”The more my body is free to
respond to my breath,
the more I am free to
respond to my life.”
Third Avenue Palyhouse.- 2003
Listening and responding in each moment wile we roll through the past into and beyond now. What a wonderful way to live our lives. Free from fear or limiting thoughts. In contrast, many of us spend time and energy wondering or worrying about the future or the past. For many “living in the moment” is a thought or a wish. How can we open our attention to the here and now? How can we experience deep listening and responding? Improvisational Drumming has helped me with all of the above.
It is amazing how focus can change when a group of strangers connect and share several deep and clearing breaths. There is a circuit that is completed when we connect physically and share our breath. By doing this we can align the disparate rhythms we find within our selves and or align many bodies together for a task or project
One summer I was framing a house with friends. At the end of the day three scraggy V’s came a honking overhead. As we stood among the roof rafters the honking amplified as three V’s broke into chaos. The spike in honking persisted as the massive group made three distinct attempts to merge into a single massive V.
To our amazement after the first two failed, the third attempt was a gift to witness. In the blink of an eye chaos shifted into order. The honking mellowed as the community settled into a huge and grace-filled V. In this way we can breathe the dispirited parts of our selves back together or help unify a group through breath and drumming. The breath makes the connection the drumming plays with that connection. This is a fun way to set and affirm active responses based in respect and dignity.
Each time I lead drummings, at some point wonder drops in as a group of recent, non-musical strangers respond and listen having fun making lovely music. Together we thrive and grow.
The misty heat of the hot tub embraces my body. Floating on my back, my arms open to the sky. Grand oaks lush with leaves sift brilliant blue. I begin a deep full breath laden with the moist life of the fertile woods. The more I take this sweet air into my body, the more I am given to the air itself. Crisp sounds of the woodland rush in as my ears are resurrected from waters muffling embrace. Bird-songs float down from the rustling leaves. Lungs filled, I feel renewed as if I had been born of this water, into this life-filled forest.
In a flowing movement my breath’s tide turns, releasing air from my body. I melt into the waters warmth. Slowly the water comes to surrounds every fold and follicle of my body. Muffled sounds of waters’ embrace pull me further from the vibrant life of the forest. Eyes close as water begins to gently push on my lashes. I let go, releasing my life.
A deeper sense of withdrawing grows within me. Energy flowing out into the water quickens as I sink deeper, now fully embraced in this womb of water. Only my nose left open to the air. I melt into this moment, the deep peaceful sleep of winter bear’s cave.
From this depth of silence, it was love that saturated my heart. Thirst for life brought the flow of air back into my lungs, awakening from a bath of love. Excitement flared within me as blissful curiosity for light and air rose up within me, once again, reborn.
If we are health conscious about finding the right amount of activity that keeps us agile or developing local food choices that optimize our bodies function, we than may be interested in optimizing the effects of higher oxygen intake. Our breath offers us a spectrum of movement. On the shallow or still end if it, challenging persistent health issues can often be found, along with lack of movement in life and body. Deepening our breath, maximizing our oxygen and letting our bodies respond to our breath supports a healthy energetic life clear of shadows.
What informs our thoughts or our repetitive self talk? Influencing factors can be the moments we were abruptly invited out of innocence by the ones we depended upon the most: harsh words at a tender moment, adopting unloving opinions that were heard over and over again?
Gradually breathing are way through unresolved events we slowly reclaim innocence. As we stop referencing fear and trauma new neuropathways form around trust and love. As thoughts change so do our dreams and visions. Returning to innocence we realign with golden threads tethered to our core purpose.
When I cut my finger my body heals it voluntarily. If an infection enters, my fever will automatically burn it off. When events from early life leave me fearful or numb, it is my breath that waits for my choosing.
The ability of our breath to heal our emotional and spiritual scars is a fundamental function of breath that constantly awaits our focus.
Our lives, like the tides, dance within the influences of the moon’s phases. Weather it is the diminishing energy of its waning or the strengthening force of its journey to fullness. With our focus and attention we can incorporate the strength and support of these influences in forging changes in our lives.
When focusing on letting go of a familiar habit or mind-set working with the energy of the full moon is best. Writing out just what it is you are letting go of and burning it as the moon passes from it fullness spilling its light and its strength over the tides.
This is contrast to the energy of the new moon. Ancient peoples worked with the energies of the new moon when planting seed or transplanting seedlings. So planting the seeds of new choices in our lives just as the moon begins its journey from darkness to light supports our ability bring more light to the dark places within us.
The growing or diminishing light and magnetic pull of the moon is an ancient force that has a profound effect on us and our planet. Its force can be a powerful tool we can use to help transform our lives