Thursday, March 17, 2016

Simply Dance

Welcome. Today for Spiritual Journey Thursday we are sharing thoughts about Linda Kulp 's ONE LITTLE WORD for 2016: SIMPLIFY.

In my yoga classes this week, we have been working with the breath. We can be totally unconscious of the breath, and that's a good thing. It keeps us alive without conscious thought. Or we can control the breath with exercises to consciously still the mind and the body and slow the heart rate. But there is a lovely place in the middle where we are conscious of the breath but not controlling it, where we are simply being breathed. 

Becoming attuned to your breath is like learning to dance the waltz with another person. At first you have to become familiar with your dance partner – how he moves, when he moves, and where he moves. To be a good dance partner with the breath you must be suggestible and let the wisdom of the breath guide all of your movements. As you learn to follow the lead of the breath, you will know what to do next.                        
--Donna Farhi, Yoga Mind, Body & Spirit

There is such a wonderful correlation between this image and our walk with the Holy Spirit in life. It sounds simple enough, but you would be surprised how often you may 
find yourself holding your breath, trying to maintain control, resisting the dance.

My life has been anything but simple this last week as I have navigated hospital/nursing home/hospice decisions for my mother. I have encountered confusion, manipulation, frustration and sadness. I often found myself holding my breath in the midst of the circumstances.

How does one simplify in the midst of a very difficult situation, when the clutter is emotional rather than physical? For me it has been coming back to this dance. Letting my body relax with the breath, letting my soul find my dance partner, moving in concert with the Holy Spirit who resides within.


  1. Sorry that you're facing tough medical decisions for your mother (I've been there); glad that you are dancing with the Holy Spirit! Surely He will lead you; direct your steps in wisdom and peace. Funny you should mention holding one's breath; I had an assistant who pointed out that in times of stress I literally did just that! "Breathe" she would say; "Breathe!" ... Thank you for an important SJT message. God bless you!

  2. Doraine, this morning's gentle yoga class was based on breathing to achieve focus and balance. Within the studio's walls we inched closer to the concept of not holding our breath in order to breathe freely. The trick is to leave the studio and master the breath to find internal peace. Emotional clutter is difficult to sort out so the best way for me is to believe in the faith that will help me get through the struggle. I am extending peaceful thoughts to you in your time of stress. Hospice time calls for deep breathing.

  3. Oh my, you are in a challenging time. But it sounds like you have the tools in hand to deal with emotional clutter. I am praying peace for you as I see you like this: "The eternal God is your refuge / And underneath are the everlasting arms." (That's in Deuteronomy 33:27).