doesn’t even include those under 18.

Shallow constricted breathing is one aspect of the emotional posture of anxiety.  Our entire system turns acidic with this type of breathing, our secondary breathing muscles in the neck, shoulders and upper chest become tight and contracted,  and the stress response is activated over and over again.

Did you know that the average person reaches peak respiratory function and lung capacity in their mid-20’s  As they continue to age they lose between 9%-25% of respiratory capacity for every decade of life.  The findings resulting from a 5,000 person clinical study group observed over a 30 year span showed that the way a person breathes is the primary measure of potential life span. (Framingham study).  This tells me that we can change the decline in respiratory function by breathing more fully as often as possible and potentially decrease anxiety!

“For breath is life, and if you breathe well you will live long on Earth”  Sanskrit

That full diaphragmatic breath that was so easy when we were infants somehow became distorted and contracted as we learned over the years that is was often not safe to be completely ourselves.  This “shut down” on so many levels is perhaps the core reason why there is so much shallow breathing and anxiety these days.

In addition, the minds default for survival always seems to go to the past and to the future to supposedly protect us from making the same mistakes or creating new ones.  We resist the fact that everything changes.  It is the moment to moment experience of life NOW that somehow gets lost in the fray!

A key to opening back to what Deepak Chopra calls “deep harmony of body, mind and Spirit that was yours at birth” is a full unrestricted breath…one after another.  Is our goal to always breathe in this way?  Well, perhaps intention is a better word here for if we can be aware of our breathing throughout the day, and at least start and end our day with at least 5 minutes of conscious breathing practice, our body will start to remember what it was like to be that open and unrestricted.  Our hearts will celebrate as they are massaged by the diaphragm and open to love, and our minds will once again remind us of the capacity for wholeness and interconnection.

We won’t always be able to breathe this fully, but at least we can have the intention.  It takes practice and a willingness to live the moment.  Here is a mantra that you might want to use in your daily breath practice:

On the inhale silently say to yourself “alive” and on the exhale “now”.  Then rest in the “pause” before the inhale naturally comes back in again.  The moment is a gift of awareness.  This also can be a great “break”  during a very busy day when you realize that you are forgetting to breathe, or in the midst of emotional, mental, or physical stress. 

As Dennis Lewis says in the last of The Ten Secrets of Authentic Breathing, “Remember you are a breathing being, alive right now and here.  Let yourself feel the mystery and the miracle of your breath and your life as often as you can.”




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Cherish Yourself Within The Breath

“As you breathe in cherish yourself. As you breathe out cherish all beings.”

H.H. The Dalai Lama

As 2013 begins we may take a look at our lives to see and feel where we can be more of our authentic selves, increase our happiness, love more, achieve more, create more…..and it goes on.  It there was one intention for the year, only one mind you, what would that be?

For me I ask to be mindful of my breath.  The full, natural optimal breath that was given to me at birth.  Breathing fully is perhaps the best way to value yourself and your overall health.

Dr. Andrew Weil, father of Integrative Medicine says it this way, “If I had to limit my advice on healthier living to just one tip, it would be simply to learn how to breathe correctly.  From my own experience and from working with patients, I have come to believe that proper breathing is the master key to good health.”

Many of us find ourselves breathing from a very shallow place when we even notice our breath.  This shallow breathing is an integral part of what I call the anxiety cycle.  Shallow breathing tells the body to protect and be on guard.  What unseen forces are out there to get me?  …and it takes us into the future or the past, forgetting the precious moment we have right now.

On the other hand a full breath activated via the diaphragm with soft belly and full ribcage expansion tells our body and our 377365_284005775041434_1705234306_npsyche that all is well.  Ahhh….looking forward to the next full breath, the next life moment.  Do you want to live a full, healthy and expanded life?

