12/07/2012 12:23 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

How to Breathe in Peace


Peace has been on my mind lately. Peace, not conflict, although the news in our world seems focused on the latter.

I think of peace as being the absence of against-ness... a condition in which there is no war within yourself or with others. Think about it. Has there ever been a time in your life when you had an experience of this kind of peace?

The peace I'm talking about is an inner peace. It's not sitting in your office saying, "I'm having peace." That kind of peace is stale, stagnant and not moving.

I'm talking abut the peace that is you, living your life and doing your work without any terror, fear or negative fantasizing. That's the kind of peace that, once established, is within your own consciousness. No one can take it from you.

It's not hard to know when you are experiencing this kind of peace. One way to know: If you can move past your emotions and judgments into understanding and empathy, then peace is present. If you can
accept someone who is different in looks, background and expression, then peace is present. If you are physically relaxed and breathing easily, peace is present, no matter what else is going on around you.

Well, how do you relax and breathe easily in the face of the challenges life brings us? My response is to simply start breathing with awareness. You can too. Take a moment to imagine the air as it moves into your airways while you inhale slowly. Pause a moment and then imagine the air reversing its course as you exhale. Really see it in your imagination. You can even give it a favorite color, or sparkles so you can see it better in your mind's imagination.

It's a wondrous thing, the way our bodies have been created to be nurtured as we expand with a breath of oxygen and contract by exhaling what the body doesn't need. Go ahead. Give yourself this gift of conscious breathing.

If you want some guidance, here's a video:

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