I’m very excited to again this week join a talented group of women who, week after week, join in an online, unedited flash mob free write based on a word-prompt given to us by our fearless leader Kate Motaung. My timer is set for 5 minutes; let’s see where the word “breathe” takes me.
I read somewhere that the average person takes over 23,000 breaths a day. I don’t know why I can remember a random fact like that when on a daily basis I can’t find my reading glasses, but there it is. By the way, if you ever need a partner for Trivial Pursuit, I’m your woman. Well, except for the “science and nature questions.”
It’s amazing to me not only that I take 23,000 breaths a day as part of the breathing process, but that I don’t think about a single one. My body just breathes automatically, and what a wondrous thing that is!
Thinking of that brings to mind all the other things I do automatically, without any thought at all.
For example, I can’t count the number of times I I’ve gone through my morning routine — brush teeth, clean face and apply lotion, make the bed, and take my vitamin and thyroid medicine — and then sat down to do my morning devotion only to suddenly ask myself, “Did I take my vitamin and medicine?”
I’ve even driven to work, only to realize after I arrived that I couldn’t even remember the trip!
A doctor once told me that most people only breathe deeply when he has his startlingly-cold stethoscope on their back or chest. According to him, that’s a bad thing. Deep breaths, he explained, are what makes the lungs expel harmful carbon dioxide from our bodies, and they are also helpful in all sorts of ways I can’t remember now.
When I breathe deeply, when I actually think about the process and pay attention to what I’m doing, my whole being — body, mind, and spirit — benefits.
Of course, the same is true about living.
When I actually think about what I’m doing — instead of replaying a past event or daydreaming, or plotting and planning for tomorrow — I live more deeply.
My whole being — body, mind, and spirit — benefits.
And so, I’m going to focus on breathing more deeply.
And living more deeply.
I hope you’ll join me.