Reading - Book Reviews

Grief Road to Recovery: Breathe

My grief recovery process has been all about finding that state of flow again. And the same may go for you. This weekend make your healing all about finding that thing that gives you a sense of thankfulness and appreciation; your reason for waking up in the morning. Here are two of my oldest and dearest strategies for healing and general everyday abundant living:

 [1] Breathe

This morning I woke up and immediately thought of the word: ‘Breathe’.

Try this when you wake up: Breathe IN positive, life-giving energy to strengthen you for the day ahead; Breathe OUT thanks to God for waking you up and blessing you with another day to discover new opportunities and more things to be thankful for.

‘Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift of God, which is why we call it the present.’ Bill Keane.  

Each day feels more precious when we view it as a gift. And what better way to recognise the beauty of the day than appreciating those first breaths as you wake. Particularly with the bleakness and tragedies occurring on a daily basis across the world and at home these days, view each day as a gift.

A gift is freely given and expresses the kindness and generosity of the giver, whist also giving you – the receiver – the chance to express your thanks and happiness for it! That’s why each day I thank God for the day ahead – it is a gift that not everybody has the opportunity to receive.

Think about how you feel on your birthday, or imagine the scene of young children crowding round their presents at Christmastime. There is such an air of expectancy and excitement because they know they are about to open something but have no idea what each gift holds. In this same way, we don’t know what each day brings, but we can have that same level of excitement and optimism that it will be something incredible. Live each day with this level of energy and confidence! Why? You’ll smile more, you’ll laugh more and the unexpected negative moments in the day such as somebody interrupting a phone call or spilling a drink on your top will feel insignificant in comparison to the precious present of the day.

So tomorrow when you wake up, run at your day as though you are running towards the Christmas tree to grab your gift of 24 precious hours. Tear it open and make every minute count. You’ll probably even begin to notice more opportunities than you ever did before!


[2] Mindfulness

Mindfulness is intricately linked to breathing, but it also relates to anything you do in life! Anything can be done in a state of mindfulness. Even jumping! In fact, the opposite of mindfulness is brain-fog and that’s where things can go wrong. (See here).

Mindfulness is key for healing because it helps you to focus on your now to simply be in your present in order to feel its full emotions and eventually move forward (also read last week’s short blog on Acceptance).

Mindfulness has two faces. One face compels us to connect with the present moment, shutting the door on the past and future. The other patiently waits until you let go of your past and future and fully immerse yourself in the present. Only then does mindfulness open another door for you to enter your future with greater clarity and less restrictions to live a fuller, happier life.

Jon Kabat-Zinn provides a beautiful picture of mindfulness in his book: ‘Wherever you go, there you are.’

‘To allow ourselves to be truly in touch with where we already are, no matter where that is, we have got to pause in our experience long enough to let the present moment sink in; long enough to actually feel the present moment, to see it in its fullness, to hold it in awareness and thereby come to know and understand it better. Only then can we accept the truth of this moment of our life, learn from it, and move on. Instead, it often seems as if we are preoccupied with the past, with what has already happened, or with a future that hasn’t arrived yet.’

So free yourself from the compulsion to busy yourself with thoughts of yesterday and tomorrow. Breathe easier knowing you can choose to be mindfully present and thankful each and every day.

I’ve not read this in a while, but it is probably worth a re-read!


Thanks for reading!

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