Walking almost daily has proven to be an unexpected blessing in my life. The regimen started as a result of my increased focus in the areas of my health. However, the spiritual and reflective time it allows, has often had me walking much longer than planned getting lost in a time of restoration.
Just the other day while walking and enjoying a welcomed springtime breeze, I found my thoughts taking me on a mental journey. Before I knew it, I was focusing on my breath, not because of proper technique, more around something that I had not considered before. Breathing in, I was taking in fresh new air, while on the exhale; I was releasing air that had already cycled internally. In order to live, I had to continue taking new in and releasing what I will call “the old.”
Isn’t funny how sometimes, a revelation can just slap you upside the head. I thought about the concept of breath for a good while that afternoon as I began to compare it to situations of life that we face every day.
Spring in particular is a time of year when many people begin to organize, declutter, refresh and restage in preparation of a new season. Out with the old and in with something fresh, just like our breath.
If I decided to hold my breath and not take in any new air, I would suffocate and potentially die. Well, isn’t that just like our lives, if we just sit around holding on to the same things, never taking in any new ideas, welcoming in any new people or relationships, challenging ourselves to new heights; isn’t the potential for suffocation the same? In the physical sense perhaps not, but in the spiritual sense, in the emotional sense etc., while wallowing in toxic circumstances which have the potential of causing a suffocation of our dreams, our purpose, our destiny and even our health.
I couldn’t help but remember a family member that always sat in the same spot on her front porch, day in and day out. Actually, it became a running joke amongst the family anytime someone would ask about her. Responses would always be, “oh, you know she is sitting on that porch in that same spot.” The same routine for more than 40 years. I remember asking one day, “Don’t you want to go somewhere else besides this porch? Its, nice and comfortable, but everything is the same.” Her response was, “it’s safe here.” I wish I had been older as not to get popped, but I wanted to ask, what are you afraid of.
Later I learned that she never learned to drive, or never wanted to venture out because of something someone said to her as a child and because she never allowed herself to breath in fresh opportunity, or fresh people, or fresh dreams, the tape that played in her head remained the same. Unfortunately, she never dared to exhale the old and embrace the new.
Continuing my walk, I began reflecting on Luke 14:16-24. I love that chapter and verse because it reminds me so much of me at times in my life when opportunity was right there knocking at my door, and much like the invited guest, I too begged off the invitation. Foolishly, I held my breath in a sense and didn’t challenge myself to breathe a fresh challenge. I can’t get those old wasted days back, but I certainly have learned to cherish every new opportunity along this journey. What a difference a breath makes.
Spring is in the air and the flowers are blooming! Perhaps our focus this year could include some personal housecleaning along with cleaning closets and planting flowers. Enjoy.
Tanya is an inspirational speaker and writer living in Charlotte. You can friend her on Facebook or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Read more columns by Tanya Wilson.