Busy, busy - lots of exciting things for me, which professionally involves creating more audios and writings - always exciting and wonderful. Also at this particular time of year, of course, lots of family get togethers, which are so meaningful and important to me.
All but one of my four children are out of town, and all but the oldest were here celebrating a pretty low-key and very wonderful Thanksgiving. Holiday season now is in full swing, and the culmination of a lot of dreams I've had involving my work which are just now coming to fruition.
How to "Get Off the Bandwagon" and Breathe
I'm pretty much always busy, and have had, over these past several years, to "take myself in hand" to not be overrun by all I want to do in my life that I care so centrally and passionately about - family, work, travel, many hobbies. I suppose that's why I never tire of teaching meditation and other self-help reflective exercises that have been such a crucial help for me to "get off the bandwagon" and breathe.
One of the quick ways I decompressed over the Thanksgiving holiday, after returning from several short but intense trips the previous month with my grown children in Boston and New York, was to read an interview in an older issue of Parabola with Thich Nhat Hanah, the Vietnamese Buddhist spiritual master renowned throughout the world. He spoke about the necessity of having a space to breathe - literally.
Here is a special breathing meditative exercise to establish and keep breathing space as your best gift to yourself this holiday season. Remember, we can only give to others what we possess - so enjoy creating and expanding your special place to BE.
You Can Create Breathing Space to Heal and Balance this Holiday Season
1. Look around your living space. Pick a room, even a corner, as your "space to breathe". Clean it, clear it, and decorate it simply (a picture, a favorite object, include color(s) that you feel calm and supported around). Check to be sure you can place yourself very comfortably in this space.
2. So here you are for five or more minutes. Settle back, make sure you will not be disturbed, close your eyes and focus your attention on your breath. Count to yourself slowly ten full, deep, regular breaths.
3. For these next several breaths, each time you inhale, say to yourself the word "Breathe", and each time you exhale, say to yourself the word "Space". When you're ready, slowly open your eyes. How do you feel?