I breathe in.
Feel the air flooding through my nose, mouth, down the trachea into my lungs and stomach.
I breathe out.
Breathe in again.
See my stomach rise and fall.
The more I listen to my breath the calmer I become.
Nature has its God-given rhythm and I can simply join its pattern.
Yesterday in my speaking class we did breathing and articulation exercises.
Words are a wonderful thing.
They can convey content, feelings, subtle hints, deep suspicions.
They can tear down or build up.
They always resonate with us.
While we experimented with different dynamics and voices the instructor said one interesting thing: “Whatever and however you speak – make sure your breath and yourself are rooted within you. Always come back to that root inside of you.”
This might sound strange, but it is the secret to good speaking.
You need firm roots to manage the different pitches, moods, contents you manage each day.
The people and things you interact with in 24 hours might kick you around, might really challenge you – but you can always come back to that breath inside of you.
Breathing in. Breathing out. Natural order. Peace.
This word sticks with me, not only since yesterday’s class.
Feeling rooted while speaking, returning to that natural breath is a good metaphor for the rest of life.
It kicks around sometimes, doesn’t it?
Calls to take, errands to run, people to meet, counseling to give, problems to solve, fears to face…
Life’s tough and it’s not hard to feel like a tiny boat on a stormy ocean at times.
In the midst of these turbulences we need to be rooted.
We need that place we can go to, where our sense of self and order are restored.
Where our hearts can let go and calm down.
Where we can breathe in fresh air, a new sense of hope and perspective.
That place we can always return to.
That haven of peace.
This place looks different for all of us.
A cup of coffee in the morning.
A night of good and enough sleep.
A song that breaks the gloominess of our day.
A meeting with a friend.
Reading an encouraging book.
Using the early hours of the morning to be still.
Before speaking a word I want to listen.
Listen to my breath going in and out.
Allow my heart and body to be flooded with air, energy, spirit for the day.
Before telling the Lord MY agenda for the day, I want to hear what HE’s got in store for today.
I face the challenges of this day with peace because I know I can always return to it.
To Him, the Prince of Peace.