Soul Musings/Day 15: Attentive Holiday Breathing

Smile-Hahn

Mailing packages at the post office today I felt it. That rather frantic irritable energy that seemed to be emanating off of many there.

One of my clients this week noticed that she felt irritable after coming home from work. She couldn’t get a handle on why.

I feel it in the space – the holiday breath holding – and have a natural remedy   always on hand to soothe this energy and return the owner of any particular body back to a connected embodied peace.

Of course you know what I am going to say – breathe fully from the belly reaching upwards into the diaphragm, expanding the ribcage and dropping the shoulders down to the earth, inhale after exhale.

Such a simple practice that can be done wherever you are with side effects that ripple out to those around you. Try it out and feel the energy shift as you attentively relax into your next breath and a soft smile emerges on your face….

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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

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Breath Taking Flight

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Have you ever simply watched and felt a bird taking flight….being present to every nuance of wing, body, air, sound….those precious moments just before the launch?  Swept with awe at this natural way to travel from one place to the next could be so filled with grace and strength.

Inhale remembering that this is natures way of receiving the best of what the body needs…..like a bird preparing for flight taking in everything that will sustain it during lift off…expanding soft belly, ribcage and back body ….resting in the pause to take it all in…..exhaling into pure fluid motion, lengthening as if the breath is soaring on a cushion of air that always promises to be there for the next inhale after the pregnant pause.

How much we take for granted with simply breathing from one moment to the next of our lives here.  Taking the wisdom of Thich Nhat Hanh when he says, “smile, breathe and go slowly” into the fullness of any single moment and falling into the rapture of a full breath in flight – ease filled, fluid and resting in the biology of what gives life.

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Take this moment now and be deeply grateful for your breath as the inhale slowly prepares for launch, pauses in the up sweep of expanded wings, soars on the exhale, and drops back to Earth during the grounded pause.  Breathing meditation.  Who wouldn’t smile…..?

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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

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Our Earth Breathes – We Can Help Her!

“Breathing in, I know I am breathing in.  Breathing out, I know that I am breathing out”, is a beloved saying of Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hahn.  As the video shows above, we are not alone in the act of respiration.  Our Earth that sustains and feeds us is breathing as well.  The question could be asked, what are we feeding her??

The Institute of Hearth Math who has done many years of scientific research on the power of the heart to inform our actions, feelings and thoughts believes that we should ask this question.  The passage below from their most recent newsletter addresses this question:

What Are You Feeding the Field?
This Earth Day, we all can pause to assess what our emotions are contributing to our environment, how we are feeding the field environment. This goes beyond conserving and respecting Earth’s resources. Everyone must ask, “What am I feeding the field?”Personal experience tells us when we are angry, inhospitable and uncaring, we affect not only ourselves, but also those around us. Consider how one unkind, thoughtless or angry person affects a roomful of people; the feeling of discomfort and negative energy is noticeable. Conversely, have you ever felt the change a room’s atmosphere undergoes upon the entrance of a vibrant, cheerful or positive person?What if people around the world intentionally experienced sincere love, care, compassion and other positive emotions simultaneously and fed this positive energy into the global field environment?This question led to an experiment, and after nearly five years, more than 40,000 members of the resulting Global Coherence Initiative, with members in 87 countries, regularly feed positive energy and heart-focused care and intention into the planetary field environment.Collectively, we create a field that interacts with the Earth’s magnetic field and energetic systems. As people intentionally send coherent love and care to the world, a more powerful heart-filled environment is created. This helps to build a reservoir of positive energy that benefits the planet. This reservoir can then be utilized to help bring balance and stabilization to people, thereby making it easier to find solutions to problems like climate change, the destruction of the rain forests and other global issues.There is more to this phenomenon than the feeling you get. HeartMath researchers repeatedly have categorized real mental and physical changes study participants undergo when they experience positive and negative emotions. HeartMath and other research shows that focusing on core heart-felt emotions can enhance one’s connection with others, and that this connection extends far beyond the individual.The research article Coherence: Bridging Personal, Social, and Global Health concludes that being responsible for and increasing our personal coherence are not only reflected in improved personal health and happiness but also feed into and are reflected in a global field environment. ” Institute of Heart Math**************************************

As we breathe from a place informed by our heart our breath opens and becomes more fluid and easeful.  We then change the environment of this “global field”….thus making better decisions for the health of our planet, which is essentially intimately connected to our own health.  Remember on this 2012 Earth Day celebration………EVERY DAY IS EARTH DAY!

www.ResonanceWithLife.com

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The Miracle of Life Breathing

The miracle is not to walk on water. The miracle is to walk on the earth in the present moment;  

to appreciate the peace and beauty that are available now.

