“Breathe and let be” – Jon Kabat-Zinn

Breathe and let be.  These are the words of  Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn that came to mind this week.  His analogy to the “waves” of mindful living resonates deeply with me.  Nothing seemed to go right this week; the waves just seemed to get bigger and faster every day, and I felt like I lost complete control of everything.

Kabat-Zinn suggests that instead of fearing these waves, we should learn to surf.   This is, of course, easier said than done.  Or is it?

Today, when I placed my hands on my heart and focused deliberately on my in-breath and then my out-breath, the tension that had built up in my head and shoulders all week quickly dissolved; I could feel my accelerated heart rate slowing down to a halt in my chest.  I acknowledged and observed the negative thoughts – of resentment, anger, and hostility – flow in and out of my mind.

In a few seconds, those negative thoughts evaporated.  And so they should.   Our thoughts have the capacity to destroy, poison, and taint the light in all of us.

Breathe and let be.  It is as simple and as powerful as that.

In reflecting further tonight, I am drawn again to Kabat-Zinn’s words: “Acknowledging that sometimes, often at very crucial times, you really have no idea where you are going or even where the path lies. At the same time, you can very well know something about where you are now (even if it is knowing that you are lost, confused, enraged or without hope)”.

This beautiful poem, From this perspective, by Liliana Kohann, also resonated with me this week:

From this perspective
where I am now
I think of the world
different somehow

Things that I walked by
and didn’t see
seem so important
right now to me

All of my worries…
Clouds in my way…
Are not important
I look away

Behind the clouds
no matter how dark
I know there is
a sun with its spark

And if not today
then maybe tomorrow
I will see that spark
shining through my sorrow

I believe I am on the right path to attainment of a fulsome, inner peace that I have not known in the entirety of my adult life; but, I would be naive to believe that there will not be days where we all must navigate the waves of the reality and circumstances that confront each of our lives.  I am secure in the knowledge that each of us is meant to walk our own distinct and unique path, and each of us has a light to shine on those around us.  Mindfulness cultivates within us an awareness of all of our senses and emotions, however good, bad, or ugly.  My mother taught me a great lesson many years ago:  each of us, in our own unique way, will find our path up to the summit of the mountain top. Some may take longer to reach the summit. But, it isn’t the summit that matters in the end.  It’s looking down at the authentic path that you carved along the way. I am learning more and more each day that in my journey up the mountain, I must always remember one simple lesson that mindfulness has instilled in me amidst the rolling waves of life:  breathe.  Breathe, and let be.

I wish you all love, happiness and hope.  Always.

Namaste, Alex

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