Meaning for me that everything from the grandiose dreams we pursue to the simple acts we take are only as relevant as the life we breathe into them. The breath, particularly when woven into meditation, can have a powerful grounding effect, calming the thoughts, relaxing the body, opening doors into the unknown, and giving us the courage to walk through those thresholds. Ironically the pursuit of deep breathing is not necessarily encouraged as a way to find meaning, but to experience stillness and peace.
Often while trying to breathe my way through meditation, I get caught up at the doorway, unable to pass through because of the thoughts or memories or laundry list of to-do’s that jam me up. Supposedly the trick is to simply observe those thoughts – be present to their existence like I’m tying to do with all the shit on my desk and the fact that I just realized I have an 8 am breakfast meeting that I had forgotten about.
Truth is I believe I might have slipped into a much deeper state of depression had I not quit drinking and aggressively taken up meditation, yoga and focusing on my family first (not work).
Does this mean I should be grateful for the life-altering experiences that led me to the bottle? It’s not really the external that causes us to take certain actions right? Ultimately we are the ones pulling the levers whether it's based on feeling or intuition or spontaneity.
We are 100% responsible for our own actions – each and every one – to own that is frightening, especially if you want to dwell on yesterday. What’s far more empowering is acknowledging our strength as relates to decisions we will make today or tomorrow. This way we can own our actions, the comments we make, the love we deliver. By being present going in, we can not only experience our choices in a new light, but we can own and accept them after they are all said and done.
To accomplish this, being present is essential. And access to this time called now starts with a deep breath.