Amazon did me a huge favor this week by recommending that I might enjoy Priscilla Warner's completely delightful memoir, Learning to Breathe: My Yearlong Quest to Bring Calm to My Life. Holy moly! Does that not sound like it was written especially for me? Memoir, year-long, breathing, and calm. And it has been as good company as I'd expected.
I may not have mentioned here how much breath is with me these days. My good buddy, Jon Bernie, has been my constant companion in my car for the past several weeks - love his podcasts. And one day I realized that I listen over and over and over to his good instruction on getting grounded in one's body. And I totally acknowledge that this is something I really need. And yet, I'm so much like the person in Pema Chodron's description of someone who gets a prescription from the doctor and shows it to everyone and puts it up on the wall and never actually takes the medicine.
So lately, when I remember (oh ignorance, why do you plague me so!) I'll take a few minutes to just feel my breath being breathed. I'll just feel my natural breath in my body, not forcing or manipulating any of it, just being with it exactly as it happens. And it's crazy how the colors around me get brighter, how calm and connected I feel, just by doing this super simple thing. And the even crazier thing is how I'll either forget or tell myself I don't have time to do it. Seriously. It takes 30 seconds.
I'm thinking setting a year-long goal like Priscilla Warner did might be a really practical support for sticking with this practice a little better. Of course, her book deal might have done something as well... And I'm exploring signing on a companion for my spiritual journey. I'm just realizing how much I drift. That or become my own personal jailer. Too loose or too tight, that's me. And so I often dissociate and kind of wake up a week later unmoored and amnesiac about what might help, with no memory of where I might have left my spiritual toolbox.
Anyway, Priscilla Warner and I have been traveling similar paths and have similar toolboxes, although hers seems to be getting more use. But that's just inspiring to me.