Tag Archives: gratefulness

Optimum Times for Your Breathing Practice

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Experts will tell you that first thing in the morning and last thing at night are excellent times for a breathing practice. This is because the conscious mind is quiet at these times, making the subconscious easier to access.

I agree with this.   However, I’ve found that any time is a good time to take a moment and do your breathing practice!

Here are times when I pause to breathe slowly, deeply, and gently:

  • during rush hour traffic!!!!
  • when there is a lot of pressure at work;
  • when co-workers, friends, family, loved ones are getting on my nerves;
  • when I feel overwhelmed, scattered, and don’t know what to do next;
  • when I’m worried, anxious, or fretting over something;
  • when I’m sad (it helps me process the sadness and understand where it’s coming from)
  • when I’m angry or frustrated or feeling impatient;
  • when I’m disappointed or feeling discouraged….

I find that when I take 5 minutes to do a slow, deep, gentle breathing practice I gain control of my emotions. I can take a longer view of situations and feel more hopeful about my options. I may still have uncomfortable feelings but they are no longer running the show. I can experience them without being steamrolled by them.

Turn to your breathing practice the next time you’re feeling out of sorts. Let me know how it works out for you.

Please share this post with your friends and loved ones. Thank you!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

Quotes on the Power of Breath by Thich Nhat Hanh

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Here are some quotes from Thich Nhat Hanh that underscore the importance of slowly, deeply, gently breathing:

 

Breath is the bridge which connects life to consciousness, which unites your body to your thoughts. Whenever your mind becomes scattered, use your breath as the means to take hold of your mind again.

 

 Whenever we are carried away by our thinking, when we are overwhelmed by strong emotions, or when our minds are restless and dispersed, we can return to our breathing.

 

Your breathing should flow gracefully, like a river, like a water snake crossing the water, and not like a chain of rugged mountains or the gallop of a horse. To master our breath is to be in control of our bodies and minds. Each time we find ourselves dispersed and find it difficult to gain control of ourselves by different means, the method of watching the breath should always be used.

 

 Anger is like a storm rising up from the bottom of your consciousness. When you feel it coming, turn your focus to your breath.

 

It’s like when you’re flying in an airplane. Whenever severe turbulence comes along, the seatbelt keeps you from getting thrown around the cabin. Mindful breathing is your seatbelt in everyday life—it keeps you safe here in the present moment. If you know how to breathe, how to sit calmly and quietly, how to do walking meditation, then you have your seatbelt and you’re always safe.

 

Breathing mindfully, you are already finding a refuge in your breath, and you become aware of what’s going on in your body, your feelings, your perceptions, your mental formations, and your consciousness. 

 

Let me know which of these quotes are your favorites.  Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.  Thank you!

Please share this post with your friends and family.  Thank you!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

 

Breathing Slow and Easy

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Sometimes we get ourselves all gummed up about the things we want to do. We over-think them and make them way more complicated than they need to be.

 

Is this how you’re feeling–frustrated because this seems to hard and is too much to handle? I know I’ve caught myself nearly hyperventilating because I was thinking too much about breathing into my diaphragm then into my lungs and trying to really fill them all the way up to the tippy top.

Oy!

I had to remind myself that all we’re intending to do with this breathing exercise is to slow down and to allow the breath to come into and out of our bodies gently and naturally.   When we slow down, we relax (at least a little bit!). When we relax our muscles aren’t constricting our torsos and abdomens and our bodies can then naturally breathe deeper.

This isn’t about forcing air in or forcing it out. It isn’t about filling our lungs so full that we feel as if we’ll pop!

Slow and easy.   That’s what it’s all about.

Take 5 minutes right now to sit quietly, relax your chest and neck, and slowly, gently, allow the air to come into your body. Then slowly and gently allow the air to leave your body. Repeat this sequence for 5 minutes. I’ll bet you’ll feel better afterward!

Let me know in the comments below! Thanks!

Feel free to forward this post to a friend or loved one. Thank you!

Your gently and slowly breathing Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

Breathing Slowly and Deeply: Why are we doing this??

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If you truly want to craft your very own soul prospering life, the first step is slowing down and breathing.

 

As I mentioned in the May Day post, there are many physiological and psychological benefits to putting aside as little as 5 minutes to breathe deeply and slowly. 

A more important reason, though, is to FINALLY hear your True Self think!

Your True Self has been talking to you all along through your intuition, gut reactions, emotions, and even your aches and pains.  Slowing down and breathing deeply helps you calm the part of you that’s attached to the outer world so that your inner world finally has a chance to be heard!  And listened to, and FOLLOWED!

Yes, it’s that simple to finally hear your True Self.

And that’s the whole point of breathing slowly and deeply. 

Enjoy it!

Please share this post with your loved ones and friends, or with someone that you think might benefit by it.  Thank you!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

Time to Breathe

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5 minutes. That’s all it takes.

Today, gift yourself with a few moments to sit quietly and breathe.

Let your body relax for a few moments. Let your muscles unfurl and allow your bones and skeleton to do its work and hold you up.   If you are sitting or lying down, allow the chair or bed to support you and hold your weight. Your body, your muscles, tendons, ligaments, can all let go and relax.

Now, take a long slow deep breath in. Allow the air to come into your lungs rather than forcing it in. How ever the air is coming into your body on the intake is just fine.

