Four Weeks – Deep Breathing
I surrendered dessert and social media for Lent, and there are four weeks left until Easter. I don’t miss either of them very much. When we leave behind “addictions” or habits, we often pick up new ones to fill the void; that’s how we work (or, how we stay broken). The ideal scenario would be that we find healthier options every time we “upgrade.” They say in recovery that “the road narrows,” meaning that we seek to continually be refining the selection of vices or behaviors that we use to cope with the emotional hurt that first caused us to need to cope. I’ll spend some time this week honing in on the new habits… But, I have one already that has taken root; deep breathing. It had become customary to check my phone/email/Instagram while stopped at a stop light or in traffic, etc… and, I’d do the same thing at the studio while taking a pause from painting. Now, I am stopping myself when the itch arises to pick up the device, and I am taking five deep breaths. I fill up with a deep belly breath, inhaling through the nose, and exhaling through the mouth, releasing the need to scratch the old itch. There is true relief for me in the breath, while in the social media investment, there is only debt… breath cut short, overpaid attention. I am grateful for this season of practicing a new habit, and I hope to continue bearing delightful fruit from these fertilized seeds.