The Power of Taking a Breath
BIG IDEA OF THE DAY: “Breath is the bridge which connects life to consciousness, which unites your body to your thoughts.” – Thích Nhất Hạnh
Something so simple, a blessing that many take for granted and needlessly lost by too many, we examine the power of one’s breath to center oneself, manage stress and mentally reboot.
What do I mean by ‘The Power of Taking a Breath’?
What inspired me was unexpected!
I recently went to attend this remembrance event in Los Angeles for Martin Luther King Jr and it was the 50th anniversary since his assassination. There was this really powerful music entitled “The Seven Last Words of the Unarmed” by Joel Thompson and performed by a youth orchestra and a 100-member male chorus.
It was this piece created by Joel Thompson and I didn’t know what to expect. But it was this wonderful live orchestral music with the last words of five incredible human beings and they were of people of color, men of color, who were killed due to gun violence, brutality and racism. One of the segments of the piece was called “I can’t breathe”. “I can’t breathe.” And in that moment, it had a chilling effect as I thought, “Oh, my goodness. He can’t breathe.” It’s such a basic human process and I just had this moment to realize that I can breathe. And I’ve been taking it for granted. But in his last moments, the thing he wanted the most and he couldn’t have was a breath.
If you are watching this video, then you are lucky enough to be breathing. I’m sharing this experience with you and I’m lucky enough to be breathing. I don’t know for how long. But for as long as I am alive, I am breathing. And this is what I want to ask you today and have you reflect on:
What are you breathing life into … today, in this moment?
Are you conscious of your breaths? Are you grateful for your breaths?
Our breath is this potential of life. It’s the evidence of life. Whenever you feel stuck, take a deep breath.
Often, when I’m facilitating workshops and seminars, before I begin to speak, I take a very conscious deep breath. It’s a way for me to anchor myself and to stand straight in my power on my feet. When I’m facilitating dialogue and a sensitive topic comes up, or a pause happens, I take a deep breath. If I’m unsure of how to proceed, I take a deep breath. So when I’m aware of my power, of my ability to take a deep breath, it makes all the difference in the world. It helps me to get anchored. It helps me to feel safe. It helps me to focus on what I need to be focusing on.
What about all of the other times throughout the day when I’m not conscious of my breath? What am I doing then? I’m taking life for granted, that’s what I’m doing. I’m choosing to let go of the power that I have in my hands. And that is the power to choose, the power to be intentional and the power to be grateful. Yes, I hear you. You can’t be so focused on your breath the whole time that nothing else gets done. But this is the thing, I have to look at what else that I may be taking for granted that I could be using to be more focused, to be more happy, to be more ready?
In short, take a deep breath, take it often and be grateful for what you have. Even the breaths that you take are powerful and evidence of your growth, evidence of your potential, evidence of how much more you have to do. When you have nothing more to do, when there is no answer to your question, when you have truly hit rock bottom and truly hit a door that cannot be opened, then you’ll stop breathing that day. But until then, enjoy, celebrate, cherish and use that breath. Honor that breath. Honor yourself and let’s make a difference.
Share with me what you would like to do with your next breath. What are you choosing to honor as you honor your breath? Honor life? Honor growth? Honor joy? Honor some achievement you just had? What are you choosing to honor with your next breath? I look forward to hearing from you.
With Faith in Your Success,
The Faith Connector