Breathing Connection

Blue Ridge Mountains, Western N. Carolina, Image by Gaye Abbott

“Did you know that you aren’t really breathing? It is the planet’s atmospheric pressure that sends breath into the body. With the process we call breathing, our body simply changes its shape in such a way that the pressure in the chest cavity is lowered, thus permitting air to be pushed into the body during inhalation. During passive breathing, as when sleeping, it is the universe that breathes for us. On the exhalation, we do nothing; the body tissues that have stretched during inhalation simply spring back to their original shape.”  Anna Hunt

When we consider that the cosmos is doing our breathing for us it reflects an unlimited potential for freedom and connection.  The innate intimacy with everything around and beyond us feeds and nourishes our individual and interconnected lives at a level so vast that it is rather mind boggling to me. 

As collaborating partners even the trees, soil and oceans here on Earth participate in supplying us with the oxygen we need to thrive.
Wild Trillium, Appalachian Trail, Western N. Carolina, Image by Gaye Abbott

“Entering a forest is not unlike crawling into a wardrobe and finding a portal to another world. A place where the quality of light changes, becoming softer, subdued. Leaves filter sunlight into misty shafts of amber and gold. The air is fragrant with life, the trees releasing restorative compounds, breathing out the very thing we need to breathe in. Sound becomes muffled, our footfalls almost silent upon the mossy, leaf-carpeted ground.

Sue Fulmore

Imagine that when we are asleep (and awake for most of us) there is nothing that we are having “to do”, but instead are gifted with the experience of complete freedom and support in simply being.  We are being kept alive and vibrant by forces beyond our control, ones that are intimately collaborating on our behalf.

My being here at this moment in time in terms of gratitude begins with the possibility of the breath, understanding that through the breath coming in through my nostrils, feeding my body, my brain, my energy, and my spirit, it is what gives me the opportunity to make sense, especially with this thing called light. To be able to see and know that it’s reflecting off everything that I see and it’s with that kind of energy that I give thanks every moment because when we forget to pay attention to these simple things as air, light, sound, energy and vibration, we miss the connection to each other and the universe.

Grateful Voices, James
Grateful Voices, James – a Caribbean born elder (

I believe it’s our human potential for connection, potential for love and respect, that can liberate us. But this will only fully manifest when we redefine success and power from how it is currently being defined — as competing and winning, as dominating others, and as acquiring wealth. When we begin to hold our markers for success in concepts like interconnectedness and kindness, when we place our highest value on each other, our children and our relationships, then our human spirits soar.” James

Thus receiving air and giving it back again without any effort on our part is a gift that most of us share.  The eternal circle of giving and receiving born out of the freedom of living in this human body. The intimate interconnection with all life of which we are an integral part. Let us not forget to soar…..

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Gaye Abbott, Natural Passages Consulting, 5/26/22. Please feel free to share this post and link to WildlyFreeElder


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