If you have been around me, in class or outside of class, you have often heard me say, “go with the flow.” I still believe in this concept and following the path of least resistance, but at times the flow becomes more like 25-50 feet waves in the ocean. [Hello 2020]
Going with the flow at times is exhausting especially when you have a now moment thought of, “when will this end?” And, the truth is we do not know… so how then do we proceed? By diving down deep into the ocean of our hearts, where the waters are calmer, and we can get out of the those large waves in our head. In T’ai Chi we refer to it as the monkey mind. Diving into our heart, we find the stillness below the ocean [our head] and it allows us to feel and breathe into each now moment, which then affects our future.
You may be asking yourself, “Once we reside in our heart, do we stay there?” Of course not, we ARE human, but we can keep diving down again and again. With each breath, we each now moment.
When we connect our hearts, our emotional energy, the fourth chakra with our lower tantien, our physical being, the third chakra—we begin to feel the calm stillness that resides within us. The calmness is always there, we just need to pause, change our frequency and feel it.
Continuing to BE = Breathe + Expand in our hearts with our breath, brings a calmness and clarity from within. Yes, it takes practice and it is a life-long practice. One we can come back to again and again, with loving-kindness to ourselves as we would a loved one. For there is only part of us having a human, physical experience and the rest of us is having expanded in spiritual experience. We are multi-dimensional beings.
Remember, when the waves of our ocean, those thoughts in our heads become overwhelming, sink into your heart, connect your emotions and feel your breath.
Simple ways to connect with your breath:
Count your outgoing breaths, see if you can get to the count of 9, begin again when your stray. Do it again and see how far you count. Keep it fun and don’t take it too seriously. Laugh at yourself, when your mind wanders to the past or present, and simply begin again.
Square breathing, inhale for a count of 4, hold for a count of 4, exhale for a count of 4, hold for a count of 4 and repeat. Visualize a square and begin inhaling up the left-side, hold your breath and cross the top of the square, exhale down the square, and hold to reconnect to the beginning of the square. Repeat.
Longer exhales, inhale for 4 counts and exhale for 8. Repeat. Follow the pattern of “in” for 4, “out” for 8. Or simply choose a number that feels good to you, do your best to double the count on the exhale.
Choose one of the three options above and practice for 2-5 minutes. Then reside back in the normal lower tantien breathing and see how you feel. How is your mind? How is your body? How is your heart? How is your spirit? Feel into the questions, don’t think. See if the ocean of your mind is calmer, and the heart more receptive. Allow your breath to guide you as you open your awareness of feeling in the now present moment.
I would love to hear about your experiences, please leave me a comment below.