When friends and family check-in to see how I’m doing lately- I reply with the ‘tidal wave’ emoji. I figure it’s a more ‘naturally occurring’ roller coaster. I’m not great at texting, and I definitely use emojis to offset feelings I don’t have time to explain or want to hold close to my chest.
But while I was awake in the dark worrying this morning, it ‘hit me’. I’ve been facing the waves of this crazy time in life with my jaw set. Dig in, handle this, there’s another wave coming.
Is anyone else enjoying the Disney+ promotion? This is just to say, we watched Frozen 2 on Monday at our house and I can’t help connecting myself to the scene when Elsa runs into the crashing waves over and over with inspiring heroine background music until the waves obey her. Control. I love control. She kept fighting and looking strong and purposeful, whereas I’m feeling pretty beat up and I’m having a hard time catching my breath right now.
Breath. Breathe. Breathing.
It’s so simple, right??
How many times have I told one of my melting-down kids to ‘just take a breath’?
I’ve ‘taught’ yoga in various capacities for 12 years. And there’s a reason I decided to get certified- yoga (aka-deep breathing) was a huge part of my healing during some particularly difficult times. And now, 12 years later, I don’t even know where my yoga mat is in the house (basement storage?) and any ‘yoga practice’ I’ve done recently is the time I spend walking around like a gorilla with WECC kids.
I’ve put deep breathing into the just-don’t-have-time-for-that category in my busy life.
But here’s the deal. Just like time spent in nature, deep breathing is one of God’s great ‘reset buttons’ for us to use. It’s there for us 24/7, plus, you can do it while in jammies! (aka- yoga pants ‘lite’).
Instead of locking up and fighting the crashing waves; deep breathing helps us ride them.
So let’s find a practical starting place. Kids need deep breathing just as much as grown ups. And we know that kids learn more from our example than our lectures, right?! So pick out a shape together and test it. Breathe so your belly and chest expand while your shoulders stay down. Kids can trace the lines of the shape (and so can you!)
There are other great deep breathing resources for kids and grown ups.
Yoga connects deep breathing with movement- another ‘stress relief’ feature that God created within us! If you have a preschooler or elementary kid, check out ‘Cosmic Kids Yoga’ on YouTube. It includes fun yoga stories and movie plot lines told thru yoga poses (Star Wars, Frozen, etc.).
Daniel Tiger sings ‘Take a Deep Breath, Let it Go!’ https://pbskids.org/video/daniel-tigers-neighborhood/2365903487
I just put Beach Boys’ ‘Surfin’ USA’ on my playlist for today- needing a touch of humor!
Finally, if you didn’t see Pastor Miriam’s devotional from yesterday, consider using it while you breathe…
I [Pastor Miriam] invite you to take 30 seconds to pray this prayer based on Psalm 46:10, shared with me by Anna Martinez, a Westwood member and spiritual director. Breathe in and out as you read each line.
Be still and know that I am God.
Be still and know that I am.
Be still and know.