For all of you who are stressed, and fearful, and worried, for yourself, for your family, for those you love, for our whole world, here’s an invitation to peace.
For all of you who wish you could love other people in person rather than staying in isolation…
For all of you who have given up all time for yourself because you are caring for your kids, teaching your kids, and trying to keep your job…
For all of you who want to believe that fear and stress are not all that define us…
I want to share a practice that has helped me. I invite you to give yourself three minutes today:
Set a timer for three minutes (or longer. Seven is ideal, but even one minute like this can make a difference.).
Sit with your back straight, your eyes closed. I usually sit cross-legged, but you can also put your feet on the floor. Place your hands near your heart or palms open on your lap.
Breathe in through your nose, with your eyes closed, slowly. As you inhale, use the word love, and imagine the love of God filling your being.
Breathe out through your nose, eyes closed, slowly. Again, use the word love, and imagine the love of God filling the space around you in this room and in your home and in your community and throughout the world. (You can stop here, and just repeat this pattern over again for three minutes, or you can add the next part)
Then breathe in through your mouth, with your eyes closed, slowly. As you inhale, use the word peace, and imagine peace filling your being.
Breathe out through your mouth, like a soft sigh. Use the word worry, and imagine everything that worries you moving off your shoulders and being carried by God for you.
(If you have time and inclination, you can extend this pattern. Breathe in through the nose, out through the mouth, in through the mouth, out through the nose and then start over. And share this invitation to peace with others.)
Give yourself a few minutes to connect to the deeper realities. And then, when the inevitable stress or fear or worry arises in the midst of your day, try to return to that breath and connect again to the truth that grounds you, the peace that guards you, the love that holds you always.
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