A Breath of Fresh Air
Take a deep breath.
Fill your belly with air.
Feel it extending outwards.
Slowly, exhale through your mouth.
Release all tension in your body.
Release all tension in your mind.
To ‘inspire’ is to “fill someone with the urge or ability to do or feel something” (OED). The word stems from the Latin inspirare, meaning: to “breathe or blow into.” To inspire—literally—is to breathe.
Breathing, then, is more than a mechanical exercise of the body; it is also an act of creative regeneration.
To breathe is to vitalize every cell of our being.
As we inhale, we absorb the air that once enlivened other beings. The oxygen that keeps our hearts pumping comes from our oceans and trees. The carbon dioxide we release nourishes our bountiful ecosystems.
Breathing inextricably connects us to the world around us. Our wide-open deserts, lush rainforests, clear turquoise seas, and vast tundra—we give and take in balanced exchange.
In grief we tend to hold our breath; we gasp for air and fail—we feel stifled, suffocated. Our chests contract: we grow anxious and lose control. We disconnect from ourselves and our surroundings.
To breathe is to allow; to breathe is to release. As we inhale/exhale, we flow with the tumultuous waves of life.
To breathe is to accept all that was, is, and will be. To welcome the new like a breath of fresh air. To let an invisible force enter and shape us. To fill us up and replenish us. To invigorate us. To inspire us.
In breathing, we are in a constant state of becoming: gaining, surrendering—evolving.
Breathing is living; breathing is being.