To breathe or not to breathe

By: Rebecca Liston

Today, as I sit at my keyboard I am fully aware of one singular thing: My breath.

Because fires rage in the Western United States and many of my friends and colleagues are writing to share that they cannot breathe.

Because my kiddo went to school with a mask on yesterday and chose to leave class at one point because she could not manage another moment without feeling free with her breath. 

Because as George Floyd was dying* he repeated, “I can’t breathe!”

Because Covid-19 affects the lungs and one sure sign that you’re headed in the wrong direction with this virus is the inability to catch your breath.

Fires rage in many corners of our beloved Planet.

Our air is incredibly polluted (and no amount of climate-change-denying can sway me of that belief).

And people cannot breathe.

What does it mean when people cannot breathe?

Our breath is our Life Force.  And it seems as though we are surrounded by examples of that Life Force being threatened…thwarted…diminished…cut off.

What, Dear Reader, will you do to support your own Life Force? What will you do to release and expand your own breath?

For surely what we do for ourselves will impact many…

Perhaps you will take up the practice of Breathing. Conscious breathing is a technique used far and wide by healers and yogis alike.

Perhaps you will spend time outdoors, breathing deeply, in support of yourself and of those who cannot at this time do so themselves.

Perhaps you will set a timer on your watch to ding once per hour with a reminder to take three deep and full breaths.

Perhaps you will place your hand on your chest at night, and give thanks to your lungs.

Perhaps you will plant trees, or hug the ones that are near to you.

Perhaps you will picket and lobby for change such that “big polluters” are forced to face consequences for their actions, or stop eating as much meat, or shift towards a reduced-waste lifestyle.

Whatever you do, my friend, will be worth it. For you. For me. For all of us.  

Now, more than perhaps ever before, we need our breath. 

We need our Life Force to be strong and clear and true.

Let us breathe, together, into our future.

Big love,

* I really struggled with how to word this particular sentence. I hope that you do not think that, since I chose to use the word “dying,” I condone the horror of what happened to Mr. Floyd. Should I have used the word “murdered?” “Detained?” “Forcibly confined?” In my humanness, I really just didn’t know…

Rebecca Liston is cofounder and business intuitive at Las Peregrinas, a creative and consulting agency. She specializes in anchoring folks in a clear-eyed understanding of which path is theirs for the taking. She’s got one foot in the land of the subtle and unseen, and the other foot firmly planted in the land of ruthless pragmatism. Oh, and she swears like a sailor, which makes us love her more.

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