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Crane's Corner

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Breath is link between mind, body

By Ingrid Crane

The holidays come and go. We vow not to get stressed out as we were at year’s end. Yet we charge into the New Year with so much on our plate that whatever resolve we intended gets quickly buried amid our to-do lists.
Breath is the link between body and mind. If we can simply remember to breathe consciously — a tall order for most of us — we can actually relieve the built-up stress and lower our blood pressure in the process. The tension in our bodies releases and we feel calmer and less scattered. As we find balance and composure, the mind becomes clearer, bringing us into the present moment, which is miraculous!
It takes practice to be present. We seem to be either lost in the past or worrying about the future. The breath brings us into the present and helps us handle life in a more appropriate manner, especially since we are thrown curveballs along the way. We’re rarely prepared for the unexpected. There are accidents. We get disappointed: we lose loved ones; pets die, and we’re immobilized by grief, pain and shock. The stress and tension is overwhelming and our immune systems are greatly compromised.
It is at these times we must pause.... and breathe .... and make time to be quiet and reflect without stuffing the void. We have to allow ourselves to feel, to feel deeply, so that the feelings can flow through us and be released. We don’t have to suffer. We can choose not to be victims of circumstance and remember that each moment presents a new opportunity for us to respond and act with clarity, dignity and grace.
We suffer because of our attachment. We’re attached to pleasure, happiness and gain and we shun the opposite side of the coins, which are pain, unhappiness and loss. These worldly concerns are referred to as the “terrible twins.” Each arrives with its opposite and you can’t have one without the other.
And so we pause. We take an intentional breath and we smile and feel a sense of inner lightness. We might even laugh, which happens to be a dynamic form of breathing and profoundly boosts the immune system and our mood!
We’re here on Earth for a relatively short time, so the best we can do is to bring nourishment, healing and joy to ourselves and those we meet along the path. Everything and everyone that touches our life is for our growth and learning but not for our grasping!
Freedom comes from letting go, moving lightly through life, seeing the good, savouring the happy times and accepting what is, rather than wanting or expecting it to be anything else. We adapt, adjust and accommodate. We resolve to stay present and mindful with the help of the breath because God is the Breath inside the breath! To paraphrase St. Paul: “whatsoever is true, noble, just, pure and lovely, if anything is excellent, think on these things... and the God of Peace shall be with you.”
Ingrid Crane is a practitioner of Reiki, Thai massage and Yoga. She will be at the Freedom Library on Feb. 4 and 11 at 10:15 a.m. for Gentle Chair Yoga, especially beneficial for people with limited mobility. She can be reached at 352-854-7950.