I’ve been through each of these situations; before and after; and know that while heat, passion, and heightened emotion are wonderful, stimulating, and invigorating, they’re not where you want to be when there’s a critical decision at hand. And critical can be relative, mind you, it just depends on your life. Critical might be a word spoken – or unspoken – in the midst of a crucial conversation. It might be the decision to slow down a romance and give things some time. It might be knowing when the distance has been reached or when a muscle has reached the length that it’s going to stretch or push.
Being aware of that critical moment means knowing yourself intimately; being confident in who you are; being willing to listen to the Spirit and be attuned to God’s moving in your life; and then while listening, knowing when to
Take a Breath
Sometimes it’s that simple. The moment in which we inhale can be the moment that we stop the momentum, regain our sense of balance, and keep our passionate, stimulated, enthusiastic self from going over the edge.
Breath is Life
The Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life. – Job 33:4
Our lives are created and crafted by God above, and His breath gives life to our physical and spiritual beings. Without that breath, we are nothing.
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. – 2 Timothy 3:16-17
In addition, our lives should be guided by His Word – also breathed out from God – and complete for preparing us for this life and the work that we will do here.
Deep Breath Helps Manage Stress
For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. – Psalm 139:13
God’s artful design has crafted us together; each system supporting the other. Deep breathing stimulates the body’s parasympathetic nervous system which allows us to rest, regenerate, and heal. Keeping this system at heightened alerts for extended periods of time (e.g. fight or flight syndrome) can have long lasting negative health effects.
Deep, Even Breath Heightens Awareness
Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him. – Psalm 37:7a
When we pause and breathe, when we pause and wait for the Lord, we can be still, quiet, and hear His voice. Being still and breathing deep also connects us with our own bodies, with our thoughts, and helps us focus and see what lies before us. If we listen to our bodies, we are less likely to injure ourselves when exercising or playing. If we listen to our thoughts, we are less likely to let words escape us that could damage others around us. If we listen to the Word, we will be able to hear what the Lord has for us.
Slow Breath Might Mean Better Relationships
A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds it back. – Proverbs 29:11
Imagine what would happen if everyone paused before they spoke. Or tweeted. Or posted a Facebook status. We live in a hyper-aware, social media-driven, 24-media cycle culture where things are constantly happening and we are constantly being asked to respond right now. Our opinion is asked on the minutiae of every happenstance around us; we begin to feel obligated to report what we’re doing or experiencing (even if that happens to be as odd or mundane as: Huh. He just purred in my ear. Computer client. With issues. That was weird. – True confession. That was one of my Facebook status updates yesterday). If someone upsets us, we think we have to respond immediately. With vigor. We don’t.
Take a Breath
There is nothing so immediate that it cannot wait for the space of a breath. And if it can wait for the space of one breath, it can wait for another. And perhaps, in that moment, when we allow ourselves to breathe; when we allow ourselves to become centered again; and direct our eyes toward the One who breathed life into us and continues to breathe life for us on a daily basis; we can save ourselves from going over one cliff or another and find respite simply in resting in Him.
Take a Breath
I'm joining Simply Beth for her Three Word Wednesday link up and am looking forward to getting to know this circle of writers. For this link up, choose three words; share a post, photo, or scripture that highlights those three words; link up here; and share some encouragement and blog love with other writers.
I'm also jumping in with Holley Gerth and company for her 2014 Encouragement Challenge: Coffee For Your Heart. The challenge was "What encouraging words do you want the people you care about to hear as they begin a new year?” I hope this meets that challenge.
I'd love to connect with you some more - stop on by the Three Bees Facebook Page or connect with me on Twitter @3BeesBlueBonnet. Let's continue the conversation!