Breathe in, Breathe out

I woke up this morning thinking about breathing, or more specifically, intake.  I felt refreshed, I felt calm, the house was quiet and I was relaxed.  I took in some deep breaths and exhaled fully.  I started thinking about all the ways we take things in.  I was especially thinking about the things I’ve been taking in lately.  These include food and drink, but that’s not what I was focusing on.

I was thinking about the various ways I take in negative thoughts and feelings:

The bad day at work that made me feel stupid.

The comments my wife makes that feel like attacks.

Listening to my kids fight, feeling the tension build up in my body.

Reading news about ignorance and bigotry.

Reading news about the horrific things people do to other people.

Worrying that I’m not doing enough, that I’m failing, letting people down, letting myself down, or, *shudder*, that I’m not living up to my potential.

Just as the calories we intake are incorporated into our physical bodies, into our physical chemistry and the cells that make up our muscles and neurons, negative thoughts, feelings, images, sounds and sensations become a part of our emotional and psychological bodies.  We talk a lot about how important a balanced diet is with respect to our physical bodies, but what about balancing the diet our souls take in?  I’ve been very aware of the toxicity building up in my body due to frustration, sadness, disappointment, fear, guilt.  I can feel it pooling up around my heart, my lungs, between my shoulder blades, in my muscles, saturating my thoughts.

This is what I was thinking about when I woke up this morning.  The idea of fighting against the toxicity that builds up with the antidote of positive intakes.  I think the real cure isn’t balance, it’s over-balance.  I should be going for a positive balance at the end of the day.

What are positive intakes?  There are a ton, but these are some of my favorites:

Time with my Little Bit, her smiles and laughter and silly games lift my spirits every time.

Sharing a love of fantasy and sci fi geekery with my Elder Spawn.  

Opening myself to my wife’s love and praise and the way she appreciates what I do.

Music: listening is good, singing out loud even better, singing and dancing are the best.

Getting love messages from my girlfriend and giving them to her, feeling the warmth of her love and support every day.

Sunshine: too much heat and I’ll melt, but not enough and I get very low. I like to just sit and soak it in.

Watching clouds:  I don’t know why, but spacing out on clouds makes me happy, mostly when they’re moving.

Dark Chocolate:  in moderation it is wonderful for recovering from Dementor attacks. 

Movement:  walking, biking, playing.

Quiet:  something I don’t get enough of, along with Time to enjoy it, but am working toward getting more in my life.

And a lot more things like that.  What are your favorite antidotes to toxicity?  What do you do to recover from Dementor attacks?

Mind your intakes my friends, I’m betting there are people who want you to be around for a while and too much toxic intake will eventually have a negative effect on your health.

Breathe in fully and consciously take in positive energy and thoughts and images, breathe out fully and send away negative energy, thoughts and images.  Repeat.

You know that our breathing is the inhaling and exhaling of air.  The organ that serves for this is the lungs that lie round the heart, so that the air passing through them thereby envelops the heart.  Thus breathing is a natural way to the heart.  And so, having collected your mind within you, lead it into the channel of breathing through which air reaches the heart and, together with this inhaled air, force your mind to descend into the heart and to remain there.  ~Nicephorus the Solitary

There is one way of breathing that is shameful and constricted.  Then, there’s another way: a breath of love that takes you all the way to infinity.  ~Rumi

Breath is the bridge which connects life to consciousness, which unites your body to your thoughts.  ~Thich Nhat Hanh

Focusing on the act of breathing clears the mind of all daily distractions and clears our energy enabling us to better connect with the Spirit within.  ~Author Unknown

 

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5 Responses to Breathe in, Breathe out

  1. Roxy Jones says:

    I love this post. I’ve been watching your spirit and energy flag these past few weeks and I’m so glad you’re taking a moment to reassess. It’s hard for heroes to stop being so heroic and saving the day, and I’m really happy to see you taking time for yourself. In video games, after bashing the hell outta the bad guy, you have to take time to stand still and bring your health numbers back up to 100%. In the real world, it’s not that different, except that it can take a lot longer. Thank you for putting yourself first right now so you can re-find that strength you use to take care of everyone else.

    I love you 🙂 thank you for being so good and supportive, and for being patient. You’ve told me this a thousand times at least and it must get exasperating to have to repeat yourself so much. I know that one of my big problems is not taking a break until I’m broken. Thank you for loving me through it all – K

  2. Ricki says:

    I try to relax and rest more. Chewy chocolate and kiddie cartoons also help! Good to “hear” from you, Roxy. We still miss reading your blog, and hope that you’re doing well. Kyle, how did the Seattle festival go? Did you get to read your work?

  3. Lily says:

    You know, I have recent experience of this. I had a really crappy day on Thursday. Things haven’t been so great lately, but up until that point I’d just been dealing with it. It hadn’t affected my mood that much.

    Then I lost my wallet.

    I mean, really, it just felt like the last straw. I did not even want to get started fixing anything, because it just felt like if I got started I’d never get to stop. I just did not want to do any of it. At all. I was angry, and I was tired, and I had had it.

    I needed to sleep, I needed to eat, I needed to not talk to people and not deal with stuff for a few hours.

    I took the afternoon off. I took a monster nap. When I got up I rode my scooter out to our city’s Little Italy and ate some antipasti and stared meditatively out the window at the water. I didn’t answer the phone or look at email.

    By the time I got home my eight year old had found my wallet. Not clear if he and the other Jedi just found it, or if they’d been using it to buy bootleg weaponry to fight the Empire off of eBay, but I’m going to refrain from investigating.

    I think a lot of the time what I really need is either covered by HALT (Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired) or, even though I’m fairly extroverted, just a need to disconnect from folk (and their needs) for a few hours.

  4. Ricki says:

    Kyle, you never answered my questions about the festival.

    I know, and I’ve been meaning to get back to your questions, sorry for the delay due to job and family demands and a general lack of energy. Look for a post very soon on that subject – K

  5. Ricki says:

    Thanks, Kyle, I appreciate your prompt response. Hope to hear more soon. We’re rooting for you (and Roxy)!

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