Are you breathing?
Breathing is our most intimate relationship with nature. After 9 months in the womb, our bodies complete the birthing process when we take our first gulp of air. This is a sign that you are now Earthbound.
This breath will be unconditionally given to us throughout life. It is our sacred contract with the Earth experience. It is our welcome and our exit. It is also our greatest abundance.Breath is our sacred contract with the Earth experience and our greatest abundance Click To Tweet
Yet we can breathe without thinking about it. And most of us do.
But pay closer attention to the breath and you will find a much deeper and more satisfying relationship with it.
Of course, the benefits of being consciously aware of the breath are nothing new. Meditators and yogis have known for centuries of its healing effects to calm the mind, strengthen the body energy (chi or prana) and bring us into deeper spiritual communion.
Modern research verifies this ancient wisdom and adds scientific proof to show that intentional breathing decreases stress hormones, activates higher thinking centres within the brain, lowers blood pressure, improves digestion and has numerous other physical and practical health benefits.
But in addition to this, the breath is also key to our nature connected awareness and ecological consciousness. It is our sensual link with an amazing planet that evolved in complex process of billions of years to give us the air we need to breath. We are the product of plankton, ferns and flowers that transformed our planet into an oxygenated life-supporting environment. This is our gift from the Universe and a reminder to always stay close to this source of life.
It’s devastating to read of extreme air pollution on parts of our planet that render the air unbreathable and the rising rates of asthma in large cities. This is a sign of our nature connected intelligence going off balance because if we pollute the air we pollute ourselves. The link is so simple and obvious that it feels strange that we haven’t woken up to it yet and collectively stopped the processes that diminish our life force. But in fact these are exactly the times we are in – the great awakening, or as Deep Ecology teacher Joanna Macy calls it, The Great Turning.
And a really simple way that you can be more connected and actively participate in this great turning time is through the awareness of your breath.
Because quite simply it is this. The Earth experience flows into our heart and body through our breath and the quality of our heart-centredness affects our actions that influence life on Earth. It’s an intimate, continuous relationship. The more we are consciously connected to our breath, the better decisions we make for the world; and the healthier our ecosystem is, the healthier we will be.
The message from our breath then is that to Breathe is to ‘Be Earth’ and to ‘Be Heart’. Take a look at the letters – this is the literal rearranging of them, it is so clear!
To BREATHE is to 'BE EARTH' and to 'BE HEART Click To Tweet
It’s such an incredible relationship that we can nurture in any and every moment.
To help me remember to be more connected to my breath, I’ve put a sign on my mirror that simply says ‘BREATHE’ so that each time I look at it I get a reminder. I’ve heard some coaches advise setting alarm reminders on our phones every 20 minutes to consciously breathe. And of course meditation practitioners all over the world teach us to set aside even small parts of our day to turn inwards and focus on our breathing. However you choose to consciously connect to your breath is as individual as you are. Explore and find something that works.
Another mantra I am using with myself in downtime moments is to inwardly say the following:
I am breathing
I am breathing with the Earth
I am breathing with the Ocean
I am breathing with the Plants
My heart is filled with this unconditional love
I give thanks
This is a practice that keeps me mindfully connected to the Earth and my Heart. Please use it if it feels valuable to you or make up your own version.
I explore more about our breath and connection to the Earth and ways to nurture the connection in my free 7-day Nature Connection E-Course, and even more in my one-day nature connection experience ‘Love in the Heart of Nature’ and my customized Nature Wellness Retreats so do check them out if you want more.
I also look forward to sharing more with you about this in other posts, so make sure you are signed up for email updates.
Now I’d love to hear from you. Do you have a conscious breathing practice? Or maybe you want to start – what is one practice you want to implement from today. Make a commitment and share in the comments below.
From my heart to yours,