Bulk haul week in my neighborhood means anything that doesn’t fit into a trash bag goes out to the curb. Junk collectors cruise the street two days ahead of waste pickup in search of treasures among tangled Christmas lights and outdated toilets. Fall collection makes room for the holidays, but the season of gifts will fill our homes back up again. Why is it so hard to make space?
We clean our garage twice a year, but our brain is the closet we never quite get to. Before we can organize our minds, we run out of time. We end up shoving more in until we feel stuffed, a door ready to unhinge.
When your mind feels too full to be mindful, you don’t have to kick memories to the curb to make more room, just breathe! When a room feels crowded, we navigate to an opening and take a breath. Do the same when life feels crowded. Conscious breathing prepares us for meditation.
We are meant to breathe from our bellies, not our chest. Relaxing the abdomen allows more room for the diaphragm (muscle that separates the organs from the abdomen from the lungs) to contract. The diaphragm drops giving the lungs more room to fill up with air. When this happens, we naturally breathe more gradually and deeply. The diaphragm returns to its position on the out breath helping to push the air back out of the lungs through the nose and mouth. Notice as the air moves in and out through your nostrils.
At the end of this post, I’ll invite you to take a few more breaths. When you are ready, imagine you are in an open meadow, your thoughts have room to float in the surrounding air like butterflies. Close your eyes and breathe.
Want more techniques? Check out my TOP 10 TIPS for Starting a Mindfulness Practice.