A chronic lung condition can mean a lot of self-care. Airway clearance, exercise, healthy cooking all take time and energy. That is why at times we need to practice “not doing.” It might mean a walk in the park, playing with a pet or listening to music. Meditation is also an example of letting go of the “shoulds” and the “musts”. It is a time for you to allow yourself to just breathe. To take in nourishing breath and exhale stress. To refresh your mind, body and spirit.
Find a quiet place to sit (when you get more comfortable with meditating, ambient noise will be less distracting) and say “so” with your inhalation and “hum” with your exhalation. The Sanskrit words “so” means “I am” and “hum” means “that.” It is an affirmation of being a part of a larger whole, part of a community. And we are, aren’t we?
As thoughts float into your mind, and they will, just say to yourself, “I’m thinking” and gently push the thoughts aside. Repeat the process whenever necessary, always returning to so-hum. Start with two minutes and, if you wish, lengthen your meditation when you are ready.
While meditating and while focusing on your breath throughout the day, picture your inhalation being pulled up your spine, starting at your tailbone and progressing up to the crown of your head. On your exhalation, imagine a vibrant waterfall gushing down the front of your body. The imagery of “up-the-back, down-the-front” creates a continuous oval of energy and feels luxuriously supportive, even cocoon-like. Just you and your breath. Up the back, down the front like a waterfall.
Inhale up, exhale down.
Yes, just like that.
#meditation #bodymindspirit #alternativetherapies #bronchiectasis
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Linda Cooper Esposito, MPH is a health educator with bronchiectasis. She developed the BE CLEAR Method to Living with Bronchiectasis and writes with compassion and humor about this chronic lung disease.