Peace can be found in the present moment. Even if everything else seems to be falling down around you–you can always tune into the present moment and just breathe….the simple act of tuning into your breath at this moment in time is a signal to yourself that all is well….simply allowing yourself the space to be quiet and breathe will allow your self to be free of whatever is stressing you out–at this moment in time….and really, that is all we have…right here, right now.
I know this sounds pretty lame…and I can relate, but after allowing the possibility that this could be true–I decided to start to try it…I may not have been able to control anything else going on in my life–but I could control my breathe and where my focus was directed….so when in the midst of hell I decided to try to just breathe.
When I could successfully allow the drama to recede and just sit with my breath for a period of time, I found some relief…it didn’t last long, but it was relief. Initially I started trying when I couldn’t sleep because of the all the repetitive thoughts circulating in my brain–the worry, the blame, the injustice, the rage etc…in a fit of desperation I would roll over and just force myself to concentrate on my breath and release all other thoughts. Make no mistake–this was not an easy task. Way easier said than done…halfway thru a breath I would find my mind returning to its incessant obsessing….and I would drag my concentration back to my breath…this battle went on for what seemed forever…but at least it was a battle I had some control over….eventually if I kept at it, I would win and be able to sink into my breath and its gentle, rhythmic caress would eventually carry me off to sleep.
I would also sink into my breath periodically thru out the day–just to see what it was doing….and then enjoy a nice long deep breath before allowing my mind to return to whatever rambling mode it was in. I would use it as an escape from repetitive thoughts, worry, negative self talk, and most especially during emotional takeovers.
I find that sinking into the sensations of my breath allows me to escape whatever crap my mind is currently dwelling on and I can return to my thoughts with a clearer sense of what is really happening and what I could possibly do about it…basically by learning how to breathe in the present moment I gained the ability to escape from the constant pain and sorrow that my brain was experiencing as its reality. I could give myself a break….even if only for a breath…I could escape my reality and sink into the pleasant sensations of my breath…
On many days that was the only relief I was capable of obtaining. Slowly–my awareness of the present moment could be expanded and I could start to allow the beauty of the world to come back into my life….but back in the dark days–learning how to sink into my breath was a lifesaver….and its there for everyone–you just need to be willing to try, and try and try again….escaping from our brain is both very easy and very hard….but with practice it becomes easier….and even a small eensy bit of control in the midst of a very out of control experience can give you the boost you need to carry on.