“No-Fail” Friday: Next level

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I’m not sure about life on your side of the screen, but over here, it’s been a loooong week. Every day has brought something that wasn’t originally on the agenda, and there’s been a lot of reshuffling and pushing through. Some weeks are like that, though. These are the times that I’m especially grateful for mindfulness, and like we talked about earlier this week, the ability to breathe and stay present through discomfort.

It’s kind of like the whole week has been a mindfulness challenge, tbh, but that’s just me. Far as I know, you’re still in need of one. 

We’ll keep it straightforward, though. All you need is five minutes and your breath. If you’ve already got both, then, welllllll…no time like the present.

Settle in to your seat, looking for that balance between awareness and comfort. Relaxed enough to hang here for a little while, but too attentive to accidentally drop into a nap – if you can help it. I know, I’ve been there…but try.

Start by noticing your breath, and allow the awareness of the air moving in and out of your body bring you into this one-and-only present moment. You don’t have to do anything special but notice. Feel the air, and observe the small movements your body makes even in stillness as you breathe in, and exhale out.

Then, after a few rounds, start to deepen your inhales, filling your lungs as completely as possible before you release the breath, and exhale until your lungs are fully empty. Just when you think you can’t inhale any more, take in one more sip of breath, and then begin to let it go.

Finally, consider adding a short count to your rounds of breath, inhaling and exhaling to the same number on each side. It could be 4 or 5, or even more, just go for consistency. Inhaling 1-2-3-4, and exhaling 4-3-2-1. Try to keep your pace steady on each in and out breath, and from round to round.

Turns out you had a little more breath in you than you thought you did, huh? I little more space, a little more time, a little more patience…and presence.

We live in an age of instant gratification. Most of what you want to see, have or experience is at your fingertips, and If you have the means, just a click away. When we encounter something that requires that we wait, or become – let alone stay – uncomfortable, we’re thrown by it. We, as humans, are as challenged as we have ever been by that kind of moment.

Life will never stop giving them to us, though, and making sure that some of the best things it has to offer are waiting on the other side of them. Learn to stay in it without running away or seeking distraction, and your limits as you knew them will eventually evaporate into thin air.

Photo credit: sasint

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