I felt his breath warm and tingling, next to my ear. So close was he to me that I could feel his chest as it rose and fell, at first easy and languid, quickly becoming more excited, faster and deeper. It took my breath away, I didn’t know what to do, I pulled away, but his body followed, he seemed so focused, so determined. It seemed so right.
Just remembering that moment makes the rhythm of my heart change, makes my temperature rise and yes, I take a deep breath.
And when I breathe deeply, I begin to relax, and as I relax, I begin to feel the anxiety dissipate and when it too relaxes with my breathing my mind clears and I remember that I am in control. I gain my senses and once again I’m in control of my feelings, of my breath and of my mind just as I was that day my professor came close to me.
I was 18 that day when I realized that my mother was right. “Take a breath” she’d say, sage advice given when I was about to embark on a number of adventures. “Take a breath” before I sang a solo in the Girls Choir, “Take a breath” before I ran off at the mouth about some injustice, “Take a breath” before I make any grand decisions that would surely change my life.
Taking a breath may be the best advice anyone every gave me, or you! Consider this, when was the last time you took a breath? Or even thought about it. It’s such a natural function for most of us, we don’t even think about it. Yet, breathing has so many gifts for you besides keeping your body functioning.
Do it now! Take a breath…. Breathe in deeply, hold it for one second, then let it out slowly, and repeat.
How do you feel? It reminds you that you haven’t really done that in a while, right? Do it again.
Now, notice how your body has changed with just those 3 breaths - Most likely your posture reacted to the breath – what else is different? How does your body feel?
Do it again.
Imagine the air filtering through you body and becoming the wonderful oxygen that travels through every lining, every cell; and as each cell is filled with this life-giving force, it feels safe, satiated and relaxes, knowing more redeeming, healthy, oxygen is on the way. The cell relaxes and thousands, no, millions of cells in your body do the same.
Deep breathing enriches the brain and gives neurons the strength to wake up and create the dance they were designed to do which is to make the body function efficiently. When the brain is engaged and happy, the mind can think more clearly.
When the mind is clear, relaxed and able to focus on thinking, problems become solvable and when problems become solvable it means you are able to make better decisions for yourself now and for the future.
Take a deep breath.
And that’s why I pulled away, collected my things and walked out the door. Because I felt his breath in my ear and I knew I was in control That plus his wife, and 3 kids.
Take a breath. It feels good doesn’t it? It did to me.