When I started my spiritual journey I had a belief that spiritual awakening had to be complicated. After all, that was my view of life. Life is hard. Life is complicated. It made sense that this journey should be just as arduous, challenging and complex as any other. We’re taught in our lives to work hard for what we want, and that the things really worth obtaining don’t come easy.
The further along I got in my journey, however, the more I began to realize that this thinking was entirely backwards. Spiritual awakening is about getting into your heart, slowing down, and feeling rather than thinking your way through life. When I slowed down and tuned into my feelings, everything suddenly became not only clear, but simple.
The deeper I embraced the love in my heart, the easier and simpler things got. The more I embraced the ease and simplicity, the faster my spiritual awakening unfolded. It began to become very obvious: the intense, over-complicated thinking that had me feeling tired, out of sync and closed off had been the problem, not the solution.
In order to truly tune in, expand my spirit and get excited about life, I needed to stop making it all so complicated and believe in the power of simplicity and slowing down. With these realizations, I began using my breath in an entirely new way. The more I used my breath mindfully, the less afraid I felt in my daily life. I truly started to get this thing everyone was saying about moving from fear to love, and that shifted and changed my life for the better.
You can also begin discovering new and powerful ways to use your breath in only a few minutes. With the help of some simple visualizations, you will begin remembering that breathing is a spiritual experience. Every breath you take allows you to tune in, heal, gain clarity and remember that you are alive. No matter where you are, or what you're doing, you have the power of the breath in you and with you always.
Practice these exercises for about 3-5 minutes per day. A wonderful tool to help you with this is the Insight Timer App for your smartphone (it's free and available in the app store). It's a meditation app that rings a soft bell at the end of your meditation. You set the time, and you can also set bells to ring each minute to bring your focus back in. You may choose one breathing exercise that you feel most drawn to, or rotate to a different one each day. When you are caught in a moment and need to center and get clear, recall your favorite one, and take a few breaths with the in / out pattern described. It really can be that quick and simple to shift your energy!
1.) Use your breath to remember your connection to the Universe.
Sit or lay quietly. As you breathe in slowly, think to yourself I am the Universe. Breathe in the energy of the stars, the solar system, the galaxy, and allow your mind to open and drift as far as you feel comfortable. With an equally slow out breath, think the Universe is me. Breathe your energy out, and imagine you are breathing out to the stars and beyond. Breathe in the Universe, and breathe out to it.
2.) Use your breath to connect to your heart space.
Put your hands on your heart. Close your eyes. Breathe in deep, and imagine that you are pulling in pure, white, loving energy. Breathe the air in as if there is a cloud of this beautiful, soft, loving energy around you. With each breath in, see your heart glow brighter and brighter with this divine white light, allowing it to saturate your heart so fully it pours out of you. As you breathe out, notice how calm, peaceful and safe it feels when you are tuned in to your heart.
3.) Use your breath to commune with your body & feel the connection between mind, body & spirit.
Learning to love our bodies can be an ongoing struggle. Sometimes the best way into it is to bypass the mind and feel how your body is the temple that holds your soul. As you breathe in, follow your breath into your lungs. Imagine seeing the nutrient-rich oxygen flow into your heart, and then out to every corner of your body. Breathe into all parts of your body, going from your head to your toes. Breathe out any feelings of disharmony, and allow yourself to remember that every part of you is an essential part of the whole.
4.) Use your breath to connect to the new and release the old.
Breathe in a new day, and breathe out everything that is behind you. Breathe in what you want, and breathe out what is done. Use your breath to remind yourself how natural it is for you to let go of the old. With each breath out, you release. With each breath in, you renew. You are doing this all day, and becoming aware of it can shift your entire perspective.
5.) Use your breath to easily shift your energy to love.
When you're in a place of love, you are in a place of flow. Breathing in love will help you to make inspired choices that move you forward, rather than fear-based choices that hold you back. As you breathe in, repeat the phrase breathe in love in your mind. As you breathe out, hold the thought breathe out fear. Remember to take long, nourishing breaths. Low levels of oxygen are directly related to anxiety, and the simple act of breathing deeply can do a lot to shift you out of fear.