How to Breathe

Last year I attended an annual conference on Interpersonal Neurobiology. It was filled with presentations that were enlightening, astounding, provocative, and…just plain fun.rose

Since the topic of the conference was play and creativity, and the theory is that the mind is not just in the brain but throughout the body, we had many chances to play and move in ways that were fun.

A highlight for me was a presentation by Steve Gross of the Life is Good Playmakers.

Steve’s title is Chief Playmaker, and his job is to teach kids to overcome poverty, violence and illness through regaining their sense of play. His presentation was right after an intense lecture on the brain by a prominent researcher. He made it his business to get us laughing and playing, and did a great job of it.

At the end of our playtime, he led us through a little guided imagery exercise that had a big effect on me.

It’s simple, so you might want to try it right now (or as soon as you can do a little pantomiming without your co-workers asking about your mental health):

Let yourself relax and feel childlike or playful for just a moment.

  • Pretend you’ve just picked a beautiful flower that you’re holding in one hand.
  • Pretend you’re holding a bubble wand in the other hand.
  • Now smell the fragrant flower.
  • Now blow a bubble.
  • Smell the flower
  • Blow a bubble.
  • Repeat two or three more times.

I was into this little game, thinking it was fun and playful and indulged the kid in me. Then I realized the elegance of the exercise…

Steve had just led us through several inhales and exhales, without resorting to the usual mantra of, “notice your breath, breathe in, breathe out.”

It got me thinking, how often do we make work out of what could just as easily be done as play?

Next time you take a deep breath, try smelling the flower and blowing the bubble. See if it makes you feel lighter!

ann_HeadshotwebAnge Finn
AAMET Accredited Certified Advanced EFT Practitioner
Emotional Freedom Techniques
[email protected]

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