In my earlier post ‘Remember to breathe… breathe to remember…’ I described counting the breath. This is a way I have learned to firmly take hold of my breathing and thereby my present awareness. I now would like to suggest a less linear and forced approach.
It helps to stay present by utilising our breathing in creative ways. The most basic way we can do this is simply on each in-breath silently saying, ‘In’ and on each out-breath, ‘Out.’ An affirming way is to breathe in, ‘Calm;’ and out, ‘Peace’ …or similar.
And some useful words from Elisha Goldstein:
breathing in …
I open up to what’s vulnerable
breathing out …
I let go of the need to be perfect.
I will take this opportunity to strongly affirm a core principle of mindfulness practice, that we are being attentive to whatever is happening. We are not trying to get rid of anything. If we breathe in ‘Love’ and breathe out ‘Fear,’ we need to continue to hold the space with rigorous kindness, for ourselves and others. In other words, we need to be attentive to our fear but we do not need to try to get rid of it.
Our beginning place in mindfulness practice is being present. This is the source of our healing and it needs to flow. And after all, if we breathe out our fear with the intention to be rid of it, we may not be aware of the effect this will have on those around us by our constrictive presence. Breath is a continuous cycle and our being is interconnected with our world.
I am becoming particularly mindful of my out breaths because I have begun to find there gentle openings of kindness. And kindness is a sustainable and joyful effort enabling both grounded being and true relationship.