#300 Breath and Water

Do you remember The Breath and Water Club?

I’ve returned to my Breath and Water practice. My life is in some kind of major transition, so I figured there couldn’t be a better time to begin Breath and Water again. I invite you to join me! That’s how the club began, back in 2004, as an attempt by me to gather the support of a group to practice Breath and Water together.

I’m on day three, and I’ve already forgotten my evening breathing once. I was going to get the string out to tie around my finger, but we just moved, and I can’t find it. But I can find you.

Maybe you don’t remember the Breath and Water Club. Here’s what it’s all about: Drink 8 glasses of water a day, and do conscious breathing for 15 minutes twice a day. Do that for 6 months and your life will change in ways you never dreamed of. It’s as simple as that.

The Breath and Water Club newsletter — 70 issues over 6 years — is full of suggestions and reports of results from me and many other club members. Check it out and join the Breath and Water Club.

#299 Just because you believe something

JUST BECAUSE YOU BELIEVE SOMETHING, doesn’t mean that it’s true. Just because someone told you something is true, doesn’t mean that you need to believe it. Just because you’ve always believed something, doesn’t mean you must continue to believe it. Just because everyone in your family believes something, doesn’t mean that you need to believe it. Just because people have believed something for thousands of years, doesn’t mean that you need to believe it too. Just because you really want to believe something, doesn’t mean that you should believe it. Nor, actually, does it mean that you shouldn’t believe it.

What all of this means is that it’s a good idea to know what you believe, and why you believe it, and make a conscious choice about all of it.

#298 Remember to Remember

I stalk beliefs. Why? Because by and large, beliefs are limitations. They limit my expansion into who I am capable of being.

What’s the procedure for stalking beliefs? There are many, but here’s a good one: catch your automatic responses. For example, when you make a mistake, do you automatically say something to yourself like — that was so stupid! Catch that automatic response, and unpack it. Follow it to its source. Investigate it. You’ll find beliefs in there, and those beliefs will be limitations. Can you stop right now and list some of your automatic responses?

It’s a good idea to practice the things I teach all the time, especially when life is flowing smoothly. That way, when life is fixin’ (as they say in Texas) to become overwhelming, you’ll have your practice to guide you through.

For example, my wife and I decided that, after 13 years, it was time to stop living full time in our RV. That was the first decision, and the easiest. We made that decision in September. Many, many decisions followed that one, and a few weeks ago we signed a one-year lease on a house in Blanco, Texas. Our beautiful RV is for sale. We’ve moved into the house. We have actually moved to Texas. (!!!)

The whole process has been a bit overwhelming, so I’ve had plenty of opportunities to stay grounded in what I know — breathe, drink water, investigate my automatic responses, stalk my beliefs, dwell in appreciation, radiate love, keep a little smile on my face, be grateful (thank you, toaster), be kind, never pass up an opportunity to be generous, remain curious, be aware of expectations, don’t do anything grudgingly, be glad, embrace not knowing, and the foundation — 15 minutes of conscious breathing morning and evening. And tie a string around my finger to remind me of all this!

I have been more or less successful, but every time I remember to remember what I know, I celebrate. I congratulate myself. I am hopeful.

All these practices and more can be found at my Tenacity Notes blog — you’re reading it now — and believe me, I’ve been perusing the blog myself the past few months! It’s been an important and grounding support for me.

Even though we have moved to Texas full time, I’m still every bit as available for readings as I ever was. Call. Email. Contact me through my website. Get in touch.

#297 Finding Hope

There is a woman I know, an ardent Trumpist who crows out her delight at his every utterance. I, the one who teaches of the surging ocean of love, can only approach her snarling.

Then I came upon this Rumi poem.

Are you jealous of the ocean’s generosity?
Why would you refuse to give
this love to anyone?
Fish don’t hold the sacred liquid in cups!
They swim the huge fluid freedom.

The current Republican cabal is a huge challenge to me. But they are also a blessing in a way, because they remind me every day to return to what I know to be true for me — love is the worthy path, and be active in The Resistance. Those two together, that is how I replace fear with hope.

 

#296 The Surging Ocean of Love

A few years ago, I wrote a lot about emanating love. I learned something from that practice — one cannot simply emanate love.

One must be in the flow of love in order emanate it. Think of love as a moving, flowing, stream of energy. A surging ocean of it. It is from within that ocean of love that one can emanate love.

How do I join the flowing stream of love? How do I fill myself with love so that I can emanate it?

Gratitude and appreciation place me there. Gratitude and appreciation fill me with love, which then flows through me. I emanate it.

And here’s another sure fire way to stand in the flow of love — hug a tree. Lean on that tree. Commune with it. Mingle your roots with its. Share your hope with it, your joy, your sorrow. Offer it kindness and curiosity. Receive what it offers you, and you’ll recognize the flowing stream of love.

How do you place yourself into the flow of love?

#295 Conscious Breathing

“Meditate”  is a word that means different things to different people. Here’s what it means in my life. Twice a day, morning and evening, I set the timer on my phone for 15 minutes. Then I practice conscious breathing — which means I breathe and I keep my awareness on my breath. I feel my breath in my nostrils; I am aware of the movement of my diaphragm, my ribs, my abdomen; I experience where my lungs receive my breath, and where they don’t; I experience the glory in every inhalation, and the acceptance in every exhalation; I keep a little smile on my face.

At the end of 15 minutes of conscious breathing, I find that I have gathered my wits, I remember who I am, I dwell in appreciation and gratitude, love is in every cell. Really, it’s quite a satisfying experience! And when I don’t do my 15 minutes of conscious breathing? Chaos in some form or another is a likely visitor to my life.

And so I encourage you to answer the question — what does “meditate” mean in your life?

#294 The Thread

I came across this poem the other day, and it got me thinking.

The Way It Is
by William Stafford

There’s a thread you follow. It goes among
things that change. But it doesn’t change.
People wonder about what you are pursuing.
You have to explain about the thread.
But it is hard for others to see.
While you hold it you can’t get lost.
Tragedies happen; people get hurt
or die; and you suffer and get old.
Nothing you do can stop time’s unfolding.
You don’t ever let go of the thread.

I know, I have known, that there is a thread I follow, and I have traced it back quite a ways. But the poem got me wondering where in my life the thread had originated. Then I saw a story about Elie Wiesel, who had gone to Cambodia to help survivors of Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge. Someone there asked him why he had gone so far to help, especially since it was not a Jewish tragedy. He answered, when I desperately needed people to come, they did not. That is why I go to help. And that gave me the whole story of the thread I have followed since birth. Maybe I’ll write about it some day.

What is your thread?