This guest post is by Renee Tarantowski Baude.
I walk into the office 3 kids under 5 clinging to me and big-as-a-barn-pregnant.
It was Spring and I had thought I just had a sore throat but turns out it was a huge abscess thing . . . somewhere in my mouth that he could see, I couldn’t. It hurt like hell to do anything–move, talk, eat–even to hum a lullaby to the kids.
Before he sent me directly to the emergency room . . . yes with 3 kids and big-as-a-barn-pregnant, he told me this.
Renee, you need at least 15 minutes of quiet time each day. Sit, lay down, stand up–just 15 minutes of doing nothing and listening to your inner wisdom.
I rolled my eyes.
Doc looked at the kids and said “you need to make sure that your mom goes down for quiet time every day for 15 minutes. I’m giving you permission to tell your mom what to do.”
That sealed the deal. We all had quiet time for 15 minutes each day which typically led to the 3 kids falling asleep and me often stretching it to 30 minutes. It felt so good. Now I know that this is what people call meditation.
The Quiet Time Practice-Breathe
When I started my quiet time practice, I just laid in bed. Remember I’m pregnant–so I had that baby and at least one other kid in the bed. Sometimes all of them. I just laid there waiting for the 15 minutes to be finished. At the end of the first week, I started using that time to connect with my unborn child. It felt crazy. I mean I had done a little version of this with the other kids but not like this . . . certainly not every day.
I was told that if I exhaled twice the amount of my inhale with a hold in between, it would relax my nervous system. That sounded great to me, any way to be more relaxed and present, I was ready for. I did that for a while and felt great but of course, I had to keep researching other ways of breathing. I knew from my 20-year yoga practice that breath control was an essential part of yoga benefits.
The Perfect Solution-Breathe
Quiet time, spending time with this unborn miracle and breathing . . . how complicated could I make it? Something just felt off. I knew in my heart there was a perfect solution, I just hadn’t discovered it yet.
I decided to keep it simple one day and breath in and out equal amounts, one hand on my belly/baby and one hand on my heart/burn holding an intention of love. My quiet time lasted the entire nap time and when I finished I felt amazing. I had never just sat breathing for so long, then to sit with the intention of pure love for this kid. I felt radiant. I felt connected to life in a new way. I didn’t want this feeling to end. Then next day offered another opportunity to do this easy breathing of equal parts in and out, holding my baby, hand on my heart and basking in love. This time I didn’t just think about the baby but our family as a bright light of love.
Day after Day-Breathe
This became my practice. I set an intention or a positive affirmation, I inhale and exhale for equal amounts of time, I hold my right hand on my heart. This is still my practice. At any time of the day or night, I can use my breath to bring me back to a peaceful state. I can even do this as I walk the dog–the guru’s call it a walking meditation. I call it multitasking.
What does this even do?
Well, I’m not a scientist but I am a researcher and I found this great website that you can lose yourself in the knowledge. It is called Chill 101! I love that name.
This Ted Talk is also incredibly informative:
Will you try it?
Focus, calm, not reacting are the hallmarks of intentional breathing. It’s free. It’s easy. It can change your life.
If you aren’t a fan of meditation I encourage you to give it a try. If you’ve tried it, you probably repeat the experience over and over again. Either way, share your thoughts about breathing in the comments.
Remember Renee? Previously she wrote about happiness and she is a writer on other things too.
Renee is an Essayist on Mindfulness, Motherhood and Menopause. She lives mindfully: a simple, soulful, sacred life. Visit Renee at ReneeLove.com