Take three breaths.

Start by recognizing that you are caught in reactivity – to a perceived slight, unwashed dishes, misplaced eyeglasses, feelings of indigestion, something you regret saying. When you recognize you are stuck, stop everything and take three long, full breathes. These breaths help you disengage from the momentum of your thoughts and activity and make space for your inner experience. Investigate by asking yourself, “What am I feeling?” and bring your attention to your body – primarily your throat, chest and belly.  Notice what sensations (tightness, heat, pressure) and emotions (angry, afraid, guilty) are predominant. Let your intention be to befriend what you notice. Try to stay in touch with your breath as you contact your felt sense of what is happening.. Sometimes it’s easy to locate your felt sense, but at other times it might be vague and hard to identify quickly. What is important is pausing and deepening your attention. See if it is possible to regard yourself with kindness. 

Tara Brach, True Refuge

2 thoughts on “Take three breaths.

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