“Faith is the strength by which a shattered world shall emerge into light.” ― Hellen Keller
It can be hard to stay positive when you’re going through so much in your life. It might feel like the walls are closing in on you and you can’t breathe. Gradually, you find yourself pulling away from the ones you love. Instead, you seek refuge and comfort under the bed covers and the dark corners of your mind.
When you feel overwhelmed by the chaos in the world, it’s natural to want to hide. When you feel afraid or uncertain of what to do next, it’s natural to want to retreat. When you feel helpless with nowhere to turn, it’s natural to want to give up.
Have faith, my Pineapple. Take it one second at a time. Close your eyes and place a hand on your chest. For the next few seconds, feel the beating of your heart. Breathe the air into your nose, expand your belly as you fill your lungs over three seconds. Being still, hold your breath as if sacred. Try holding your breath for four seconds. Blow the air out and listen as it escapes through your lips. Try blowing the air out over five seconds. Do this for as many rounds as you can.
Do you hear it? Do you hear your breath going in and out? Relax into your breathing as you focus on the sound it makes. Do you feel your belly moving in and out? Do you feel any tension in your body? What do you feel? Do you hear anything else in or around you?
You have lived in the moment. By focusing on your breath, you are anchored to the present moment. In that moment, you are in control. The mere act of focusing on your breathing has allowed you to be in control. \
Breathing doesn’t sound like it will solve every problem you have. But, breathing will calm your mind and your body. The more you practice being calm, and the more oxygen you can get into your brain, the more clearly you will think. When you can think clearly, solutions to problems will arise, perspectives will shift, and attitudes will improve.
You can also combine your breathing with movement to further increase your circulation and strengthen the mind-body connection. Try taking one step on the inhale and another step on the exhale. Then, repeat. You can do this in the safety of your own home or as a grounding exercise outside. Take your shoes off and allow the bottoms of your feet to make contact with the natural ground. Connecting with nature can further help you feel grounded in the present moment. If you live by a lake or ocean, consider doing this exercise close to the water - either standing still or gently stepping with your breath.
Breathing bridges the gap between fear and faith. Inhale faith; exhale fear. Inhale confidence; exhale your insecurities. Inhale peace and serenity; exhale stress and chaos. Inhale the light; exhale the darkness.
Keep breathing and keep believing that everything will be OK, my Pineapple.
Live, Love, and Lead with Aloha.