“You’re not breathing.”
“What?! Yes, I am! I’m alive, am I not?” I exclaimed in response to my acupuncturist who was trying to help me with my stiff neck - clearly shocked that she would make such a preposterous statement.
“No, I know you’re breathing, but you’re not breathing,” she said.
She then advised me to pay attention to my breathing while driving, working, when I’m stressed, when I’m happy. It was such an interesting phenomenon to realize how little breathing I did in general, but even more so when I was on the move. Perhaps, this is why I was often so out of breath after a tough day at work or with the kids or both (#WFHWK). My body wasn’t getting enough oxygen - our body’s natural battery and source of energy.
We all know our bodies require oxygen to maintain normal function, but our breathing often becomes shallow when we’re busy, bringing in less oxygen and exhaling less carbon dioxide. But when we take deep breaths, the oxygen we ingest nourishes our blood and our cells, and our deep exhalations remove harmful toxins.
Our very origin began with a single breath; God spoke every creation into being except for us.
“The Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.” Genesis 2:7
We are God-breathed. We were breathed into life, so we can breathe Him in, and breathe for Him.
I’ll be the first to admit that I’m still not an expert at intentional breathing. For so long, I wrote off meditation as a new age thing, and slowing down was at the very bottom of my checklist. “Ain’t nobody got time for that,” I’d joke.
The truth is, neglecting that pause was writing off my quiet time with the Lord. I’m more likely to recharge my phone than I am my spirit. My phone is guaranteed to bounce back to 100%, and I’m panting in despair. My phone will survive this pandemic. Will I?
I will if I breathe. Breathe on purpose. Breathe IN purpose. Recharge.
“Keep on being filled with the Holy Spirit.” Ephesians 5:18
When we breathe in the Holy Spirit, He nourishes our souls, and He cleanses us of the things that are not of the fruits of the Spirit. We can think more clearly and respond more gracefully because we’re tapped into the Ultimate Guide and Source of Wisdom. We can bounce back from life’s blows like the best memory foam mattress because He makes us strong. We can speak words of life to our neighbors because He’s our source of life.
One of my favorite things to do as a mom is watch my babies sleep. I love seeing them dream peacefully, and watching their bellies rise with every breath. It’s interesting how children breathe from their bellies, and adults tend to breathe more from our shoulders. We were meant to breathe from our diaphragms where deep breathing happens. But as we age, we put it on our shoulders like every other burden we thought we needed to carry. Child-like faith begins with breathing.
So plug into God, and breathe. Breathe Him in. And don’t stop until you’re fully charged. You won’t be the only one who’ll be glad you did.