day 2 – breathe

Welcome to day two of 28 days of Self-Love.

What a fantastic first day! I am truly grateful for each of your contributions and hope you all find day two just as inspiring. So, let’s continue to cultivate the habit of Self-Love through creativity, breath, and gratitude.


breathe.  |brēT͟H|
verb
take air into the lungs and then expel it, especially as a regular physiological process.


“Breath is the bridge which connects life to consciousness, which unites your body to your thoughts. Whenever your mind becomes scattered, use your breath as the means to take hold of your mind again.” —Thich Nhat Hanh

 

  • Music Inspiration:  Erik Satie – Gymnopédie No. 2 

 

  • Day 2 Exercise: Mindful Breathing

Find a comfortable, quiet spot to sit upright and relax.

Close your eyes and take a deep breath in, try counting to 4 on the inhale, to begin. Pause. Hold the air in your lungs for 4 seconds. Then, exhale all the air out for 4 seconds. You can repeat this 3 times.

Next, inhale for a 4 count. Pause. Holding all the air in for 4 seconds. Then, on the exhale double the release time to 8 seconds. Repeat 3 times.

Now open your eyes.

You should feel calmer, more relaxed and centered to go about your day.

You can play around with times for the inhale and exhale whatever works best for you. We are all different. Celebrate your uniqueness. The formula of the inhalation breath and the pause being equal amounts of time and doubling the exhale has been found to increase oxygen supply and create clarity, producing a calming effect.


I just finished reading You Are Here by Thich Nhat Hanh. It is a wonderful read I highly suggest. One thing I would love to pass along from this read is a tip for mindful breathing:

On each in breath say “Breathing in, I know I am breathing in.” in your mind.

On each out breath say “Breathing out, I know I am breathing out.” in your mind.

You can incorporate these phrases into the above exercise, or just pause and mindfully connect to your breath throughout the day using these phrases. Either way, I have experienced profound benefits from doing so in my personal life.

 

  • Day 2 Create: Haiku/Senryu

What’s a more perfect pairing than calming breath work and traditional Haiku—

Look back over your day of mindful breathing and try to think of an image, phrase or word that came to mind after your exercise. Jot some of those ideas down in your notebook. You could also use the image above as inspiration today.

Now let’s create. To learn more about traditional Haiku click the link. Shadow Poetry is a wonderful resource to familiarize yourself with different types of poetic form. Haiku is an essence of a moment and typically related to nature in some way, and its cousin Senryu relates to the more human aspect. Both are 3 lines non-rhyming schemes. And the 5/7/5 syllable rule we (if you are from the western world) were taught in school is not quite what it is all about. (Again read here to learn more.)

For our purposes here, try Haiku or Senryu and we will adhere to the 17 syllables or less guide. This means you can, if you choose, write 5/7/5 but you could also just keep the 3 lines totaling under 17 syllables in any configuration.


Here are 3 examples from a very talented poet that were featured in latest issue of Ink In Thirds Magazine:

Norman Wm. Muise

morning coffee
somewhere between sips
the divorce word

Venetian blinds
slivers of moonlight
slice across me

loneliness
a vast chasm
of broken pieces

 

 

Here is my creative work as a result of today’s exercise:

breathe.
Inspiration:

breath
inauguration
morning

Senryu:
inauguration
expanses of emptiness
blanket me

mourning and morning
become synonymous
healing begins

breath expelled
he loves another
the air chokes

Love and Ink,
Grace


I invite you to share your poems in the comment section below or link to a blog or personal website. Read and comment on others. Introduce yourselves. Get involved. I’m excited to see what all you lovely souls have created.

Want daily reminders with links for each corresponding day delivered directly to your inbox? Click the subscribe icon to join Daily Reminder Mailing List: 28 days of Self-Love. Name and email will not be shared publicly.

Now take a deep breath and celebrate the creativity you’ve cultivated today! See you back here tomorrow with another day of Self-Love.

65 thoughts on “day 2 – breathe

    1. I love how you took the challenge and then came back to tweak it! Yes, the second is tighter and more reflective of haiku, whereas the first is more a 3Line Poem. Both are equally touching. Well done!

      The more we play the more we learn to craft each form and how to touch each with our own unique essence. xx

      1. Thank you Grace for creating this challenge. I am enjoying it and welcome all the feedback and learnings.

    1. I’m with ya on all of the above ;) But that’s the point here. Each moment is a new chance because there honestly is only, now. And now. And, now. And each of these moments is going to move and flow and feel different, and what we do with our thoughts and emotions as we turn energy into expression will always be changing, as well. So dig in with me and embrace each new change!

      Your poems really reflect the level of raw emotion and convey that to the reader nicely. Well done!

    1. What a sobering experience and such a fantastic time to employ mindful breath! Your poem touched all of the emotions and painted a perfect canvas of your experience. This was truly lovely!

  1. Inspiration

    Air
    Perspective
    Reflection
    Change

    Haiku/Senyru

    Snowdrifts randomly
    bury what lies underneath
    temporarily

    Brisk walk in cold air
    or rhymic breathing techniques
    alters perspective

    Trapped in life’s breezeway
    between what is and could be
    reflection breathes change

    1. This resonates with me. My perspective could have used some brisk walking in fresh air – the snow drifts seemed less than temporary and stubbornly impenetrable yesterday. :-)

  2. It was hot today, and all I could think of was waves of summer heat you couldn’t escape…and I’ve learnt about haiku!

    Sunbeams bite
    wounded pores weep tears
    a salty balm

    Horizon wavers
    run towards an oasis
    of shade & comfort

      1. Hi, I work in North West Australia, so for us a hot day is often around 45 deg C, and although we do have an ocean breeze to cool things down, it’s also often humid as well. So perhaps not as extreme as a desert, as we’re only on the edge of one, but it can still bite chunks out of you.

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