You may have noticed I am neither consistent nor compulsive about blogging! I tend to wait for a simple but important idea or for inspiration that sets my mind free to write apart from the need to be heard.
Last Thursday night I awoke with a start and wondered what had awakened me. Did I hear something outside? Did I dream something intense? Then I realized I was hurting. I knew I had mildly, I thought, strained my shoulders (especially the right one) earlier that day but this was beyond a sore shoulder. I turned to my breath to start to relax within the pain and discovered I could not take a full breath. I made my way up and walked through my apartment slowly. The left side of my rib cage and neck were in spasm. Every time I tried to slowly and gently breath into the sides of my rib cage I hit a wall of pain that almost dropped me to the floor. I won’t belabor the details of the next 90 minutes because what I suffered is not the point. I will say it took that long to come to a place where I could lay down and get a bit more sleep. By Saturday the spasms had almost fully released and I was exhausted from the experience. By Monday I felt normal in my body but till not fully balanced and at peace mentally and emotionally. Today, Tuesday, I think I am me again. I say “I think” because I have only been awake for an hour and time will tell!
We humans so take the ability to breathe for granted until something hinders it! Even when I am doing pranayama, I appreciate the benefits and the ability to guide my breath but I am realizing I do not always feel and express gratitude for the breath itself, for my body’s innate ability to breathe without my thinking about it! It is essential to my life, my health, my happiness, my peace of mind, my equanimity, my mental acuity, my expression through language, my mindful presence with another, and even the look on my face.
Today, my gratitude is focused: I am grateful for the freedom to breathe easily and fully.