Breathing In and Out: Life Lessons


This year I made a resolution to be more positive. 10487544_10152407223278463_4752818377428558244_n

It’s funny how hard this has been, and it is only February!!!  However, this year already has provided much opportunity to learn from inspiring individuals and various situations and move forward.

The last few weeks has been humbling as I continue to face up to aspects of my life I want to change and press onwards and upwards. Here have been some learnings from the past few weeks:

  1. We spent a few days in Wales and in the hotel, I witnessed something that moved me deeply. In the hotel where we were staying there was an elderly man with a very physically and mentally disabled daughter, probably around forty years old. During breakfast, we sat by them. The daughter was unable to do anything for herself, completely dependent. Her loving father scooped her up in his arms and sat her on his lap. He then began to spoon feed her. This took a long time as it appeared that the dear lady may have also had some additional issues with swallowing and eating. He patiently rocked her, fed her, sang to her and spoke lovingly to her. When we passed by, he smiled a big beaming smile and said hello, warmly, to us. When we finished our breakfast, we went back to our room. An hour or so later, we went back downstairs. The gentleman and his daughter were still at the breakfast table. He still had her on his lap, feeding her. This experience was so moving. This brave gentleman, so gentle and patient, caring for his daughter so lovingly, in their difficult circumstance. And yet, positively, lovingly, smiling through it all. They are true heroes and very inspiring – it was an honour to eat breakfast with them that morning. It was also a poignant reminder for me that if these dear people could be so positive amidst their difficult circumstances, surely I can make an effort to be more so in my own life.
  2. Something happened last week that really annoyed me. It involved the actions of another person. This provided an opportunity to practice my breathing exercises (breathing in positivity and breathing out negativity – try it, before you knock it!). However, my initial internal reaction was to be very annoyed and cross, and then to vent this by moaning about the situation and person to my husband. It is going to take tons of work, but I want to be more gracious and understanding in these situations. I want my first reaction, when something happens, to be more positive. Instead of being annoyed, I want to pursue serenity. This is very much work in progress!
  3. Without being specific, there have been certain happenings in the past that I have found difficult to move past for various reasons. These involved people, or events, etc., that were very difficult and painful. Another learning of late is choosing to begin the process of moving on. This is hard for me – I am very internal, philosophical and reflective. Often the past gets milled over and relived in my attempt to make sense of everything. Perhaps people we love have hurt us and we don’t understand why, perhaps we have lost love ones, or watched those we care about suffer in various ways and felt helpless, perhaps we torture ourselves over our flaws and mistakes. The lesson very much for me has been “You don’t move on, you are always moving on.” It is not a destination, it is a journey. You don’t wake up one day and suddenly not feel pained or damaged by the experiences and events of the past. You shoulder them, learn from them, become more compassionate because of them, and choose to move forward, one foot in front of the other, one moment at a time. I am forgiving others, forgiving myself, moving on. Breathing in positivity, breathing out negativity. Consciously choosing, often failing, but always pressing on.

To finish this reflection, I would like to share the story of the lamp and the pots.

There once were two pots: a beautiful pristine pot, and a chipped and broken pot.

Someone took a lamp and placed in under the pristine post. The light could not be seen.

They then placed the lamp under the broken pot, and through the broken pieces the light shone through.

Be open in how you live life. Be honest. Let your light shine through even the darkest, most broken places. 🙂


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