Mindful Monday: Smile, Breathe and Go Slowly

Happy Monday, mindful ones!

Smile.

Breathe.

Go slowly.

Probably the opposite of what you do on Monday mornings, right?

I distinctly remember jolting awake on Mondays near panic, grabbing my blackberry (old school, lol) and jumping out of bed. The race began.

That was my Monday morning routine for more than a decade. Smiling, breathing and going slowly … none of these things were on my endless to-do list.

It certainly was such a grind back then. And looking back, I see that so much of it was my own creation of stress and pressure on myself. Well hindsight is 20/20, isn’t it?

Through my yoga and meditation practices coupled with life experience, I have learned the magic formula of breathing and stillness.

We’re all just looking for a little more space. More room to breathe, more space within our tight joints and muscles.

To be fully alive and fully human, we need space to breathe and feel, and we need a strong, supple body to move. We all certainly know what it’s like to feel crowded, pressured, stressed. We’re familiar with encroaching deadlines and facing expectations.

There are all kinds of circumstances that create constriction. Some of them are internal: grief, or depression, or personal struggles. Some are external: emotionally and spiritually abusive workplaces, or family relationships, or systems of oppression. The challenge lies in carving out some space for yourself to simply smile, breathe and slow things down. Even for a few, quiet moments to breathe and just BE.

Do you know why?

Because you deserve to draw a full breath. You deserve to have room to breathe. You deserve to have the space to change and grow. You deserve to be honored, and valued, and treated like the precious soul that you are.

So add this to that endless to-do list as you rush around trying to take care of everyone else around you:

Smile.

Breathe.

Go slowly.

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