Breathing – Back to basics

Well I’ve been in Beirut for about 5 weeks and all is well. I could tell you about the day to day here, but with the Equinox and full moon tomorrow I am in a bit more of a universal and expansive space.

The truth is, the longer I walk this path, I realize that it doesn’t matter where I am in the physical, my greatest experiences now lie within. So, no matter where I am, I experience my inner thoughts and these inner thoughts are with me wherever I am. Some days my thoughts are easy and graceful, like a loving ocean or kind mother, while other days my thoughts seem to be spinning in self-doubt, questioning, judgement, and child-like fear.

If I am conscious, I begin to notice that the people around me (including my students and colleagues) only reflect my inner thoughts that are always there. This truth is becoming clearer and clearer to me and though I am not always sure how to work with this truth in my day to day life, my clear experience of it is powerful and is changing me.

In this change and uncertainty, I choose to get back to basics. I focus on my breath. This is something I learned when I first became an athlete, something I practice as a singer, and something I re-learn all the time in the yoga classes I take. I focus on my breath. notice it. follow it. honor it. breath deeper. breath slower. breath. life is this basic, if we let it be.

Let it be. I have been teaching my students that song for the past couple weeks. Let it be. Great song and if you sing it, it reminds you to breath. The elementary school principal here asked me to sing something at our first assembly – a total surprise to me – and without even thinking I sang a little of Let it be. People keep coming up to me saying – I love that song. thank you. I love your voice. It wasn’t only me or my voice that resonated with them – I believe they are responding to my ability to breath and be present in a spontaneous moment. My confidence in this spontaneous moment gave me joy and therefore others joy. this is what we are all doing all the time. Being our true selves and inspiring others to be in their truth.

Some days I am more conscious then others. some days I go to the gym. some days I drink a beer. some days I go to the gym AND drink a beer. some days I facilitate a healing. some days I go home and have a good cry. some days I have a great music class and feel I am truly touching students. some days I feel like I don’t know how to teach at all and wonder if someone I work for will notice. Some days I am so happy to have my own apartment, no partner and no kids, like it’s the greatest gift the universe gave me. Some days I am lonely and wonder why am I alone in a foreign country with no family. Some days I think I am here serving humanity. Some days I think I am here to heal my left-over middle school pain (of which there is a bit). Some days I think there is no real reason I am here at all. it just is.

These are my thoughts and I am getting better and better at watching them vs. attaching to which one is true or judging myself for even having them. The big theme over the last 5 weeks amidst all these thoughts has been: Your breath is everything. breath deeper. breath slower. learn how to breath and teach others. And so, this is what I do – here in Beirut and wherever I am.

I am teaching my music students how to breath so they can sing. I go to a meditation class here in Beirut and breath with other people. Everywhere I am I ask people, “are you breathing?”. They often smile, say “no”, and then take a breath. So ask yourself right now: are you breathing?

If everything is in our breath, imagine what we could create if we were consciously breathing deeply all the time.

And if not, don’t worry. go to the gym. drink a beer. meditate. do yoga. laugh at a new episode of Glee. whatever works. it’s all God. Enjoy the New England (if you live there) fall season. I am still using AC over here.

love love love


Leave a Comment

  1. Dear Alicia –

    I am working with a buddhist sutra called The Sutra on the Full Awareness of Breathing. Thich Nhat Hanh has written a marvelous commentary on it that I am now using in my daily meditation. If you're interested in checking it out, and if you can't find a copy over there, I would be happy to mail you one.

    Much Love,

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