DID YOU KNOW…The average person reaches peak respiratory function and lung capacity in their mid 20′s? As they continue to age they lose between 9% and 25% of respiratory capacity for every decade of their life! The findings resulting from a 5,200-person clinical study group observed over a 30-year span showed that the way a person breathes is the primary measure of potential life span. (From Framingham study) Do As One

The breath practice above suggested by the Dalai Lama is simple and effective, or the simple words of “I am breathing in” and “I am breathing out” for 10 breaths, with eyes open or closed, and in a posture of comfort is one way of breaking the anxiety cycle….and putting your focus on enhancing the way in which you are presently breathing and living!

Begin 2013 with cherishing your breath, yourself….and all beings.



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Barefoot Breathing

“Many of us are blind to the ways that the earth supports us. We seldom even feel our feet on the ground. Take your shoes and socks off, massage your feet, pull your toes apart, play with them. Then simply stand with bare feet on the earth. Sense the earth’s energy rising up through your feet. Let the earth help energize you. And let it breathe you.”Dennis Lewis

Over a week ago now I took a mid-week journey to a place in nature outside of Austin that I had never been to before.  Pedernales State Park turned out to be an amazing sanctuary for me and reminded me of the sacredness of our connection with the Earth and the natural elements.  Dennis Lewis in his quote above is right on when he says that we seldom even feel our feet on the ground….essentially our connection with the earth.

Stepping barefoot from rock to rock in the shallow part of the river the destination of a large flat rock was reached.  For over an hour, lying face up to the sun with feet dangling onto smooth rocks beneath the running rivers surface, I breathed in the sound of running river water overlaying the deep quiet of nature without man made sounds.  My feet, heart and soul found peace….found home.

Having grown up in San Diego with it’s wonderful beaches I naturally was a barefoot girl and morphed into a barefoot woman that actually hates for her feet to be confined in closed shoes.  Thank goodness for the warm weather of Austin where I can wear the simplest of footwear most of the time!  What has the seldom felt barefoot against the earth done to our natural connection with nature and even the way in which we breathe?

Our senses diminish, we forget how to breathe from our very toes, and our feet forget how joyful it is to be fancy free to explore what we are walking upon or touching.

The many acupuncture and pressure points in the feet are a key to our health.  If they are hardly ever stimulated by remembering the feel of earth, rock, sand, meadow or even the bark of a tree then we forget….we forget how intimately connected we are.  Without this connection and stimulation we forget who we are, and we forget how to breathe from the roots of our being.

This week try the practice that Dennis speaks of above in the quote.  Pay attention to your feet with love and patient attention.  Stand barefoot upon the earth surface of your choice, close your eyes, and allow the earth to breathe you!



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The Best Is Hidden

Here it is 2am in the morning and I am wide awake.  I want to let you know that this is unusual for me.  Most nights I not only fall asleep within minutes, but stay soundly asleep all night.  Could it be a beautiful dinner with fine wine and what I call “bordering on erotic” food preceding turning out the lights?  Or might it be that the hidden is coming to light and is calling me to write, paint, dance or sing it’s song, not willing to let me rest until I pay homage to it’s messages?

Reaching into my book case a brand new and waiting to be read book falls off the shelf into my hands.  I open to the acknowledgements and read the following – “There is a Sufi expression, “the best is hidden”.  …. My teachers are like the jasmine whose flowers only release their fragrant secrets as the day-times brilliant sunlight gives way to the evening’s subtler shifts of light and energy.  The only way to honor them is to breathe them in and experience peace.”  James O’Dea, Cultivating Peace

How many times in a day do we stop and honor the subtler parts of the experiences we are having in the moment?  Even now at this early hour of the morning I feel the delight of fingers moving on the keyboard recording the thoughts that weave their way through me and back out to you. I don’t even know where they will take me or what your experience will be once you have read them. The pure adventure and unknown of it delights me.

Perhaps these hidden moments lay in waiting like the jasmine flowers, or the many teachers that move in and out of our lives – until just the right moment in time when we are the most susceptible to their encouragement to breathe them in –  forever changed within the embrace.

This week choose to be vulnerable, open and aware to what may lay hidden within the next breath.  Be willing to let go and say YES to whatever the experience may be.  Resistance does not live here.  The best of living an open life does….

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