Thursday, January 31, 2013

Sit. Breathe.

When my daughter's really struggling with whatever life has tossed into her path that day, I almost always say "Breathe.  Breathe."  There's a little lilt on the end of each of those words -- a little bit like the lilt most people put on the end of "Sit!" when they're talking to their dogs.

... which usually means the dog doesn't take it seriously. I say a fierce "SIT!," and the dog drops, but my husband usually has to say the word (in his thoughtful, lilted way) several times before the dog responds.  It's a gentle command, said in that way, but not a very effective one; more an invitation than an order.

Like these chairs: they say "Sit. Breathe. Now breathe again" in a very gentle way.  But maybe, like my saying breathe, it's because sitting and breathing -- making the time to be quiet, to get in touch with presence, with wholeness, with connection -- will only ever be effective if it's a choice we make ourselves, not a command we follow.  What's needed is for us to remember that all the calm, all the joy, all the compassion and serenity we need is there waiting for us: we have only to choose, to sit and breathe, and it will come...

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