Breathe Easy

About SHINE - dad and boy gazingSeveral years ago I was discussing SHINE’s mindful parenting workshop titles with a group of young women who were homeless, living in shelters. When I explained that we wanted to do a session on breath awareness practice, one young woman smiled and said, “Oh honey, let’s just call it breathe easy.” The name was perfect, and it has become the title for the second Key to Mindfulness. We will be exploring Breathe Easy in the next CommunitySHINE workshop scheduled on March 29. One young father (we’ll call him Robert) who participated in the SHINE program shared this story of how the practice helped keep him out of jail:

In court one day, I noticed myself getting angry and agitated as I listened to testimony about me that I knew to be untrue. 

Instead of reacting or lashing out, I was able to calm myself and keep my cool.  

I planted my feet on the floor and brought my awareness to my breath. I stayed with it and followed it. It calmed me down, so when it was my turn to talk, I could say the truth with confidence. I didn’t talk loudly or with anger.

After hearing Robert’s story, spoken with confidence and clarity, the judge told him how impressed he was with his behavior. Even though Robert technically could have been sent to jail, the judge was moved by his demeanor and words, and chose not to. When asked what he had been doing to learn self-control, Robert began telling him about the SHINE program and all he had learned.

The judge’s response was, “Keep on doing what you’re doing. It clearly works.” Regardless of our circumstances, ALL of us can benefit from bringing more mindfulness into our lives to deal with our particular challenges. These simple mindful awareness practices can help us, as they helped Robert. Come gather with others on Saturday, March 29th, to learn more about these practices. Bring your curiosity and an open heart to discover the impact they can have for you. Register for Nurturing Ourselves through Mindfulness: Breath Awareness here To what one breath can do, Amy Bloom Connolly

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