Just Breathe

BreatheThis summer was a little crazy, and left me feeling a little like a 300-pound gorilla was sitting on my chest. Not quite smashed to death, but gasping for air.

Survival included an increasingly large vat of coffee and an embarrassing amount of sugar. All of which left me irritable, twitchy, and still gasping for air. Not a nice look.

When my joints started hurting enough that I had was limping around the block, I realized my body needed a break.

Enter the dreaded detox (cue the evil music—Dah, dah, dah…).

I’m not sure how I decided that detoxing the first week of school is a good idea. Detoxing means I can’t have caffeine (despite the 5 am alarm) or sugar (despite the afternoon lull), and a huge list of other foods.

I found myself saying to a friend, “I can’t have coffee, but I’ll bring my homemade green tea chai.” As if I pretend really, really hard, it’d be the same thing.

Granted chai is warm and creamy, but it is not, I repeat, not coffee.

So my kids are now one week into a school schedule and the coffee machine taunts me every morning and afternoon, but I think the schedule gorilla is preparing to get his backside off my chest and let me move to a place where my body can breathe better. Sure the nasty chalk sludge I drink for breakfast isn’t fun. The caffeine deprived headaches stink.

But I know, if nothing else—in this season of soccer practice, oboe lessons, travel, Bible study, and an abundance of great things—I need to breathe. I need a great big, deep-breathing exercise in virtually every area of my life.

There’s nothing wrong with coffee and sugar, beach days and playdates, or even momma’s chauffer service, IF I’ve got space to breathe. Tweet This

Science has proven that a deep breath actually reduces blood pressure, and I’m convinced that every part of our being needs a deep breath—physical, emotional, spiritual, intellectual.

So maybe it’s sitting out on the deck for a minute or just noticing the crazy stick bug (that seriously looked like a few needles from a white pine). Maybe capturing the flickering lightening in your mind’s eye and savoring the tang of a good balsamic vinegar. Maybe it’s reading a fluffy book, taking a day off the running routine, or saying no to a toxic friendship.

Whatever your soul’s equivalent to a deep breath, it’s okay to take it.Tweet This

But here’s the thing. Just like the detox, I know, for awhile, it’s going to be hard, taste nasty, and feel not quite right. My body and mind are addicted to the pace, to the scramble. But oh, the results on the other side…I need those desperately.

This year I’m hoping to chuck the do-everything gorilla and find a groove by scheduling regular breaks for myself. I’m not sure what that will look like quite yet, but I’m excited.

What’s your favorite deep-breath escape?


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