When we are mindful of our breathing, it helps us to calm the body and the mind. Then we are able to be aware of our thoughts and feelings with a greater degree of calmness and with a more discerning eye. We are able to see things more clearly and with a larger perspective, all because we are a little more awake, a little more aware. And with this awareness comes a feeling of more room to move, of having more options, of being free to choose effective and appropriate responses in stressful situations rather than losing our equilibrium and sense of self as a result of feeling overwhelmed, thrown off balance by our own knee-jerk reactions. – Jon Kabat-Zinn, Full Catastrophe Living

The Meditation Mantra of the Month of February has been the word Pranayama, which is the movement of breath & energy in our body. It has been a good practice for me to have to read the above quote by Jon Kabat-Zinn during each yoga practice. I need all of it. Every Word. More Room To Move. More Options. Rather than losing MY sense of self as a result of feeling overwhelmed.

The month has gone so fast. Sometimes it seems that February can drag on forever. But this year was different as I said goodbye to my very beloved dog Rita on January 31st. So, the month of February has marked this new phase of life, without her. And lots of life and more death than just Rita has happened within this month. There have been seemingly endless reasons to lose my/our balance in response to knee jerk reactions.

The other night in the Yoga & Grief class we practiced balancing, with an emphasis on the ING. It’s always a fine tuning of balance, effort, and ease. We are finding our balance, finding the center of gravity where we don’t have to work so hard to stay up. We are finding our balance with patience and trust that it is Always Within Us. We are making the subtle shifts in our breath and posture, developing a greater awareness of how we carry ourselves and the difference it makes. And as we are always finding our balance, we are always going to wobble and feel out of balance. The more we try and stop the wobbling, the worse it gets. Ease up. Find your breath. Allow a certain amount of wobble. Wobble doesn’t mean that you’re losing your balance – it means that you are finding it. All that being said, the wobble feels insecure and vulnerable and generally undesirable. I want to feel like the ground is a little more stable, fixed, and dependable. But honestly these days — oh my goodness — does it all feel wobbly? Is it just me?

So, here’s the reminder to you & me too to find your breath, re-member, feel the open space around your head and the ground beneath your feet.

 

Peace all around you and within,

Rachel

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