As a kid, one of my favorite cartoons was a Loony Toons short featuring Louie the Parrot and Heathcliff the cat. The cat was a few cards short of a full deck. Heathcliff would often gasp, sputter and choke. Louie would say, “Breathe, Heathcliff, breathe! You forgot to breathe again.” Taking a deep breath, Heathcliff responded, “Der, that’s much better, Louie!”
I couldn’t find a clip on youtube, but here’s the IMDB link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0040299/
Lately, I’m having to remind myself to breathe! Do you need that, too? If you’re under stress, do you hold your breath? It’s a natural reflex but not a great habit to get in to. There are books written solely on the subject of breathing – deep belly breathing, quick breathing and meditative breathing. Fitness practices such as yoga and tai chi incorporate breathing practices into every pose and move.
Breathing with intention helps to clear the mind, lower blood pressure, relieve anxiety, and even reduce pain symptoms.
Fall should probably be re-named the season of Busyness. It ushers in a heightened realization of what’s to come and what’s left to do. As my November and December schedule fills up with activities, commitments, and deadlines I need to be my own Louie and remind myself to breathe.
While things right now are hectic and sometimes chaotic, I often remind myself of how thankful I am. I’m thankful for my health, my family, and the opportunities that continue to come my way. With each deep inhale I think, “Peace” and each exhale I think “Gratitude.”
Peace and gratitude are great intentions that work well together. Sort of like Louie and Heathcliff – if you use your imagination.
I’d like you to stop what you’re doing right now and breathe deeply. Imagine that your entire being is filled with Heavenly peace. Exhale slowly declaring your feelings of gratitude.
Now, let me hear you say, “That’s much better!”