[Note: please consider the thought, perhaps re-reading and visualizing a few times. Then do as many of the exploration steps as you have time for.]
How many breaths do you take each day? The archetypal breathing rhythm for a human being is 25,920 breaths each day! 25,920 inhales. 25,920 exhales. Our life begins with an inhale and ends with an exhale. From the first inhale to the last exhale, our breathing is continuous. And we don’t give this breathing a thought and it never tires us.
On this first Holy Night I am asking you to think about your inner breathing - the breathing of your soul. Your soul breathes. It inhales. It exhales. What is the intention living in each soul breath?
Ideally, our souls breathe truth, beauty and goodness. Ideally, our soul breathing is a steady even rhythm supporting our evolving individuality and humanity. Ideally, our breaths would be either innocent or wise.
But in reality, we often breath half-truths and lies, distortions and corruptions, and harm and evils. In reality, our soul breathing is often too quick and too frequent, or too slow and infrequent. In reality, our breaths often lack innocence or wisdom.
Our souls are continuously breathing all that is around us from all our sense perceptions, the deeds we witness, the ideas we meet, the moods and energies we feel, the hearts and souls of those near to us, always moving from inhale to exhale and another inhale.
Like our physical breathing, our soul breathing can be shallow or deep. How deeply into our souls do we want to take in the world, the thought, the mood or the deed? How does the soul hold its breath?
This past week I attended a concert of the "Messiah" at Carnegie Hall. It was "breathtaking." I found parts of it so beautifully performed that my soul could barely breathe it in!
Tonight, explore your soul’s intention to breathe. With compassion and self-attention, seek the needs of your breathing soul. Reflect on the year you have just lived and consider the one you are about to start living.
What did you inhale? What did you take into your inner life? What do you want to inhale over the next twelve months?
What do you need to exhale? Are you sensitive to the need to exhale what fills your soul?
Do you hold your breath?
Do you realize that another inhale will fill you soul again?
What experiences of the year were breathtaking?
Celebrate the truth, the beauty and the goodness you welcomed into your soul.
Forgive and redeem the shadow breaths.
Feel the confidence of the continuous rhythm of your soul breath.
Do a drawing of your soul’s breathing. Or write a poem. You might also get up and dance your soul’s breathing. Express your innocent soul’s breathing and then see what changes if you express your soul’s wise breathing. Is there a difference? Be playful. Become a newborn on Christmas night.
Please post a comment sharing how and what you realized about your soul’s breathing, it will inspire others.