I have one small tattoo. It reads, “Breathe”. As a yoga instructor with this tattoo, people often assume it is yoga related. My story allows me to witness to the words I heard as I prayed. This one word reminds me of the Psalm 56:3, “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.”
Some years ago, during a stressful period in my life, I sat on our back porch and tried to pray. As I was so overwhelmed with worry, I became frustrated with myself, unable to focus on anything but my anxiety. I remember thinking, I can’t even pray Lord. In my desperation I heard, “Breathe me in, breathe out fear.” These words spoke to me in that moment, and I began breathing Him in and breathing away the fear, doubt and anxiety that was overcoming me.
My yoga instruction begins with my students being asked to scan their bodies and to identify a purpose to the class. On a personal level, this is my Spiritual connection to allowing my practice to be a prayer. The gift of breath becomes a prayer, as I repeat the words I heard that day in my backyard.
Recently, I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. I have gone through multiple diagnostic tests with these words God gave me. He has indeed strengthened me every step of the way. You see, I put God on the clock. I thought those words were for the moment I thought I needed to hear them. God continues to gently remind me daily that He is not bound by time or circumstance. Those words were for the biopsy table and chemo treatments. And I am sure I will need them again and again.
The Mayo Clinic attributes stress to affecting our health, including feelings, thoughts and behaviors. Stress is the anticipation of something bad happening. Statistics will support most of our fears do not come to fruition. In an article, Happy Brain, Happy Life, Psychology Today discusses that choices of changing your life are proceeded by how you see something. Breathing in positive thoughts and releasing fear and negativity will allow for more joy and less fear.
This is why I have my tattoo and wear our breathe necklace. I need to remind myself throughout each day, burden and trouble, I am never alone. I have a choice. I can breathe in good thoughts, positive feelings and happy endings. So can you.
I’ve had lots of people ask where to find my necklace…it’s actually from our Budding Yoga store! You can get your own as a daily reminder here.