It’s all there within us already; we often have the tendency to look outside ourselves for the way forward, ways to live our lives and searching outward to find what it is we desire and achieve. The problem with this is that what we find when we look outward is tainted by the world we live in, by societies norms, and the preferences of others. By looking outward we feel the ‘should’ arising within us and the ‘should’ seldom contain the essence of who we are. Having said this, I suspect that many of us realise that such endeavours are futile and that we are looking in places which won’t reveal the answers we are seeking
Instead, we turn our attentions inwards to seek what is within us, and often when we do this we know deep from within us that this is the place that our seeking, our meaning, bears fruit. The body is the place to begin; after all it’s the body which is always in the present moment and the body which contains our answers. Seldom are the deeper questions of meaning and purpose, answered through the intellect and reasoning.
How do we tap into the body’s intelligence? Easier said than done; many of us spend most of our waking time in the head, our busy minds, unable to find space between the thinking, planning and ruminating. However, when we take the lead from many wise teachers we learn to begin with, ‘where we are now’ in this present moment. Finding this moment is found by becoming aware of something that is always with us from birth to death, so constant is it that it is easily un-noticed – our breath.
Breath work is so powerful that once you have learned to maintain awareness of breath one is unable to return to the place where we take breath for granted. We are granted our breath at birth, through childhood into adult life we take the breath for granted, now is the time to reclaim the perspective that breath is granted us and learn not to take it for granted any longer.
For a moment, whilst sitting quietly, exhale softly stay with the exhale, lungs empty of air and remain there, noticing what arises. Feel the experience of the body being airless; we often don’t appreciate things we have until there absent. Notice the impulse arising to take an in breath and to fill the body with air. At first notice the impulse to breathe in, without engaging with this impulse. Feel how it becomes stronger, the impulse not weakening, and then when you are ready inhale. As you do notice the experience of having the body full of air, of the impact a breath has on the body. Notice where the mind moves to once the in breath has been taken, and how the inhalation leads us to the following exhalation.
With this simple exercise we have whole heartedly entered the realms of the body, it’s likely that the mind quietened, the planning and ruminating ceased, as you played this game. In our Mindfulness Breath-Work courses we learn many methods of connecting with our bodies through the breath and learn to experience a quietening less busy mind.