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It’s such a simple statement, take a breath. How can such a simple action possibly impact my current condition and the escalating Holiday madness?
Paying attention to our breath has immediate health benefits. It slows our heartrate and calms our nervous system, releasing muscular tension and improving our cardiovascular and lymphatic systems. It enhances cognition and clears the cobwebs from our heads.
Breathing is the first and last act of life. It is the joyous sound, usually accompanied by screaming, that anxious parents await when a child is born. The first breath of life draws a sigh of relief from all.
The last breath may be a long time coming or it may be tragically swift. Anyone who has sat in a room with the dying knows the profound sense of absence experienced when the last breath is drawn and there is no more.
Between the first and last breath we take millions and millions more throughout our life. We live millions and millions of moments. But how often do we slow down, intentionally take a breath, and notice the moment that is happening right now? Not very often.
Most of us spend all our moments striving for something more in the future or lamenting something lost from the past. We imagine happiness will follow after we have accomplished this or done that and curse our errors and decisions with what-ifs. It is a quest for perfection that blinds us to the richness of the life we have now.
At this busy time of year, its’ easy to get caught up in the stress of perfect holiday moments. Take a moment to consider the possibility that it’s all perfect already. We are perfect already, or as perfect as we are going to be at this moment. We are good enough.
We only have this moment to live. We don’t get a redo on events that occurred yesterday or last week or even 5 minutes ago. No amount of worrying or planning will ensure tomorrow’s events unfold precisely as we desire.
We only have this moment right now to be fully present and experience what this moment has to offer us. If we slow down, take a breath, and open our awareness to everything around us right now we can see how rich and full our life is. If we quiet our busyness we can see that at this exact moment we do not have to be anything other than who we are right now.
Take breath. Open your eyes. Celebrate each moment, each breath. It’s the only one we have.
Wishing you a joyous Holiday season and good health in the New Year.