On Saturday, our daughter performed with her Community Chorus at the Mall. In case you did not already know this, the Mall, two weeks before Christmas, is a place to be avoided! We live just two miles from the Mall, but it took us more than a half hour to get there in thick, nearly stand-still traffic. Everyone rushing about and stressed to the max. Even though we allowed plenty of time to get there, we were still late. During this busy time of year it is easy to forget how to find calm amidst the bustle of everyone's stress! But did you know that just the thought of calm, of tranquility and serenity, can begin the process of refreshing the body and soul?
A good first step is to become aware of the breath. Awareness of breathing is an excellent, first-aid technique that will help you to make your way through difficult situations and produce many healthful benefits. Lately, I have begun to use a meditative breath exercise when I find myself at Red Traffic Light. I observe my breath rather than observing the delay and allowing stress to get the better of me.
In the philosophy of Jin Shin Jyutsu, we are invited observe the exhalation. This is where the breath begins. The exhale is what relaxes us and lets go of stress and tension. It is the key to clearing the body. Moving out the old stale air and making room for the next new breath. Clear your clutter. Too many of us are hoarders of one kind or another. Many of us hoard our breath by not exhaling fully. We keep the old stuff in and don't make room for the new purified air, the abundant out-pouring of limitless life-power, our birth-right.
The breath is the simplest and most perfect of all the tools we have for health and balance. It can be used with awareness at any moment to balance the life energy and bring us into a place of harmony and healing flow. This simple, meditative exercise will bring about calm breathing and inner tranquility. EXHALE long and deep, then you need not TAKE an inhalation but will RECEIVE one naturally, no effort necessary. Being aware of the breath assists us to dwell in the present moment, one breath at a time.
The Jin Shin Jyutsu breath practice, 36 Conscious Exhalations, is a great way to access this Limitless Life-Power and to establish a practice of mindful breathing. Begin by counting each exhalation. Allow your breath to unfold naturally. If you lose count, just begin again. This exercise can be done all at once, or broken into 4 session of 9 breaths each. In time, your breathing will automatically become deeper and more rhythmic. As you EXHALE, unload all the dust dirt and greasy grime that is held in your body. Exhale from head to toes. Receive each breath with awareness and appreciation. Inhale from toes to head. RECEIVE the Cosmic Energy of Abundance. Connect to the Cosmic Energy Force.
So, next time you are stuck in traffic, or find yourself caught up in the swirl of stress- think about calm and remember your breath.