Lately, I have found myself experiencing extreme bouts of frustration, sadness, anger, guilt, fear, and defeat – and not less than a few days into the New Year.
Though these thoughts and feelings are at times uncomfortable, they have enabled me the opportunity to practice something I read about from Jack Kornfield. The basic idea is that in order for true healing to take place, we might be better served by breathing with an experience instead of breathing through the experience. The rational being that in breathing with one’s thoughts, feelings, emotions, one is able to better cultivate a sense of kindness, compassion, and presence for all of one’s experiences instead of attempting to isolate different experiences into the preferred (i.e. “good”) category or the undesirable (i.e. “bad”) category.
So the question I have for you, the invitation I have been working with the past few days is: am I able to calm my mind enough to be still and present to what is and breathe with it instead of attempting to use my breath to over power it? For you, this question might apply to your personal relationships where at times you and your loved ones have a difference of opinion. It might be applied to your professional life where you find yourself attempting to use the breath to power through your day. This question, invitation, might also apply to your asana practice and your physical body where some sensations can at times seem like more than you’d like to sit with. Wherever this question applies for you, can you breathe with what is and simply observe the changes that occur?