Tao of Remembering to Breathe

“Each breath is like a little rebirth, a renaissance that can only be celebrated if we recognize that it’s happening.” – Cristen Rogers

Which, I suppose, really defines the problem. It’s not knowing that conscious breathing brings us back to the moments we are in, I think anyone who has done the experiment of meditation and deep breathing knows that. Or have cried and after crying felt calmer and more present. Same thing. Crying oxygenates the system, we cry and sob and breathe deeply.

But for me the problem is remembering when I get emotional and experience anger, anxiety, or sadness and depression. At those times all thoughts of deep breathing seem to desert the thought process. It’s the best argument for a meditation practice. Sitting, walking, or lying and breathing as deeply as slowly as possible to the best of one’s ability.

It makes a difference because when you start your day in that mode it tends to be remembered quickly. No guarantees, but meditation is a way to keep the idea alive on a daily basis. It’s helpful to wear wrist malas or carrying regular malas and use them during the day to practice slow deep breathing, each bead counted is an entire in and out cycle.

Breathing works, but only when it’s intentional. I move from auto breathing to breathing on purpose. Each of us can find a way to remind ourselves of the process. One friend has put up sticky notes all over the place that say “Breathe.” Including the ceilings so she see’s it when she wakes up. People initially found that amusing but she seems to hold the record for living life calmly, at least among her friends and family.

Set a timer on a watch or phone and several times a day practice taking a few deep breaths, notice what happens, and contemplate if that seems useful. If so then who knows, perhaps you might set up a meditation practice for a few moments each day to reinforce the peace and calm that rises from purposefully infusing the system with oxygen.

Take care of you, and breathe deeply.

Bryan Wagner

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