– Thich Nhat Hanh


LIFE BREATHING

All around us everything is breathing
Listen carefully
for you may miss the soft exhale
of the flower on the vine.
Or the inhale of rich brown soil
from the earthworm beneath your foot.

Butterfly wings waft the air
towards you as an offering
While bird songs are heard
in a series of exhales
As the tree that shelters
releases a leaf to the ground

Chimes move in the breeze
creating the sound of the breath
in notes sung in tune
with the expansion and contraction
of the Earth – all in union with
your next inhale….. and exhale

Be present to life breathing around you
mindful of the artful ways that
breath pulses among the
minutest of cells and atoms
woven amidst the field of being
that captures each one of us within the next inhale

All breathing for and with each other
An exchange of intimacy that
connects us in levels so deep
that even the whale in the ocean depths
senses into the next breath
that you will take.

Be still for just a moment and listen
to the symphony of breath
that fills every moment
with the exquisite pleasure
of being Alive Now.  Life is breathing.
Listen….listen

~Gaye Abbott/2011

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Over the many years that I have spent in the study and practice of meditation and imagery I have never come across something with so much depth and potential for deepening and relaxing the mind and body.  

In Sanctuary Creation Richard Cawte’s gentle voice and beautifully detailed imagery take you down into a sensual world of nature where color, breath, and beauty activate all of the senses and drop you into a depth of being from which you can discover what it is like to fully embody your life’s moments.  

What greater tool for daily life than something like this that can be activated and created within you at any time!”   

~ Gaye Abbott, Registered Yoga Teacher

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Rumi, Thich Nhat Hanh, Buddha and Me

Being in a breathing body is a gift.  A gift which we often overlook as the mind takes control and leaves us scattering our life moments like seed on infertile ground, never really staying with one to cultivate, nourish and add to the soil so that the moment may flourish and grow in our love and attention.

Rumi says, “With life as short as a half-taken breath, don’t plant anything but love.”

Oh, how easy this is to forget.  The years seem to speed by with breaths half taken, skipped all together, or compromised by life choices.  Wouldn’t it be easier to just remember that our breath marks the moments of our life… beginning outside of the womb space  as we take our first inhale, and ending with our last out breath as we transition.

To remember that our full breathing is a measure of the love that we give to ourselves with each and every inhale, pause, and exhale. To remember that as we breathe fully there is more of us to plant the love that Rumi speaks of.

Thich Nhat Hanh says, “Life is available only in the present moment. If you abandon the present moment you cannot live the moments of your daily life deeply.

Like the seed above that falls on infertile ground , our abandoned moments left behind for something “more important” not only fail to grow, thrive and transform, but have never been felt.    Our breath provides an anchor to these very moments that are often cast aside like trash without a backwards glance, losing forever the opportunity to investigate what treasure and possibility may reside there.  Our lives are only made up of moments.  We forget. Our breath reminds us.

Buddha says, “The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, worry about the future, or anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.

Now we come right down to it.  As we breathe in and out we have the opportunity to pay attention in the moment with passion and to embody that moment.  Our emotions may be all over the place, bodies may fall ill from time to time, or we may be right smack in the middle of what we perceive as a tremendous challenge.  Are we in the moment….or are we trying to figure out how to get out of it based on past or future?

Use the breath as a guide, a tool, a muse if you will.  Know that each inhale and each exhale mark a moment of your life, using attention to recapture the moments and the breath to remind you that yes indeed you do have a body that is constantly sending you wise messages.  Listen…

Breathing in, I know that I can do anything.  Breathing out, I release all doubts and fears.  ME

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Circle of Breath

“Breath is the bridge which connects life to consciousness, which unites your body to your thoughts.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh

Walking on a country road in Oregon in June is a breath taking experience….well perhaps it is more of a breath giving experience for the lusciousness of nature is stunning!  This day my walk was to disconnect from a computer screen and to extend my entire being into the nature that grounds me and often provides very wise counsel.

Most always I am inspired to write by and within the presence of nature, and this day was no different.  As I walked I happened to glance upwards and there was a rather large bird with wings outspread catching the wind so that almost no effort was asked to simply be a graceful, effortless presence in the air.  As I kept walking I noticed that the bird stayed with me circling over and over….and then when I stopped to have direct contact the bird came directly overhead and did a very tight circle over my head.

