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Hello Sweet Soul,
A week into new year, how did the first “A” soul care go? If you are anything like me (and her, and him, and them), it’s already challenged you. Keeping peace with constant change is a big BIG challenge.
This week’s SoulCare Card (letter B) focuses on something you do without thought. During the day. While you sleep. In the shower, during meal-time, when you’re driving, singing, yelling, and paying the bills. Most of the time zero effort is required. Which is a really good thing. But maybe….for a few moments every day you could do it better.
It’s breathing. (but not like you’re thinking–I’ll guess)
If you’ve been on this little blue ball long enough, you’ve already heard the importance of slowing down–taking a deep breath–when stressed. Yup, that’s important. But here’s the deal… often those are exasperated breaths. And while important, it’s not the type of breathing being mentioned today.
There is a Greek word I love. It’s Zoe (you might find the word Zooee and Zao too, but that’s technical nerdy-geek stuff).
Zoe is a Divine breath, spiritual, sacred, essential to a soul. It is described as the very first breath from the Creator bringing spiritual-soul-life to humans. It’s our soul at its innermost core. A very different breath than animals have. And in life, we simply forget about this–accessing this type of breathing, breath, that is sacred.
While I’m no yogi-breathing-expert, I will tell you the practice I try to follow. And while this also, quite possibly, sounds wild and wacky–I think of it as being grateful, prayerful, mindful of what I so easily take for granted.
Once a day, at a minimum, I sit still and begin a focused breath. If you can do this outside in the fresh air…big soul care bonus!
- SHOULDERS: I breathe slowly and deeply into my shoulders (imagining my breath going there and filling all the nooks and crannies of my bones and muscles). And as I breathe out I let my shoulders fall and relax.
- CHEST/HEART: I continue the next breath into my chest, stretching my rib-cage to its limit, putting air into every last spare area–then as I exhale my chest and shoulders fall and rest.
- TUMMY/CORE: Next into my tummy. I like to think of the tummy of a sleeping puppy. Soft, warm, and expanding big, unrestricted. And then in the exhale–soft and slow–to pure relaxation.
- Simply continue this type of breathing for 10 more breaths. Allowing my inhale to fill my shoulders, AND chest, AND tummy. Then exhale, release slowly and relaxed.
That’s the breathing part. But in my mind, there is another thing going on…
Sometimes there is a word of intention, a phrase, or prayer I’ll use.
- If I use a word, I think it as I’m breathing in. A word like “Gratitude” or even a word of intention you’ve received for this season/year.
- If I use a phrase/prayer, I think half of it while I inhale, and half while I exhale. Such as “(inhale) It is well, (exhale) With my soul.” Or any other short prayer, prose, scripture. It all works oh so lovely.
After your three start-up breaths, you’ll do this for ten more breaths.
You can do ten.
Breath in slowly, fully, and mindfully.
Close your eyes, or fix your gaze on something with soft resting eyes.
As you breathe, think of this breath getting into your soul, DEEP into your soul. As if you are opening up and creating room for this sacred breath, a Divine gift.
Soul cleansing breath. Grateful, prayerful, meaningful.
And Sweet Soul, that’s it. I mean, that’s all you’ve got to do.
Why not right now? You really do deserve this.
Just see how you feel–now, and then afterwards.
You are worth this.
Acknowledging what is yours.
What is sacredly gifted to you.
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