Inhale~Exhale~Repeat

Where is your breath?

Right now, in this moment is your breathing shallow, deep, quick, slow, in your stomach, in your chest? Can you find it?

When you do – think a little about what the location of your breath tells you about your day and your state of mind in this moment.

Inhale~Exhale~Repeat.

Now, I can tell you that the past month has been a roller coaster for my breathing.

I’ve had calm days where the expanding of my chest seemed infinite with each breath because I felt so solidly in each moment. I’ve felt my breath tighten, quicken, and even sometimes pause for a bit too long due to minor or major anxieties that usually hit with no warning.

Over Spring Break I returned to Lucea, Jamaica on Hollins’ Jamaican Cultural Immersion Program. What a gift that was – seeing how much I had grown as a person from the first time I went three years ago. My growth as a Hollins student alone helped me feel more confident about teaching in the primary school and serving in the infirmary of the small Jamaican community.

Whether my breath was tired from walking around six miles a day or my breath was deep as I looked out at the Caribbean Sea, I felt connected to my breath and disconnected from the pressures and technological burdens that go hand in hand with being a full-time student back in Roanoke.

Inhale~Exhale~Repeat.

Upon returning from Jamaica, rehearsals for the spring play kicked into high gear.

Memorizing lines under my breath;

Keeping focus with each inhale under the stage lights;

Huffing my way through dance choreography;

I held on for dear life until opening night when I could literally feel my exhales quake with nerves and adrenaline in the most delicious way.

Inhale~Exhale~Repeat.

In my rare downtime I wait with bated breath on news from job applications and try to keep my breathing steady as I make some tough decisions about where to go next after graduation.

I’m lucky though – I always find my breath at Hollins. Whether it is an inhale of chaos or an exhale of accomplishment, I know exactly where I stand when I’m breathing in the familiar air around campus.

So I take brief moments each remaining day I have here to give thanks for the chance to Inhale~Exhale~Repeat.

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Here’s a photo I took about a week ago that I’ve been wanting to snap for awhile.

It helps me find my breath…

 

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