How To Be Wise: Want wisdom? Just breathe.

Jan 18, 2011 by

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the moments before harsh words escape your mouth. In the seconds before you lift a fork to partake in the miracle of nourishment. While being put on hold during a customer service call. When your patience is being tried by your children. Or your parents. Or your coworkers.

How do I know that taking a breath is such a wise decision? Easy. In my own experience it’s never gone wrong. Ever. It’s never resulted in misgivings, regrets, or hurt feelings. I have never looked back and wondered if it was the right thing to do. I have not needed to wait hours, days, months, years, to see if it panned out. And I have never wished, “Boy if I could only have those two seconds back! What a waste of time and energy!”

No.

For me, the decision to breathe has only resulted in abundant gratitude, greater understanding, more patience, deeper compassion, and a heightened awareness — awareness that in this very moment I am alive and participating in the miracle of life.

It’s really no wonder. Breathing carries within it an inherent wisdom. Through breath, oxygen is carried from our lungs, to our blood, to our vital organs. The wisdom that sustains life is carried on each breath. And when we engage with that wisdom, we become part of it.

Breathing is an act of deep engagement with life. It is wisdom itself. And it available to us with . . . well . . . every breath we take. And it will be available to us until the last breath we take. If only we were willing to take the time. If we feel we don’t have time to breathe (and believe me I feel that way frequently) then we are living in a world of illusion. How can you not have time to do something that you are doing already?

So what are my plans for deepening my wisdom in the year that’s to come?

Simple.

Just breathe.

I hope you’ll find the time to do the same.

Photo by Photolab XL @Flickr

Lauren Rosenfeld is coauthor of Your To Be List
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