Then it came.  The title to this blog post was to be Circle of Breath.  Once I had gotten that and was pleased with myself for picking up the message from above….the bird disappeared – literally.    Well that was clear!

Nature is often like this and holds daily messages and reminders for us if we will only stop our endless, and sometimes frantic, daily business – and just simply breathe.  The breath truly is a bridge that connects and unites our body to our thoughts, and if smooth, natural, and easy, there will be no disconnects.

Circular breathing has been used for many thousands of years as a vehicle to access higher states of consciousness as in meditation, for downloading stress and imbalances, releasing old patterns from the body/mind, and certainly for musicians playing wind instruments (which is a very special technique).

It is also a natural rhythm for our being – inhale connected to exhale with a couple of pauses thrown in for good measure.  We come into this world and the circle begins at our first breath, and it is not broken until our last breath out.

The circle represents all encompassing cosmic unity.  Everywhere you look will be found this symbol from the stars and planets to the shape of our eyes.  In many cultures the circle is a sacred symbol and has many meanings, among them wholeness, unity, inclusion, union and focus.

As our breath circles within our body life is sustained and we come into union with every other life form.  For your breathing pleasure please go to the The Earth Breathing video below (which I have presented in a past post)…..and just be still in nature at least once daily this week to simply be present to what is being revealed, and to breathe with the Earth.

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Essensual Breath

“There are moments of insight when ancient truths do stand out more vividly,  
and one senses anew his relationship to the earth and to all life.  
Such moments are worth waiting for, and when they come  
in some unheralded instant of knowing,  
they are of the purest gold.”

Sigurd Olson

The ocean was never more than 5 blocks away growing up and in my first years was just over a short wall to the beach with

Mission Beach, San Diego, California

waves beckoning to a young child to come and play.  Given this you will understand why today I was so strongly drawn to the ocean that nothing could keep me away.

A 50 minute drive had me in direct proximity with the smell of salt air, the sound of waves rolling, and gulls sounding off in the air.  Even though the sun was hidden there were many children, adults, and dogs celebrating the gifts of being near to the sea (and in it!).

When our senses are evoked by nature, feelings of love, a burst of creativity, tantalizing smells, pleasing sounds, luscious tastes, or the tender touch of a hand – our breath responds.

When I left my home my breath was shallow and constricted.  After arriving at the beach and walking along the shore with lower legs caressed by salt water my breath became full and expanded.

What is it that connects our senses with the breath?  Perhaps it is the “essensual” connection with that which we are created from – our home inside on the deepest cellular level.  When our senses are filled – our breath is full.

Spending countless hours sitting in front of computers/electronics, watching television for some, and hooked into sedentary lifestyles and mind games we have forgotten that we even have a full array of senses that can give us unending pleasure, ignite our life dreams, and connect us to the whole of all that is around and within us.

What would it be like if today you took a “senses break”.  In other words choose one of your senses –   nose/smell; eyes/visual; ears/hearing; skin/touch – kinesthetic; or tongue/taste.  I invite you to take a 15 minute “sense break” and completely focus in with that particular sense.

What is your experience?  Has your breath changed as you allow your one sense to be the connector moment to moment?  Now see if you can focus into the moment with all 5 senses and notice how the breath may change.

All life that came before us depended upon senses to navigate their particular place in the world.  Their survival actually depended upon it.  How might we bring back a deeper connection with our senses…and thus with our breath? As this connection deepens, and in some cases returns, our direct experience of life in the moment expands.

In return, our full embodied breath can also ignite our senses.  Just taking one full breath activates the nasal passages/smell as we bring more air into and out of our body; increases visual depth and acuity as oxygen stimulates our visual receptors; creates a soft sound that tells us “we are alive and breathing”; expands our chest, ribcage, back and belly, massages organs and the lymphatic/circulatory systems, and causes increased sensitivity to touch as the breath moves in and out; and stimulates appetite to “taste” more of life as we increase our aliveness with a full breath.

What is holding you back from using your senses more to feel, hear, taste, touch and see?  Don’t miss huge parts of your life!  As Jon Kabat-Zin, Ph.D says in the video below: “Pay attention in an open-hearted way to the full range of your capacities and resources.”  

Breathe it in!!

Sense Mindfulness with Thich Nhat Hanh (a favorite person and teacher!) – Stop running and pay attention to the now with all of  your senses…..

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