Learning to Breathe Deeply
Just this week Carol and I got to take a meal around to Terrie and Garry Pighin and then to eat together. It was a special treat for us as we miss getting to see them more regularly. They are continuing to improve day-to-day, as their bodies recover from the trauma of the accident. Please continue to hold them in your prayers and your hearts. While we were there, Terrie talked about her physiotherapy and how her ribs felt more sore than ever, quite possible due to being stretched. She had broken some ribs in the accident and the physiotherapist had commented on how her breathing was quite shallow, and needed to be deepened (don't worry, I asked her first if this was ok to share). I felt the Lord spoke to me about this as I was praying this morning. It got me reading around the impact of shallow breathing and I read the following;
John Luckovich, an apprentice at Integrative Breathwork in Brooklyn, New York said, “Shallow breathing doesn’t just make stress a response, it makes stress a habit in our bodies, and therefore, our minds, are locked into.”
Studies have also shown that shallow breathing and stress cause the lymphocyte count to drop. Lymphocytes are white blood cells and one of the body’s main types of immune cells. The body is more susceptive to illness when our white count is low.
In part we can limit our intake of breath to protect ourselves especially after experiencing the trauma of painful broken bones, not to mention a threat to our lives! Sometimes, the very thing we need hurts to receive, because our body (& soul) has got used to functioning within its own self-imposed limits, limits in which it feels safe but they are actually damaging the body.
To entrust ourselves into God's hands and the life of faith can feel like this too. To let go of all that I have become very familiar to living by (i.e. "me") and receive something new from God, something new 'in God", can be slightly fear-inducing itself! So, we can be deceived into just thinking we will believe a "little bit", surrender a "little bit", obey a "little bit". After all, to go the whole hog and give everything, I mean, who does that?! That just doesn't make sense, at least not to the ego. But that is just the point, God's wisdom is not like ours, so you can't mix 'n match, you can't just dabble in a bit of Christianity (Christ) and hope that things work out. That's just like "shallow breathing" ...
Carol came across another poem recently that she had written a while ago;
by Carol Watson
Where might the Lord be calling you to risk the pain, the uncertainty, even the deceptive shame, and open your heart and mind to breathe deeply of the fullness of God? To risk opening yourself to this breath of life which is the Spirit, the flow of unending goodness and covenant faithfulness. To discover that you have so much greater capacity to receive and give this love than you dared imagine, or that the enemy had deceived you into believing? What difference might love without limits make in your life, your family, this community of Jericho Road ... how about the world?
With love and prayers,