“Your breath is a testimony,” tweeted Joél Leon, a Brooklyn-based poet a few days ago.
It’s one of those lines that hits, and hits deep. Especially when a lot is happening.
Just by living, by having a beating heart and a lifting breath, we are sacred witness at the same time to what goes on around us and to what happens within.
Our breath calls us to pay attention, to experience our aliveness. To not tune out because it’s too overwhelming or too painful or too confusing.
So what can we do, those of us who want to help others attend to their breath, to attend to the realities of their lives, if we hope to make paying attention more rewarding than tuning out?
For one, we can help them drop down and experience, rather than merely parrot, what is so much more than a truism — that what we tell ourselves about what is happening is an entirely different thing from what is actually happening.
- What our five-year-old says happened between him and the other kids today at school may be the way he sees it, but we know it’s not what took place.
- The causes of the life-threatening conditions so many have been facing in Texas may not be, right now, what they appear to be or than we can facilely say they are.
- The automobile accident that takes two lives and causes untold pain to friends and family — likely for generations – feels “tragic.” Yet our calling it so may actually get in the way of our acting to improve the conditions that may have contributed to the accident. The very “story” may get in the way.
As we breathe, we offer witness to our being in time and we acknowledge our footing on a planet that also exists in time. We get clear of obfuscating tales about what is happening and move more directly into what is happening. We make contact with reality as fully as we can.
In THE HUMAN JOURNEY® Experience, our trained THJ® Conductors help family members move into, and then beyond, their “stories” to hold them just a little more lightly. You can watch their beings lighten as this starts to happen—and you can see them free up to be more present to the others in their families. They move from isolation and private pain to a shared exhale, and the crisis they face becomes something they can handle – together. Join us to learn to conduct THJ®. You’ll help families dealing with end of life, addiction, health or care transition, isolation, alienation, or crises of meaning.