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.
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
somewhere between sips
the divorce word
slivers of moonlight
slice across me
a vast chasm
of broken pieces
Here is my creative work as a result of today’s exercise:
expanses of emptiness
mourning and morning
he loves another
the air chokes
Love and Ink,
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.
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Now take a deep breath and celebrate the creativity you’ve cultivated today! See you back here tomorrow with another day of Self-Love.