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It All Starts With Breathing  -

Take These 5 Deep Breaths A Day...

As we launch 2019 with a dedication toward advancing peace and compassionate awareness on the planet, we start with the very beginning of all inspiration, breathing - and centering to count and take notice of our own inhale and exhale.

The first steps of meditation are becoming aware of the inhale and exhale of our breath as the foundational awareness of ourselves in space, time, and intention. The awareness that can be attained through reserving moments just to focus on our breathing can give us a great gift of perspective and provide necessary revelation and direction. As this practice rolls out, the feedback becomes more and more subtle, more sublime. 

 

You may guide a simple and sustainable daily meditation practice for you and your child each day of this week. For this week (all 7 days), take the time before leaving home in the morning for school, work, or a weekend event or activity to practice taking 5 deep breaths by the front door with your child. It may be on either side of the door. If comfortable, make a practice of physically connecting during this time of taking these breaths, whether it be holding hands while you engage the inhale or exhale, hugging afterwards, or some other approach to touching, such as holding eye contact as you move through each breath.

You may also:

  • Try this practice when you are traveling over the holidays or to intervene in a stressful situation in which you or your child are engaged.

  • Ask your child to improve their behavior in a certain way and begin and/or close your requests with these breaths.

  • Do this even if you are going to be late sometimes – how much more late will you really be?  (Do a quality of life assessment of what would be lost in being a few minutes late in order to honor this moment.)  

  • Share with your friends, family, and/or partner about the practice and ask them to participate.

  • You may extend this experience into other parts of the day. You may do this more than once a day, perhaps as you leave home, come back, and/or before bed.

  • Beyond this week, make a special day or part of the month where you continue to build this practice, reawaken these deep breaths, and receive their benefits again.

  • Can you continue these deep breaths as you continue on your way to work, an errand, or back home?

 

If you aren’t able to sustain this practice daily for a week, just do it when you can. While beginning the day with deep breaths can be best, engaging the practice upon returning from home or before bed also offers great benefits.

​Why Engage This Practice?

For our health and well-being, we need time to devote towards simply being still, to hear ourselves from the inside, and to nurture the inherent intelligence and interconnectivity that gives strength to our best possibility of relationship in life. To practice this with our children is to give them a fundamental holistic resource and an extraordinary connection to us. It is such a positive source of attention for all parties, what we all most yearn for. It also allows your child to see you in a position of benefitting from a practice that they also can participate and follow in. ​

For older children:

Ask them to sit and engage more numbers of breaths. Ask them to set an intention for the day, and ask what they think they might need to arrive at their set goal or intention. Help them articulate that intention.​​

Examples:

  • “I’m hoping to approach my test with less anxiety. I’ll also take these deep breaths before I begin.”

  • “I’m trying not to react and be as irritable with my younger sister. I’ll try to have a better sense of humor and remember how I was at that age.”

  • “I want to do more things in the day that make me truly happy! Can we do something together that I really want to do?”

Get ready for the magic, strength, and connection this practice will inspire

all around.

Key tips for strength and consistency:

Moving forward​:

  • Challenge yourself to be consistent for a week. Prioritize it, like you might prioritize coffee or texting.

  • Put your bags down to the side, put away technology, let not one screen be visible.

  • Commit to the moment of presence so as not to be distracted by cars, voices, ringers, and so on. Set the example that the moment stands above the importance of other regular things.  

  • Other than the sound of your inhale and exhale, attempt to maintain and guide silence.

  • Ask your child if they’d rather open or close their eyes.

  • If they are motivated, let them lead or count the taking of the breaths.

  • Give the practice more breaths or repetitions if possible or if desired.

  • Give the time a special name.

  • Ask your child how they feel before and after.

  • If there is resistance, calmly ask your child to partake with you because it will bring calm and strength for the day. If they still resist, do it yourself and allow them to witness it. The intention of the practice is still being transmitted to our children through their mere witnessing.

  • Share with your child a positive emotion that you are feeling after the breaths. Share with them of some part of yourself that you believe will continue to grow your relationship and knowledge of each other. For instance, “Did you know when I was your age I wanted nothing more than to go to outer space?”

  • Ask your child before or after the breaths what they would most want out of the day (whether or not it can be accomplished). It is important to have goals and visions.

       

  • Is there an intention you can set and commit to reconnect with your child later for 5 to 10 more minutes? Perhaps to read a favorite book, to draw, to go for a walk together in the snow, to write 3 silly jokes to present, or to sit with them completely undistracted (phone away and out of sight) while they fully engage on of their play activities.

  • ​Have your child witness you or have them participate with you in writing a quick note with a thought or expression about the practice on a piece of paper or in a notebook.

 

OUR WORLD STUDIO THIS WEEK

Looking out to the horizon allows us to see only one way that the ground intersects with other big bodies. There are in fact many different types of horizons, such as the sea-level horizon, the celestial horizon, the astronomical horizon, and the true horizon. The horizon allows pilots to fly, sailors to navigate,  it allowed ancient astronomers to dream and further define the actual dimensions of Earth, and now it allows us to place our planet among the stars in throughout its revolutions. 

Find the horizon

This week as we are taking deep breaths.... Find the horizon.

We look out into the sky to define the horizon - as the place where the line of the sky comes together with the line of Earth. Depending where we are on Earth, the horizon will look different. If we are near the ocean the water runs into the sky; if we look into the mountains, the sky zigzags down into the valleys of the mountain.