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Deep Breath, Open Mind

Deep Breath, Open Mind

Faith is love taking the form of aspiration. –William Ellery Channing

I have been studying positivity for months now. There are many days when I have tried to make myself think or feel positively and was completely unable to get out of my fear or pain that held me. What I have learned from those moments, especially in my relationships, is that when I aspire to simply being open to what is actually happening, positivity can and often does slip in the back door. I have always liked the idea of aspiration. I have always liked the idea of aspiration. I like the feel of the word as it rolls off my tongue and I have always held dearly the meaning of a heartfelt reaching towards something high or great.

Yet aspiration also means breathing, or specifically taking in air. Our ability to breathe deep happens when we feel open and relaxed. As much as breathing is autonomic, it is one of the rare body functions that can be seriously enhanced through attention. It is not surprising that breathing is the foundation of most mindful meditation techniques. If you are truly watching how you breathe, your mind cannot run circles around you. Being fully present to the act of taking in and letting out air is one of the most fundamental ways to open to the world. In a very real and concrete way our aspirations both in breath and dreams create the world.

Franklin Roosevelt once said, ‘Selfishness is the only real atheism; aspiration, unselfishness, the only real religion.’ Our aspirations and our ability to be open both with breath and intention connect us to the highest parts of ourselves. They define the courageous heart and the open mind. Aspiring is the action verb that can open your mind enough to allow you to see what is and the truth of oneness. In very real and concrete ways we are all connected.

Other moments, especially negative ones, hide this truth from us. By design the negative mind is in protection mode. The separation we experience both from our surroundings and the people that we love in a negative mind space often prevents you from seeing what is and more importantly erodes your sense of connection to the people around you. This mind is equally disconnected to your aspirations as well. Notice how hard it is to get a deep breath when you are stuck in a negative mind. Moving out of negativity might be as simple as getting quiet enough to breathe.

Openness and positivity feed on and reinforce each other. Our mind actually gets broader when positivity impacts the neural network. It shifts not just the connectedness in relationships but also in our ability to make conceptual connections. You become a better problem solver, able to grasp creative solutions that a more closed mind would not have seen. Our aspirations are more than just our possibilities; they breathe life into our days and connect us to our humanity.

Read more: Inspiration, Love, Making Love Sustainable, Mental Wellness, Relationships, Sex, Spirit, ,

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Wendy Strgar

Wendy Strgar, founder and CEO of Good Clean Love, is a loveologist who writes and lectures on Making Love Sustainable, a green philosophy of relationships which teaches the importance of valuing the renewable resources of love, intimacy and family.  In her new book, Love that Works: A Guide to Enduring Intimacy,  she tackles the challenging issues of sustaining relationships and healthy intimacy with an authentic and disarming style and simple yet innovative adviceIt has been called "the essential guide for relationships."  The book is available on ebook.  Wendy has been married for 27 years to her husband, a psychiatrist, and lives with their four children ages 13- 22 in the beautiful Pacific Northwest.


+ add your own
4:57AM PST on Dec 1, 2011

Reading this was like doing a mini-meditation!

9:05AM PDT on Aug 15, 2010


12:24AM PDT on Aug 15, 2010

Inspirational article. Many of us can take away the positive and act on it ourselves!

11:05PM PDT on Aug 3, 2010


12:12PM PDT on Aug 2, 2010

great article!

8:21AM PDT on Aug 2, 2010

I loved this article, I am a complete believer in positivity but it isn't always easy to be that way. I always to remember that as bad as things may look at the moment "this to shall pass" I think of everything in my life that has happened and the bad times always go away to reveal good. I remember this then take a deep breath and things always seem better.

6:17AM PDT on Aug 2, 2010

thank you for this article...I needed it!

3:19AM PDT on Aug 2, 2010

Thanks :)

1:13AM PDT on Aug 2, 2010


4:20PM PDT on Aug 1, 2010

Great reminder. Thanks.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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