In with the good, out with the bad

By Stacy LaMorte

Take time to breathe.  Breathing is an involuntary action, like our hearts beating or our digestion working.  However, we can make it a conscious action when we are about to lose our temper or need to calm down even for a good reason.

I believe that God would prefer us to respond to actions happening in our lives as opposed to reacting to them.  If you practice conscious breathing when situations are calm and prayerful, it will be second nature to do it when you find yourself in a situation where you need to calm yourself.

I tell my kids that there are few things that a walk around the block or a cup of tea can’t help.  I think the reason for this is that when you make a cup of tea, there is a calming ritual to it.  When you take a walk around the block you have to take time to respond to the world around you – listen to birds sing, feel the breeze on your cheek, smell the fresh cut grass or sweet olive in bloom.  See, feel, smell, and hear God’s presence all around you.  Then, whatever seemed so overwhelming or daunting is slightly more manageable.

I have just taken a job teaching again, and I find myself practicing my conscious breathing more because teaching requires a lot of patience, even on the best days.

I have even been teaching my students to take time to breathe and calm their minds to center themselves.  One student even asked me, “What are you teaching us?  I thought you were supposed to teach English!”

Hopefully I am teaching them a life skill at a very early age that they can carry with them wherever they go.

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