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Breathe in,... Breathe out

The point of the exercise is to relieve the stress and tension built up throughout the tissues of our body, and to bring the physical essence of the self to a more peaceful, relaxed and whole state. Sometimes, we have forgotten how to feel good.  Our memory is clouded by years of accumulated pressure.  These moments of visualization help us recall how to be as we once were, or to teach us for the first time that there is a way to feel better.  And, after practice, we can train ourselves to bring this state of being to us at any time.

If you’d like to give this a try here are some tips that work for me. I like to be sitting when I do this, but I’ll do it anytime, anywhere, in any posture.  Take in a breath, slowly and steadily, about six seconds in duration.  Fill your whole self with the breath.  Visualize your essence being filled with fresh, healthy oxygen.  Consider this a life force, which it really is.  Feel it spread through your body tissue, and fill the cells of your whole being.  Visualize it seeping into every nook and cranny, bringing renewed strength to every bit of you.  Feel it flow through your shoulders and down your arms, through your torso and down your legs.  Know that it is good, that it is invigorating, and that it is yours.  With this breath, call your whole self to join you.  All the bits of you that are being tugged at by work, family, and endless worry from news stories…reclaim it and rejuvenate it.  Feel yourself ‘whole’ and solid and strong as you slowly say the word in your mind with this breath. 

As you release the breath, again slowly and for the six second count, feel a complete calmness as you think the word ‘calm’.  You might add to this exhale a visual scene that exemplifies calm to you.  You might picture something in nature, or the face of someone you love who helps you to be your best while accepting you as you are.  (For me, that person is my maternal grandmother.  Although she left this life nearly twenty-five years ago, her loving presence is still with me.)

After several times using this method of relaxation, you will find that you can achieve the state of whole calmness more quickly as you become more efficient with practice.  Even when you reach that level of competence, you should still take the time periodically to devote several minutes to this exercise.  Through the past several years I have learned many ways to achieve a sense of wellbeing.  While the method described here was taught to me to help with pain management, it is a wonderful way of bringing tranquility to yourself.

Any questions??