Monthly Archives: July 2016



“Feelings come and go like clouds in a windy sky. Conscious breathing is my anchor.” ~Thích Nhất Hạnh

Several years ago, when I was a smoker (I know….gross!), I used to believe that smoking relaxed me; never mind the fact that nicotine is a stimulant.  When I gained my freedom from that terrible addiction several years ago, I found that it was the act of conscious breathing that one engages in while smoking that leads the smoker to believe it’s relaxing.

Conscious breathing, as in meditation, right? Yeah.. kinda. But I don’t have to be on the pillow in meditation to consciously breathe.  Once I started to pay attention, I was surprised at how  often I found myself holding my breath or breathing in a shallow manner.  What usually caught my attention to this was that I would suddenly become anxious. I always thought anxiety brought about the shallow breathing but shallow breathing also brings about anxiety.

I once believed that breathing was automated and I didn’t have to think about it.  When I first began meditating many, many years ago, I learned that I didn’t know how to breathe at all and had to be re-taught.  It was hard in the beginning as the more I focussed on my breathing, the more I would hyperventilate.  Man, those early days were rough!

But over time, it became easier to control my breathing and feel the benefits of a regular meditation practice.  I highly recommend beginners join a meditation class or download some good guided meditations as I found it much easier to begin this way.

Now, whenever I feel uneasy, I check that I’m not holding my breath.  One deep, cleansing breath invariably removes, or at least reduces the anxiety.  My breathing tells the tale of my inner world.  It lets me know when I’m off balance, stressed, insecure or not in alignment with Source Energy.  It’s a great barometer that never fails to tell the truth.

So, Number 2 on my list of Divine Daily Practices is:  BREATHE.



Why is it that when I’m travelling, I find my balance so easily, yet when I arrive home, I fall out of balance almost immediately? It’s imperative I solve this riddle as I can’t rely on holidays for a sense of balance. I need to find it in my every day life in order to sustain emotional, physical and spiritual wellness.

What is it, specifically, that creates the feeling of balance whilst on holiday? Obviously, being away from work helps, as well as being away from household responsibilities. Yet, somehow I can work and clean while on holiday and it feels invigorating, not exhausting. What is the difference? Is it simply a change of scenery, or is the energy of a new place better or different? Perhaps my energy is what has changed, allowing me to view the world from a more peaceful perspective. If this is true, then how does one create a sustained sense of peacefulness at home?

Don’t get me wrong… I love my life! I am superbly blessed in every way. I have a phenomenal marriage, great energy and vitality, happy, healthy kids, financial security, meaningful work I love, amazing friendships that feed my soul and we live in a beautiful country in a beautiful house. So, why did I slide into this latest holiday completely on fumes? What essential component is missing from my every day life that’s throwing me so far off balance?

I know for sure one of the most important things to do each morning is to set my motivation for the day, which is always the same: To be of maximum benefit to everyone I encounter, however great or small. If I’m feeling discontent or off balance, I ask myself the following questions: Am I truly wanting to be of benefit to others or have I slid into selfishness and self-centredness? Am I taking the blessings in my life for granted or am I in a place of gratitude? Am I placing more importance on temporary material happiness than to a more sustainable spiritual happiness? Am I diligent with my daily spiritual practice? Am I letting life get so crazy busy that I don’t make time for what’s really important to me? Am I simply hungry or tired? Once I’ve identified the source of my poor attitude, I can then apply the antidote(s). Meditate more, worry less; spend less time on social media and more time on my writing; remove the clutter from my schedule so I have more time for family and friends. I could pretend I was on holiday and take a nap, lie on the beach with a good book, explore a new place I haven’t been to before, the list goes on and on. 

It seems the answer to the riddle boils down to one thing….space. Space to reflect, breathe, create, dream… space to nourish my mind, body and soul. This is not selfish, it’s essential. I am of no benefit to anyone if I collapse. Space is the missing component of our daily lives that we find when we’re on holiday.

So, the first item on my new list of Divine Daily Practices is: CREATE SPACE.