Inspiriation: a divine influence or action. Also, the act of drawing in air to the lungs. (From Merriam Webster).
Mariechild suggests that, in order to begin finding the harmony in our lives -- which is what Dhyani Ywahoo writes about in the reflection at the top of the page -- we breathe. Meaning, we both draw air into our lungs and we allow divine influence or action to come in. She calls it soul searching, and she writes that few of us do it until we are in crisis:
"Many people don't start soul searching until there is a painful situation in life, something that pulls the rug out from under them. Old coping mechanisms no longer work...It isn't necessary to wait for upheavals. We have the opportunity now in the breath." (from Open Mind -- Daily Inspirations for Becoming Mindful)
I just love it that the breath is the basis of so much wisdom and wise practice in our lives, and have written about that before, here and here.
We all breathe. How handy is that for a reminder for the inspiration of divine influence? It really is simply a matter of being aware of our breath. Mariechild suggest we try being aware of our breath for ten minutes. Frankly, I would have found ten minutes hard to manage when I was first practicing this sort of awareness. Perhaps two minutes is a more realistic beginning if you have never done this before. Then gradually increase the time to ten minutes...and more.
Another way to practice is to become accustomed to breath-awareness not only when you are sitting in a formal practice, but at less formal moments during the day and in the midst of life's random situations:
while sitting in the car at a red light
on the bus or in a taxi
when in a difficult conversation or situation
when you suddenly realize that you are tense or upset.
I have found that if I combine the two modes of practice -- both formal and informal -- it becomes more deeply embedded in my life, a part of me that I call upon almost unconsciously, automatically. That makes it not only a wonderful spiritual practice, but a great stress reliever.
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Carol D. Marsh
- With a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Nonfiction degree (Goucher College, August 2014), I am looking at a new phase in my life. From 1992 to 2009, I served as Founding Executive Director of Miriam's House, a residence for homeless women living with AIDS. I left this position when Chronic Migraine Disease overtook my ability to do my job. Now I hope that a writing career will both accommodate the migraines and give me a creative, productive outlet. And soon, September 4, I will launch my Inkshares author page in a bid to hit the 1,000 pre-order goal in 90 days. The book I want to publish is "Nowhere Else I Want to Be," a memoir of ten of my years at Miriam's House.