That’s my word for 2015. My one simple word. My resolution.
So tiny a word, so easy to say but yet I constantly need reminding. To breathe.
When I first started on this journey towards living more mindfully, I met with a therapist. One of her first instructions was for me to close my eyes and breathe. Sitting ramrod straight on the brown leather chair, with my feet pressed into the ground, I closed my eyes, flattened out my lips and inhaled.
“Not like that. A deep breath. Inhale deep into your belly and exhale slowly, completely.” She prompted me kindly.
I repeated the same breath. It was a deep breath. I did exhale slowly and completely.
“No. Relax into your breath. Inhale deeply and feel it travelling deep into your belly. Exhale fully. Use your mouth.”
It had been years since I had paid attention to my breath. In the eight years since I had become a mother, I had spent little time with my yoga mat and even less just sitting still. Time is precious and I couldn’t waste a minute of it . . . breathing.
But something happened when I took those first few breaths. I felt the calmness that I had been searching for. I was acutely aware of my body, noting the tensions in my jaw and my upper shoulders, my tongue pressing against the roof of my mouth and how with each restorative breath, I felt renewed. Relaxed. Clear-headed. Focused. Aware.
I have since learned to use my breath as a tool: for restoration, for pause, for reflection, for relaxation and to reset.
In 2015, using my breath will allow me to respond instead of react.