Now, allow that breath to slowly leave your lungs. How ever it leaves your body is just fine. If you can expel deeply, getting out all the old, stale air at the bottom and the edges of your lungs, then that is fine.   If not, that is fine, too.

How ever you are slowly and deeply breathing in and slowly and deeply breathing out is just fine.

Relax.

You’re doing it right!

 

 

Breathe in long, slow, and deep.

Now breathe out as slowly and deeply as you can.

 

Breathe in long, slow, and deep.

Now breathe out as slowly and deeply as you can.

 

Breathe in long, slow, and deep.

Now breathe out as slowly and deeply as you can.

 

 

Do this for at least 5 minutes. It’s fine to do this longer but even just 5 minutes is amazingly beneficial.

Enjoy! Have fun with this! You are doing it just right!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

May Day: Breathe Deep and Slow

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Happy May Day!

Here in the Northern Hemisphere Spring is in full swing. Flowers are everywhere, trees and shrubs are blooming, and pale green leaves are gently unfurling, ready for a new year. It’s a perfect time to breathe deeply and slowly.

We don’t breathe enough.   Or, I should say, we don’t pay attention to how we breathe. Most of us are shallow breathers, never really filling our lungs and oxygenating our systems.

Our breath cleans and refreshes our bodies. It calms our minds and nervous systems. It helps revitalize and rejuvenate our cells.

Join me this month in regularly taking a few moments to slow down and breathe.

Thank you!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

Sitting In Silence Day 21

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Here are some quotes by Howard Thurman that can be something you can contemplate during your sessions of silence.  They can also be thoughts you reflect upon as you take moments for quiet throughout your day. 

 

Listen to the long stillness: New life is stirring New dreams are on the wing New hopes are being readied: Humankind is fashioning a new heart Humankind is forging a new mind God is at work. This is the season of Promise

 

In whatever sense this year is a new year for you, may the moment find you eager and unafraid, ready to take it by the hand with joy and gratitude.

 

Do not be silent; there is no limit to the power that may be released through you.

 

The movement of the Spirit of God in the hearts of men and women often calls them to act against the spirit of their times or causes them to anticipate a spirit which is yet in the making. In a moment of dedication they are given wisdom and courage to dare a deed that challenges and to kindle a hope that inspires.

 

There is a quiet courage that comes from an inward spring of confidence in the meaning and significance of life. Such courage is an underground river, flowing far beneath the shifting events of one’s experience, keeping alive a thousand little springs of action.

 

The radical tension between good and evil, as man sees it and feels it, does not have the last word about the meaning of life and the nature of existence. There is a spirit in man and in the world working always against the thing that destroys and lays waste.

 

Prayer is a form of communication between God and man and man and God….I am always impressed by the fact that it is recorded that the only thing that the disciples asked Jesus to teach them how to do was to pray.

 

 Keep up with your regular sessions of silence.  Let me know if you have questions.  Please share any comments or insights you have. 

Thank you!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

Sitting In Silence Day 20

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There is something in every one of you that waits and listens for the sound of the genuine in yourself. It is the only true guide you will ever have. And if you cannot hear it, you will all of your life spend your days on the ends of strings that somebody else pulls

~Howard Thurman

 

Yesterday I posted a quote by Howard Thurman.  In my readings, I found more of the quote.  I think the portion that was missing in yesterday’s quote is a very important part of it. 

This quote is underscoring how important it is to find your center and live from that center.  This world can be crazymaking and if you don’t operate from a solid center within yourself then you are vulnerable to all sorts of fear, anxiety, and confusion.  This is why it’s so vitally important to establish some sort of practice whether you call it prayer, contemplation, sitting in silence, or something else. 

Your practice doesn’t have to be contemplative.  It can involve movement such as walking, yoga, or engaging in your favorite hobby.  As long as it helps you step away from the rush and hubbub and noise of the world and gives you the opportunity to breathe and check in with yourself. 

Regularly checking in with yourself is all you need to do, really.  When you do this, you are better able to stay true to your guiding principles and values.  You’re less likely to be thrown into a tizzy by what’s going on outside of you.  You’ll be able to think calmer and clearer when presented with challenges and difficulties.

Keep up the practice you have established.  Try new techniques as well so that you further customize your practice. 

Let me know if you have questions.  Also, please share any insights you have. 

Thank you!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

Sitting In Silence Day 19

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There is something in every one of you that waits and listens for the sound of the genuine in yourself. It is the only true guide you will ever have.

~Howard Thurman

 

To me, this quote of Howard Thurman’s summarizes the benefits of sitting in silence.  As we talked about earlier this month of sitting in silence, we’re doing this so we can once again tune into our Inner Knowing, the Still Small Voice, our Inner Wisdom, the urgings of our heart and whispering of our soul.

Keep this practice that you started this month.  You’ll be very glad you did.

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

 

 

Sitting In Silence Day 18

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Here is something I’ve been contemplating during my sitting in silence sessions:

You know you live in a small town when you accidentally left your front door unlocked for a week and absolutely nothing happened—even during the day when you were at work and even during the night while you slept.

Wow.

 

I’m very grateful that regardless of what the news outlets tell us, our world is still a safe place.

 

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren