This might sound like a strange question to ask, but in fact, deep breathing is one of the most important things we can do to nurture ourselves and restore energy.
If you need a quick pick-up, forget about coffee or those 5 hour energy drinks. If you straighten your spine and just focus on taking long, slow, deep breaths in and out for a few minutes, you will get a sweet rush of energy and a greater sense of well-being. And you can do it anywhere.
When it comes to creating an Art Life, energy is crucial. For most people, the creative process requires a calm, clear mind. You may have a job, or kids, or both, and need to work in time for your art early in the morning, on your lunch break, or late at night. You may find yourself starting a business.
Right now I am doing the Chopra Center 21 Day Meditation Challenge. These are short, about 15 minutes, so even busy people can do them. There was a great quote at the end of this meditation that inspired me to write this post.
“If you want to know what your experiences were like in the past, examine your body now. If you want to know what your body will look like in the future, examine your experiences now.”
Why aren’t we all taught that from childhood that something as simple as deep, slow breathing can improve our mood and energy level INSTANTLY, and improve our over-all health if we do it consistently? This has been known for thousands of years. Could it be because there’s nothing to sell there? Could it be that we are less powerful when we’re kept running in our little habitrails, fueled by a never-ending stream of coffee, over-processed, low-nutrient foods, stress and lack of sleep?
I’m just saying.
But luckily we have free will. As Jimi Hendrix said, “I’m the one whose got to die when it’s time for me to die, so let me live my life the way I want to.” Now you may think it’s strange that I’m quoting someone who died of unhealthy behaviors, but I gotta give credit – his attitude was spot-on.
Sometimes we feel stuck because we think we have to do things a certain way. Because your friends might look at you sideways, or your husband will complain because you refuse to eat fast food (mine), or you won’t make enough money. I promise, your husband, if he’s a good guy, will adjust. You will find friends who not only get you, they adore you. You’ll end up with a job that doesn’t just pay the bills, it fills you with joy. You’ll find yourself ass and elbows deep in the Art Life you always wanted.
I’m not saying it happens overnight. Life is a process. But we can change direction anytime. ANYTIME. Even a paralyzed man on his deathbed in jail can change his attitude. And that’s the most important part, anyway.
So, while you’re taking that five minutes to rev yourself up with some deep, slow breathing, just ask yourself: who will I be in a week, a month, a year, based on the choices I’m making today?
If you like what you see, send yourself some love. If you don’t like what you see, send yourself even more love. And more. Keep sending that love until it fills you up, because that is where we find the strength to make a change. Do it for yourself, and do it for the world. It needs your light.