January 19, 2020: Breathing Space
We are all bombarded on all sides by a vast number of messages we don’t want or need. More information is generated in a single day than we can absorb in a lifetime. To fully enjoy life, all of us must find our own breathing space and peace of mindJames E. Faust
“For those of us who live in a sunny and hot desert, a cloudy day is sometimes all we need to clear our minds…”― Rodolfo Peon’
On Thursday, we woke to aa world of swirling snow and weather advisories saying to stay off the roads. Schools were closed, appointments cancelled, and slippery roads gave an excuse to stay home. When I was a teacher, a “snow day”, where schools were closed, was celebrated by both the children and teachers. Wearing your pajamas backwards and/or put a spoon under your pillow, were two ways that reportedly help to guarantee a day off due to weather conditions. A day off, gave a much needed and welcomed breathing space to a busy, hectic life. Although I left teaching 8 years ago, I still relish the gift of a quiet day.
“When things are not happening as planned just stop worrying and take an unplanned break to regain yourself.”― Giridhar Alwar, My Quest For Happy Life
After a busy year with our jewelry design and a hectic holiday season, I find myself in January needing a break from making jewelry. While I continue with the day to day aspects of running a business, my creativity needs a chance to breathe and explore other outlets. Without the pressure of preparing for shows, I find little gifts of time to play with my watercolors and learn more about the art of photography. The pile of inspirational books I’ve been meaning to read actually gets attention, and I have time to actually get around to creating more order in my home. The peace and joy I achieve from these activities remind me how important it is to build quiet time into my life on a daily basis.
“To understand one’s world, one must sometimes turn away from it! To serve better, one must briefly hold it at a distance. Where can the necessary solitude be found, the long breathing space in which mind gathers its strength and takes stock of its courage.”Albert Camus
Building in breathing spaces is something I aspire to do on a daily basis in the coming year. In a world where we’re continually bombarded with distractions, I find that having this quiet space of time is necessary to restore balance and inspiration for my own art, emotional energy and creative spirit. It calms my overly busy brain, and allows clear thinking to rise through any anxious thoughts was well as restore a sense of positivity.
“Is there a place you can go to break away for a little while? If you haven’t yet built your tree house, it’s never too late to start.”Gina Greenlee
While a tropical vacation in the midst of a bitterly cold winter sounds like the perfect escape hatch, I’ve found there are other ways to build in respite care for the self.
- Create quiet spaces in your home, free from electronic stimulation and noise. Easier said then done, but it will give you a sanctuary where you can breathe quietly and restore a sense of calm.
- Meditate-I have developed a ritual of meditating early in the morning before I get out of bed. It really has helped to provide clarity and set intentions for the day. Some people easily meditate on their own. I have found listening to guided mediation tapes works the best for me.
- Nature-Even on days when I’m feeling overly stressed, a walk calms the chatter in my brain. On days of inclement weather, simply sitting and looking outdoors with a cup of tea nourishes the spirit. The activity of birds at our feeders outside our window never fail to bring a sense of calm and joy.
- Read– My all time favorite for a mini-vacation is to dive into a book. I fill a tub with hot water and drops of lavender, light a scented candle, and ease myself in with a good book. (Note: After many years of this treasured pastime, I have never dropped a book into the water.)
- Take a Media break:-I tend to get overly caught up with the news, especially politics. I find that taking a periodic vacation from daily news helps to clear anxious thoughts and create space for more positive and productive ones.
- Music-Music that soothes and settles the soul is one powerful way to create an audio breathing space. Which songs make you happy and fill you with calm and a sense of peace?
- Play– While research has shown that play is vital for a child’s healthy brain development, adults also need time to play and have fun. Whatever your definition is of play, take time to give yourself a recess break and reset your brain.
- Stop, Look, and Listen: When we’re spinning so many plates in the air, that they are in danger of collapsing, creating a space of time for reflection is a powerful tool. If we stop what we’re doing, carefully look at all that we think we have to do, and then really listen to our hearts, we can sometimes put some of the plates down. Keep aloft only the ones that are truly necessary or ones that help us in our own personal dreams and goals..
“Do something nice for yourself today. Find some quiet, sit in stillness, breathe. Put your problems on pause. You deserve a break.”Akiroq Brost
These are a few of the ways, I’ve found to create breathing spaces in my own life. What are ways that you have found to build your own? I’d love to share them with others who also seek ways to create their own breathing place.