Heart & Breath

We’re familiar with the expression “thinking outside the box”— choosing to see things from a different perspective, perhaps more creatively or unconventionally, not boxed in. There’s value in “breathing outside the box,” too, taking the time to hear your breath, slowing down, consciously inhaling and exhaling, honoring and acknowledging what’s often taken for granted

Breathing sounds simple, but it’s a complicated process:
Your diaphragm contracts, ribcage lifts, air travels through your lung’s branches, oxygen flows into capillaries, and then enters the red blood cells in each blood vessel. Blood then carries oxygen to your heart, which pumps that blood to every cell in your body. The red blood cells empty their load of oxygen and pick up carbon dioxide for the return trip to your lungs. That carbon dioxide is then carried by the red blood cells in the capillaries to the alveoli, where it’s emptied into the air when we exhale. Wow! I often (almost always) take this for granted.

When you see someone using a ventilator, do you stop and think, “How fortunate am I to breathe on my own?” Maybe you know someone with asthma, or perhaps you’ve felt like you couldn’t “catch your breath.” When not enough oxygen gets to your cells, and you’re “short of breath,” your body doesn’t have the energy you need to do the things you must (or want to) do.

Breathing with your heartbeat is a powerful experience. f you feel like you’re a pressure cooker about to blow or realize that you’re stuck in a repetitive cycle, hit “pause.” Stop. Observe what you’re doing, both physically and mentally. Put your hand over your heart, directing your attention to it. Inhale and exhale slowly, imagining that you’re breathing through and in harmony with your heart. Start with five heartbeats in, then five heartbeats out. This practice is especially important when you’re overwhelmed, afraid, or stressed. (COVID-19 added significant weight to what we already carried at the beginning of the year—all the more reason to begin this practice.)

Without awareness, it’s easy to slip into doing the same things and getting the same results. (This is critically important, but, in my humanness, I’m often not purposeful about “breathing outside the box!”) 

"Yes I understand 
That every life must end
As we sit alone
I know someday we must go
Yeah, I'm a lucky man 
To count on both hands 
The ones I love...
Stay with me
Let's just breathe."
Pearl Jam, "Just Breathe"

Intentional breathing is like being intentional about living. It invites you to be aware of the gift of breath, which helps you “call to yourself” the people and experiences you desire. And, breathing outside the box, consciously and with our hearts, gives us the ability—or perhaps more accurately permission—to explore and seek ways of living that aren’t always “inside the box.”  

Just breathe,
Kay



Dear Reader, please help spread the word of peace full home® and invite your friends to our peace-filled conversations. I’d love to hear from you, so please feel free to comment and let me know what you’re thinking. If you comment, please check the box so that you get my response. Thank You!

Blog: peacefullhome.com
Twitter:@kaymclane
Instagram: @peace_full_home
Facebook: facebook.com/kayspeacefullhome

©peace full home.com®/intentional living, 2013-2020

 





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