Tag Archives: mindfulness

Just breathe

Again yoga. Again a learning. A huge learning. A duh-uh learning, but huge nonetheless.

I’m not sure if the instructor said it, or if I just thought it. But all of a sudden, as I “worked through” a pose, “just breathe” popped into my mind.

Like, just breathe. Like, you don’t have to do anything other than breathe.

I didn’t have to work through, or into, a pose. I didn’t have to move to get into the perfect stance or to fix my alignment. I didn’t have to keep fixing, and fixing, and fixing the positioning of my limbs.

All I had to do was breathe. And breathe again. I know it’s quite simple, but it felt revolutionary when I realized it.

Then I realized that “just breathe” applied to the rest of my life as well, not just my yoga. I don’t have to work through, or figure out, anything. I don’t have to move to get into the perfect attitude or to fix my mindset. I don’t have to keep fixing, and fixing, and fixing…anything.

All I have to do is breathe. And breathe again.

I don’t think this should have been so astounding when it popped into my mind. After decades or healing and working on myself. After decades of letting go of old tapes and learning new ways. After decades of finding ways to ease and slow down and live in love and joy. You think I would have gotten this already.

And maybe I have. But somehow, today in yoga, it loomed even larger, and I got it even more.

All I have to do is breathe. And breathe again. And breathe again.

Just breathe.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!

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Can you lighten up a little bit?

And by you, I mean me.

Can I lighten up a little bit? Can I find a way to not be so serious? To not try so hard? I’m still writing about it, so I guess it’s still a challenge at times. ☺

I know that when I lighten, life gets easier. I get easier. I know that when I lighten, I am happier. I know that when I lighten, things are good.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m light a lot of the time. I’ve worked hard ☺ to be light. I’ve learned to be light about being light.

And I can still use reminders.

There was a reunion of my Applied Positive Psychology class this weekend. Talk about a lot of people who are focusing on being light. It was wonderful to hear their stories of how they’ve applied Positive Psychology practices, almost as if they’re unconscious behaviors already. “I found myself stopping to take a deep breath to calm down,” one person said. “I freak out about everything I have to do and pause and look back at everything I’ve already done…and relax a bit,” another said.

I love seeing their journeys into more calm and ease, and lightness and joy. It reminds me of my own.

I love that I live my life looking for – and seeing – the beauty in everything around me. And often everyone around me. I love that I have tools to help me not be so serious. To help me not push so hard. And I love that the tools are almost so second nature to me – after all these years – that sometimes I use them without really noticing it, or thinking it through. I sometimes use them a lot.

Yes, there are moments in life – in my life – that are hard and heavy. Yes, I still have – I may always have – challenges in my now and trauma from my past to work though. Yes, there are times when I am so filled with anger it feels as if I’ll explode or when I’m crying with sadness. And yes, I believe I need to allow those feelings, be present for myself (and whomever I’m with), and search for (self) compassion and love.

And then when it’s time, I can, once again, lighten up.

I can often – if not always – use to bring a bit more joy and delight into my life. I can often – if not always – stand to pause, breathe, and ease. I can often – if not always – benefit from lightening up even more. And even more.

I can lighten up just a little bit.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!

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Everything counts

It seems that my yoga instructors are hell-bent on reminding me of life’s guidelines. Just the other day, the instructor reminded me (us) that everything counts.

Every thing counts. Every breath I take is an opportunity to breathe deeply and breathe in joy and love. Or to miss it. Every yoga pose is a chance to build my mental, physical and emotional muscles, as is, actually, every moment in my day. Every transition – from yoga pose to yoga pose or mundane activity to mundane activity – has the possibility to teach me more, ground me more, help me remember what I want to remember more.

I don’t mean to put added pressure on myself to always be on. I don’t want to put such emphasis on being present and aware that I’m mad at myself when I’m not present and aware. I don’t what to use my humanity as an excuse to beat myself up.

But I do want to remember that I can let every moment be a moment that matters. I can choose to enjoy the moment I’m in, learn from the experience in front of me, and suck the life juices out of my life – and my day.

I don’t have to let it be pressure; I don’t have to let it pile on stress. But I can show up as much as possible in every moment possible. The stranger on the street? I can smile and say hello and have a human connection. The wait for the delayed train? I can read something I want to read or text someone I want to connect with or just be in the moment with nothing to do but breathe and look around. The blog post I’m writing? I can pour my heart into it. Or I can decide to practice doing this thing less than perfectly and let whatever I write be enough.

Each moment, each task, each encounter, each space and to-do in my life is an opportunity. Because everything counts.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!

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