A Deep Breath…

 In Reflections

“Breathe deeply, until sweet air extinguishes the burn of fear in your lungs and every breath is a beautiful refusal to become anything less than infinite.” —D. Antoinette Foy

With all that’s unsettled in the world and in many lives these days, sometimes only a deep breath will do.  Sometimes taking a moment to create breathing space is our most important task.

Yet many, like me, often forget the immense calming, centering, and healing power of our breath and the inner breathing space we can create with it and our imagination.

What do you need to take a deep breath about today? How might a few minutes focused on deeply breathing in oxygen and peace and breathing out carbon dioxide and any worries, fears, or anxieties support you?
“The wisest one-word sentence? Breathe.”
―Terri Guillemets

If your breath is short and illness makes deep breathing impossible right now, can the power of your imagination help? Envisioning cells within your body deeply breathing, angels or loved ones taking deep breaths on your behalf, or the breeze or a fan sending you a deep breath. The possibilities are endless. How will you breathe deeply?

May you be blessed by and rejoice in the power of a deep breath today.

The Rest Between

“Sometimes the most important thing in a whole day is the rest we take between two deep breaths.”

—Etty Hillesum

Deep Breathing Brings…

“Deep breathing brings deep thinking and shallow breathing brings shallow thinking.”
—Elsie Lincoln Benedict

Tai Chi at Gate #1


In the Priority Lane where passengers
will later jockey for position,
a solo choreography is in progress
like an underwater ballet.
A middle-aged man in deep concentration
spools out a studied routine
in a symphony of silence,
his shirttail swaying like a prayer flag
over his well-washed jeans.

He moves across the worn blue carpet
with deliberate steps. A foot rises,
pivots in slow motion, returns decisively
to the ground, as though reading hidden stones
below the surface of the river
he is surely crossing. His hands address
the air in gestures that both invite and deflect:
Come. Stay. Enough.

Magnetized in mid-stride by the small drama,
I obey, left hand on my suitcase, the right
reflexively on my heart. His face registers
no awareness of my presence;
his gaze inward.

My breath slows, deepens, eases me
down into the shared silence,
his hands parting the waters,
the wide plaid of his shirt
windows into another world.


—Martha K. Grant, Cave Paintings, Vimeo Account (where Martha reads her poetry).

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