A Breathing Room – something we can all benefit from

How many times a day do you feel overwhelmed, frustrated, angry or confused?

After counting all of mine, would you mind if I borrow your fingers and toes?

In Peace Is Every Step, Thich Nhat Hanh suggests a breathing room. He writes, “we have a room for everything—eating, sleeping, watching TV—but we have no room for mindfulness. I recommend that we set up a small room in our homes and call it a “breathing room,” where we can be alone and practice just breathing and smiling, at least in difficult moments.”

If by chance you’re thinking, why didn’t I think of that, then join the club.

He goes on to describe this common space, the “breathing room,” as sort of a fortress of solitude where with respect to the inhabitant, no one else may enter or disturb their chosen silence.

It’s basically for that moment when a conversation turns into a discussion, which turns to a debate—with seemingly no agreeable outcome—which in turn forms into an argument, with no resolve.

So it’s reserved only for that peak moment of, “I need some space,” or “give me a moment to think.”

With so much information cycling in and out of your subconscious, be it social apps, advertisements, marketing, news, or work, where it can feel like our minds get lost in the shuffle, or rather programmed with ideas that aren’t solely our own, this often causes our discussions or thoughts to turn to anger and confusion, which in turn manifests itself in words of anger and confusion.

So instead of falling into a pit of verbal debate which at the start was never our intention to begin with, there in lies the breathing room.

It seems a bit strange at first but if you factor in the amount of screens we allow to jumble our thoughts on a daily basis, it really makes a lot more sense as to why it’s more than necessary in today’s day and age to have a space for mindfulness and calm reflection.

It’s a practice I continue to engage, like a well oiled machine, with proper maintenance and care, we can all find peace and understanding, and better ways to dealing with hard situations.

And I think that by allowing ourselves this space and time, we can find a better means of listening, speaking, and treating one another with the proper respect of another that we also deserve.

Breathe in. Breathe out. And by getting to the center of ourselves, we can then find better understanding of another.

Peace In Every Step, Thich Nhat Hanh

a Starry Night

How often do two minds dive

deep within the sea of time

whose infinite waters share the light

a moonlit dance if you’ll take mine

hand then we can share this sea

and dive to depths eternity

a Starry Night, Saint-Remy-de

it took an ear to hear you say

I see you, feel you, knew your name

long before that faithful day.

Our Mind’s Eye

We mustn’t shy away from fear

but rather dive face first

into it’s claws letting it tear our flesh

from cheek to chin and gnaw

on our skulls if not only to

release ourselves from our mind

whose eye is so often filled with fear.