Tag Archives: Spiritual

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

30 Days of Gratitude to Finish 2020: Day 8

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We’re in the second week of our 30 Days of Gratitude event.  I hope you are beginning to feel the momentum building and that it’s showing up as spontaneous bits of gratefulness in your day.  

Today I am grateful for:

  • The Zoom Holiday Party–complete with games and raffles–sponsored by my work;
  • Holiday lights and decorations;
  • My favorite Christmas albums playing as I bake cookies for my loved ones and friends.

Bonus gratitude:

  • I am very grateful for this time of year–the excitement, the joy, and the beauty of it.  

What are your 3 gratitudes for today?  Please share in the comments below!  I get so excited and happy for you when I read them.  Thank you!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

30 Days of Gratitude to Finish 2020: Day 7

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My gratitudes today are related to yesterday’s because they support and deepen my spiritual practice. 

Today I am grateful for:

  • My Qigong classes;
  • My Qigong teacher whose extensive knowledge is stunning;
  • My good friend who introduced me to my Qigong teacher and the classes she offers through Zoom.

Bonus gratitude:

  • I am grateful for Zoom and other technologies and resources that are keeping us linked as we move to the other side of this pandemic.

Please share your gratitudes in the comments below!  Thank you!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

30 Days of Gratitude to Finish 2020: Day 6

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Today I am very grateful for:

  • My spiritual practice—that I had the presence of mind to develop one and that I’ve had the persistence to stick with it over the years;
  • The many books and resources that help me deepen my spiritual practice;
  • The many people I have joined in prayer, meditation, and study and how all of us were supported, nurtured, and blessed in the process.
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What are you grateful for today?  Please share in the comments below.  Thank you!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren