There is a pulse to every day, a beat to which things move. It is dictated by our internal clocks, by how much rest we get, and by the time of the day, the seasons, and the time in our lives we are in: childhood, adulthood, elderhood.
Sometimes we can consciously increase the tempo, although we may pay a heavy price. There are fiery debates about how much real work gets done when people hurry. Haste makes waste, the saying goes. Most of us acknowledge that there is a point beyond which we cannot push ourselves or our daily agendas. Indeed, one form of bullying that many of us are subjected to is the constant demands on our time. At work we may be given until noon to complete a job that would have taken an entire day 20 years ago.
Do you feel short on time or even starved for time?
Check the pulse of your here and now. Are you hurrying in any way as you read this? Do you want to get through the details to the real stuff? You may notice from time to time when reading that your eyes are urgently skipping over the surface of the text. I do this too, sometimes. The way out of this is simple – just allow the feeling of urgency to permeate you and breathe with it, and it will gradually change into excitement or relaxation.
When you do slow down, you may notice that you are flooded with anxious thoughts and feelings. That which you have been running from is now caching up with you. This is what you want – to catch up with yourself.
LIGHTEN UP EXERCISE
When we are being responsible out in the world for the sake of our jobs and our families, we make ourselves “heavy” by doing what we need to do. That heaviness can persist when it’s not necessary, and we can lose our ability to lighten up.
Imagine that your hands and feet are full of breath: light, buoyant, fluffy, transparent. There is no difference between the inside and the outside. Like balloons, your hands and feet are floating.
Now expand the scope of your play to lighten up completely.
* Picture your wrists filled with breath.
* Imagine that your elbows and the area under your armpits are filled with breath.
* Turn on “light’ music and move gently to it.
* Let your feet sink down into the floor with just your hands floating upward.
* Imagine that the air inside your body and outside is the same.
* Feel the air flowing gently around your eyes, in your sinuses, and all around your face.
* What would it feel like if breath flowed into and out of your ears?
* Visualize your head as a helium balloon and your spine as a cord. Your head is floating free and buoyantly. If it might help, go get a helium balloon and bring it home to simulate the feeling.
Adapted from Breath Taking, by Lorin Roche, Ph.D..Copyright (c) 2001 by Lorin Roche, Ph.D. Reprinted by permission of Rodale Press.
Adapted from Breath Taking, by Lorin Roche, Ph.D..Copyright (c) 2001 by Lorin Roche, Ph.D.