Reconciling our Past…

clouds-346518_1280

Our past is one of the things we used over….it could have been a week, a month, last year – yesterday.  It was definitely something we didn’t want to remember.

Getting sober means having to take a look at the long shadow we threw behind us as we barreled our way through a destructive path.  Whether it was ruining ourselves or wreaking havoc on others’ lives, the obsession and insanity of addiction blinded us to the effects of our actions.

But looking at that “wreckage of our past” is hard – painful even. There is always a fear associated with seeing the darkness of our souls.

The irony is that if we actually look at the fear, we find that a light is all around us. It takes courage and faith.  But that first step toward examining the shreds and shards that we have left as a twisted trail behind us, is the first step toward creating wholeness of our lives, and a future we can be proud of.

Breathing into our fear helps to melt it away like molten lava – slowly – burning away trepidation, hesitancy and insecurity.  With each breath we can realize we are actually “doing it” – examining what really was, is, and understanding what will be – if we don’t use for the next 24 hours.

Not long ago I was able to close the door and reconcile a part of my past from over 20 years ago, around the time I got sober.  The beginning was a bit shaky, I was admittedly scared of what I needed to look at.  But I recognized that the fear was just an unwillingness to be rigorously honest about what it was like, what happened, and what I had or had not done to rectify things.

Packing up my mother’s life after her death and piling them into a truck, and seeing parts of my life in all the belongings, I then drove 1,000 miles to bring everything back home.  While I drove in rain, oppressive heat and beautiful sunsets, I had ample time to reflect, to breathe in silence, and to review the past.

Looking at the kaleidoscope of rights and wrongs, good deeds and bad, hitting bottom and then rising like a phoenix all those years ago, I came to the subtle understanding that everything had unfolded exactly as it had to.

Exactly as it did.

And reconciling my past in this way I found peace in my mother’s death, a greater understanding of the journey of disease to recovery, and ultimately, a peace in allowing the light to envelope me and flood my being with Love.

 

The Importance of Breath.

clouds-346518_1280

The Importance of Breath.

How many times a day have you stopped to breathe? Consciously breathe? How many times have you caught yourself engaging in such shallow breathing that you are barely bringing any air into your lungs?

Breathing is essential to life – but in our harried days we literally forget to inhale properly.

Begin the day with an Ocean Breath:

Stand with feet 3 to 4 feet apart, knees slightly bent.
Place your palms together in a prayer position.
Inhale through your nose and open your arms to the side, while straightening your knees.
Exhale loudly through your mouth and bring your hands back to the prayer position, and bending the knees.
Repeat.
Do this exercise for several rounds and begin to feel the breath flushing out stale air, and bringing in fresh air; releasing fatigue, and bringing in refreshed energy.

End the day with Calming or Slow Breath:

Use a timer on your phone or clock and set it for 3 minutes.
Sit comfortably in a chair or on the floor as you desire.
Keeping the spine erect without strain, begin your breathing sequence by inhaling slowly to the count of 4.
Feel the air coming in through your nose, filling your lungs slowly.
Exhaling to the count of 4, feel the air escaping your lungs slowly.
Don’t stop the breath – just be aware of slowing it down for the 3 minutes.
(This is a great preparation for a good night’s sleep.)

Or you can listen to the link for Yoga Zen before bedtime.

Whenever you are caught in traffic, take the time to focus on your breath. Be aware of breathing in, and being in the present moment.

Whether you are in the gym, walking to and from appointments, or simply sitting quietly reading a book, check in with your breath.

It’s your life force. Use it!