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Don’t Hold Your Breath

December 23, 2012

A friend of mine recently blogged about breathing through the stress of the holidays, finding a way to calm the nerves while dealing with all the pressures of entertaining and finding the perfect gift for your mailman (she’s much more eloquent than I am, but you get the idea).  You hear a lot of “just breathe” advice from gurus, meditators, psychologists, etc… Sometimes it seems kind of silly. Of course I’m breathing.  I wouldn’t be alive if I wasn’t!  But then again…

It occurred to me recently that I spend a lot of time in a very anxious, stressed out state, what with the super long, extra stressful bid season this year, my oldest daughter’s graduation and upcoming trek to college, the next move to another continent, trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up and the holiday season.  Guess what?  I hold my breath – A LOT!  After this discovery I’ve tried to be a lot more conscious of how much and how I am breathing.  Once I do, I let it out, relax my clenched jaw, and just focus on long slow breaths for a time and it has does wonders, at least until I start obsessing over the next thing.  And then I start the process all over again.

So how much are you actually holding your breath?  This lifestyle we lead in the FS is stressful.  The constant change beats against you and your limits of endurance.  Yes change is good and inevitable, but it causes us to constantly look to the future rather than stay grounded in the here and now.  Being able to relish the present moment while trying to plan a transcontinental move is a constant struggle, and something I’m trying hard to improve upon.

So as we move through the holidays, the moves, the foreign language training, the big and the small lifestyle changes, just remember to take a moment to feel good now, in this moment, knowing you are alive and safe.  And JUST BREATHE!

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