I have just returned from a delightful weekend with the women of First Baptist Church in Gainesville, GA. We had a fantastic time at the retreat. Our theme for the weekend was “Just Breathe.” One of those things that sounds easy, but isn’t.
Our modern life does not give us much time to catch our breath! Here’s some peace-stealers the women named at their retreat: Other people’s needs and schedules; work expectations; medical problems; financial pressure; family expectations, demands and conflicts; social media; commutes and traffic.
These pressures hold us captive
like caged animals in a high-tech zoo.
But each breath we take is really a gift from God that we can become aware of at any time. When we watch our own breath moving in and out of our body, we relax into ourselves inside the inhale and exhale.
We don’t think about our breath too much. Our involuntary respiration system is so efficient we often take each breath for granted. But as we discovered at this retreat, our breath connects us to God, to the natural world, to ourselves and to each other.
When your very breath becomes an act of release and intention, you become a more peaceful and intentional person (Sweet side benefit, right?).
Here is one of the breath techniques I taught the women at the retreat that you can use to release stress, find internal quiet and reset your homeostasis (respiration). It is called the 4-7-8 breath and it was developed to help heart patients manage stress. Here’s how to do it:
THE 4-7-8 BREATH
1. Close your eyes and say the word “releasing” very slowly.
2. Take in your breath on 4 counts.
3. Hold that breath for 7 counts.
4. Release your breath on 8 counts.
5. Repeat two more times.
To make this even better, just stay with that awareness of your breath entering and leaving your body as you offer prayers of gratitude for all that is RIGHT in your life.
When the stress-monsters reappear (and they will, they always do!) just take 3 minutes to do the 4-7-8 breath no matter where you are. It’s so easy and discreet, no one but you has to know you are doing it. That’s my favorite part of breath work…no one has to know but you!
My prayer for you is that you find peace and restoration this day so that you can release yourself from the clutches of grief and move forward into your future. If you are looking for a guide who knows the territory I invite you to explore the Widows’ Recovery System. Email me and we can arrange a time to talk.