When I was a wee one, one of my teachers used to say, and often, “Remember to breathe.”
This struck me as funny. Who forgets to breathe?
I grew up, and with more breathing lessons under my belt, I understood better what she meant.
Many eastern meditation techniques involve focus on one’s breath. But this expression in western context means do something that takes you off the treadmill and allows your mind to clear before you get on again.
Feeling creatively stuck?
Got bad news?
A dear one is in crisis?
Breathe. Help them. Then breathe again.
For some, to breathe means eating chocolate or sipping a glass of Merlot. (And I do mean sipping, not to be confused with gulping.) For others, to breathe means making contact with a close friend and talking.
For me, it has come to mean go for a walk. Not just a leisurely stroll, but one that involves some hill climbing, which necessitates deep breathing. Yup.
The air quality where I live has been seriously unhealthy for almost two weeks. Devastating fires burning almost two hundred miles away have ushered a layer of dense smoke that wouldn’t quit.
Folks are warned to stay indoors and whatever they do, not do anything that requires physical exertion. In other words: Do Not Breathe.
Under such cautions, I re-discovered my childhood “breathing” activity. I didn’t even know back then that it was a form of breathing.
I lie down and read a great book.
I’m getting some fantastic reading done, and my soul is full of oxygen. On this Thanksgiving week, I am thankful for all the wonderful writers who ever lived and the publishing professionals who had the insight to usher their works into the world so we can breathe.
Remember to breathe, everyone.