#12
August 2005

Gratitude and more

Hello everyone, how're you doing with your Breath and Water practice?

Someone wrote:

*I have one suggestion for the next breath and water newsletter. I was wondering if you could include a sentence or two about the basic guidelines in every issue—maybe like a short caption under the title or something. If there are other people like me out there (and I bet there are) we have been enjoying the "club" vicariously, meaning that we think about doing the practice more than we do it. So a reminder in each issue would just be nice for people who want to start or renew their practice but have forgotten the details. (Is it breathing 15 minutes twice a day and 8 glasses of water?)

Yes, that was the initial agreement. The Breath and Water Club was started as a support tool for people who wanted practice Intentional Breathing for 15 minutes twice a day and drink 8 glasses of water a day. The original goal was to do so daily for six months. We began in December of 2004, right around the winter solstice. Along the way, I added the Hug Your Heart Breath, alternate nostril breathing, and reverse breathing to the simple Intentional Breathing.

Now you can look at the Breath And Water page anytime to get the basic practice.

Last month, after people asked to continue with the Breath and Water Club Newsletter, I added gratitude. Remember? Here it is:

Divide your breathing minutes into three segments. If you're breathing for 15 minutes, divide the time into three five minutes segments. Use your timer. For the first two segments of minutes, or 10 minutes, just breathe as you have been. Then for the last segment, 5 minutes, practice feeling gratitude. Do this both morning and evening.

So, have you been working with gratitude? How do you like it?

*It is GREAT to get another issue of the breath and water club. I love it all—the concept and the periodic reminders to breathe and drink water and the connection it makes me feel with other compatible souls. I have strayed from the path of the recommended practice, but I am so grateful for the reminders and it helps me do a little bit, and be grateful more and pissy less.

*The Breath and Water practice has been so helpful. In the last year I have worked at "giving birth to myself." This breathing has helped me to deliver! Thank you for the support of the newsletters and reminders to get back on the road.

The New Lesson

You divided your breathing time into three segments, and you're using the final third to practice gratitude. Here's what I want you to do with the first third. Set your tone for the coming day. Decide what you want to experience in the coming hours, decide what energy you want to do your day in. Your day or your night, depending on whether this is your morning or evening breathing time.

I may choose joy, contentment, satisfaction, curiosity, hopefulness, peacefulness, love, a sense of community, friendliness, an awareness of beauty, connection with all life, being open to intuition, or playfulness. You get the idea. What you choose in the morning may be quite different from what you choose in the evening. Or it could be the same. You may choose the same quality for many days in a row, or you may change from day to day.

Once you've chosen the energy you want to experience in the coming hours, make a statement of intent, out-loud is useful. Then see if you can fill yourself with that energy while you breathe for 5 minutes. Set your timer.

So, I make my statement of intent something like this: I desire to experience joy today. Or maybe, I intend to be aware of beauty today; or I see the perfection in every person and situation today. Then I set the timer for 5 minutes and breathe while I feel my body filled with that very feeling.

Then simply breathe for 5 minutes, intentional, aware breathing. Then finish up with 5 minutes of gratitude. Using the timer takes your mind off wondering how long you've been at it.

Do this every time you sit down to do your Intentional Breathing, or do it a few times a week. Work with it. This is a bit more complex than just breathing, but I'm willing to bet that you'll be impressed with the results.

And of course, let me know how it goes!