BREATH BY BREATH
By Olubode Shawn Brown
These days it’s been all about the breath for me. Yes, breathing. I am fascinated by the process. I cannot stop it!! Somehow air is pulled in by every cell in my body, it fills my lungs and revitalizes every organ and I have nothing to do with it. How is that possible? I know that I can somehow expand it by breathing deeply and consciously expel it. I can also breathe faster or slow it down. I know too that stress often has me gasping for air!
Recently, I have been working on simply cooperating with my breath.
Last Saturday I found refuge at the pier at 125th Street in Harlem. It was a Saturday in July and everyone, true New Yorkers, seemed to have an agenda for the day. Mine was free flowing. I stuck my hand out the apartment window to check the weather. It was cooler and less humid than yesterday. ‘I think I will keep my own company —breathe with my breath, cuddle up with myself, and breathe with nature,’ I decided.
You see breathing is how we commune with our self, how we keep our “own company.” Too often we forget to participate with this the most natural thing that’s happening to us..
Thinking takes us away; picturing things we want to have, or fear happening takes us away; figuring things out takes us away; conceptual thinking does so as well. These thoughts bereft us of this moment of life. This moment, is not a concept, it is not a dream, it is here now and has in it everything we need. It’s given to us compliments of our our breath.
My friend Melvin and I often remind each other when times get hectic that ”sometimes, it’s breath by breath.” If you need to, slow things all the way down: from day-by-day, to step-by-step, to breath-by-breath. Get a friend who will remind you to do just that!
Today life waits to greet you, to give you all the energy you need with each breath. Greet it, welcome it, open to it and simply allow yourself to breathe.
Notice where you loose connection with your breath; notice too what happens when you allow your breath to come all the way in… when you allow it to go all the way out. See what happens, what new ideas come to mind, what existing resources come into clearer focus…
Let’s play with the process as we greet the mystery that is Life!
Olubode Shawn Brown is the author of BLOOM – The Essential Journey, A New Guide to Balance Growth & Well Being. A life-coach and “Father of the House of BLOOM.”