Today I met with my local community to Breathe Deep. This is a new idea for our gatherings together... each week we focus on a different aspect of why we gather together. Today was about deepening our capacity for spiritual rhythms and disciplines. Now, while you are reading this sentence take a deep breath. And now - release. See how amazing that is? Do it again. Just breathe - deeply. They say that breathing is the key to endurance, speed, and good living. One of the treatments for anxiety and depression is deep breathing. I don't think it's any mistake that God created humanity and then breathed into our nostrils with the breath of life (I often see this in my 'cartoon' mind like we were body balloons and we needed air to really live). Not just biological life (we already had this) but spiritual life - the life of the spirit... God's life entered us through breath.
I don't know why we don't pay more attention to our breathing. Years ago I learned a 'breathing' prayer that I've practised and LOVED for a long time. You simply pay attention to your breath. When you inhale you connect with God's spirit and ask Him to fill you. When you exhale you release the things inside of you that don't belong (fear, worry, self, wrongs, failures, shortcomings, pride).
I learned and loved this a long time ago. And then I just remembered it. I had forgotten about this deep breathing rhythm of living deeply. And that's easy to understand... because when you go faster your breathing speeds up and becomes more shallow. In order for athletes to go to extreme barrier breaking places they need to learn to breathe deeper not faster, even while they are moving forward. They have to increase their capacity for breath. And that lesson is clear. "no time to pray' says the teacher, "no time not to pray, I say".
Maybe it's time to take the time to breathe. Just breathe. With gratitude I breathe in, deeply, the breath that is God's great gift to me - life.