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  • SuePattonThoele

Mindfully Inviting a Quality Through Breathing

Although the following breath practice is very simple, it is incredibly effective. Using your breath mindfully will invite a quality to live within you, and as a result, you’ll express it naturally through you.

If one of the qualities listed above resonates with your heart, choose it for the practice. If not, please select a different quality you would like to embrace. For instance, a few days ago I felt frustrated and thwarted by circumstances beyond my control; as a result, I was impatient beyond belief. Because of the way I felt, choosing to breathe in patience was a no-brainer.

Unlike some of the more meditative practices, this one can be done anywhere. I did it while driving. The simple steps are:

Choose a quality you would like to embody.

Become aware of your breath.

As you inhale, imagine the quality being drawn deeply into your body and spirit. (It sometimes helps to give the quality a color. For me, patience was a muted salmon color.)

As you exhale, breathe out any resistance you may be holding toward anything—the practice, the quality, circumstances, whatever...

Consciously and deeply breathe in your chosen quality for at least a few full breaths.

As I was driving while consciously breathing in patience, I became acutely aware of the panorama of the snow-covered Rocky Mountains ahead and felt as if the Divine Mother had gifted me with a beautiful example of stately patience. I like to imagine that beautiful vista as a reward for inviting a quality into myself I was sorely lacking at the time and as an affirmation that such mindful efforts can bring beautiful results.

We use the introspection and inspiration frequently found within mindfulness practices as a way to know ourselves more intimately and to thereby express ourselves in the world as we were created to do. Knowing yourself and being mindful of what your heart and soul long for and yearn to give is one of your highest callings. Philosopher Lao-tzu taught that, “Knowing others is wisdom, knowing yourself is Enlightenment.” All you are and can be is within. Your life’s mission is to pay attention and gently coax your unique authenticity into expression.

Insight is essential and can be exhilarating and very freeing. Gaining the insight that I was a highly sensitive person was both. However, in order to create enduring life changes and be the best and happiest woman you can be, insight needs to be accompanied by both mindful awareness and positive action. The practices you’ll be introduced to are intended to strengthen that combination by using what I call the Insight to Awareness to Action progression:

Insight → Awareness → Action

Excerpted from The Mindful Woman by Sue Patton Thoele. Available on Mango and Amazon.

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