Inhale the good shit and exhale the bad shit. I say we can do better than that.
Lets begin with a bit of super simple science. We inhale oxygen that the plants provide and we exhale carbon dioxide that plants breathe in (I know it’s not as simple as that but just stick with me here). So all day, everyday, you are in a constant exchange with Miss Mother Nature herself. She provides for you and you provide for her. You are not two separate entities but interconnected and may I say friends even. In fact, I think its safe to say that your relationship with Mother Nature might just be the most important relationship of your life…true soul mates.
And yet somewhere along the line we started to believe that we are separate from Mother Nature, that our exchange with Her is one where she gives and we take (and take and take).
But as Elizabeth Gilbert points out in her book Big Magic, things weren’t always this one sided. “Ancient people did not see it this way. Our ancestors always operated with a sense of being in a reciprocal emotional relationship with their physical surroundings. Whether they felt that they were being rewarded by Mother Nature or punished by her, at least they were engaged in a constant conversation with her.”
So how do we start that conversation back up?
Well the breath is a great place to start! Every breath you take is your connection to life force energy.
What is life force energy?
It is the vital force that gives us life and when we spend time nurturing our relationship with it, brings a much deeper meaning to our lives. The yogis call this Prana. In Taoism they call it Chi. Hippies call it high vibrations. For this blog, let’s stick with calling it Mother Nature. When we are in tune with Mother Nature we often feel “in the flow” or “in the zone”. We experience peace and wellbeing and we are not as affected by life’s inevitable challenges.
What other gifts can our breath give us?
Our breath is also our connection to the present moment. How you ask? The breath is always happening in the present moment and so by simply focusing your awareness on it, you yourself can begin to experience a little slice of life right there in the present moment. And you know who else hangs out in the present moment? Mother Nature. In fact it is Her favorite spot. So the more time you spend in the present, the more time you get to connect with Her. And the more time you spend connecting with Her the more ease and peace you experience and the less resistance you encounter. See where I’m going with this? To really drive the point home here’s my little twist on a quote from a very wise Yogi:
Inhale, and Mother Nature comes to you.
Hold the inhalation and Mother Nature remains with you.
Exhale and you go to Mother Nature.
Hold the exhalation and stay with Her.
So how do focus your awareness on the breath? There are many ways!
Yoga, meditation, & a mindfulness practice are all awesome ways to deepen your connection. But the really great part about using your breath to connect is that it is always with you! So it isn’t necessary to be in any special place at any special time. You don’t need a yoga mat and you don’t even need to be sitting down! You can practice connecting with your breath while waiting in line at the grocery store or walking your dog. The more you practice, the easier it gets, until it becomes second nature. And then voila! You have a strong awareness to your breath that you can use to keep you happy, healthy, and rooted in the present moment.
Moving right along…
Our breath is also very purifying. We release both physical and emotional toxins through our breath. The way we breathe can be a wonderful indicator of the way we are interacting with our surroundings. Is your breath short and shallow, or do you practice slowing it down and deepening it? Is it something that you pay no mind to, or do you make a conscience effort to stay connected to it? Are the only deep breaths you take in frustration and anger, or do you experience a deep exchange of love and good energy through taking a deep breath?
Watch your breath. Spend time with it. Connect to it on a daily basis. Hell why not several times a day while you are at it! Cultivate an awareness and deep connection to that universal exchange because it will guide you to becoming more aware and connected to the Universe itself (Mother Nature). Develop your relationship with Her everyday. And as you do, don’t forget to keep in mind that all great relationships will hit bumps in the road! So yes – go ahead and release frustration and anger through that deep exhale. But send it out there with the intention of lightening your load so your next breath can be one filled with love, trust and positivity. Because after all, great relationships are built on an equal exchange of give and take. So remind yourself that in your relationship with life you want to give as much as you take.
So I say inhale the good shit and exhale the even BETTER shit.
Give it a try…you’re breathing anyway.