I transitioned out of deconstruction and started rebuilding my spirituality at the beginning of 2018. That New Year’s weekend, I sat on the back porch of the beach house we rented, whiskey on the rocks in one hand and a favorite stogie in the other. Every two to three minutes, I took a deep, slow breath and exhaled with a relaxed sort of hum.
I didn’t notice my own sighs at first because I was so caught up in the moment, but as I did, I felt the stress and tension melt from my shoulders. It was like my whole body exhaled, not just my lungs. I imagine it felt something like the Biblical account of the creation story, where God completes the work and says, “this is good.” Maybe God had whiskey in one hand, too.
The next morning, the wind blew through the palms while light rain danced on the roof of our beachside bungalow. The plink-a-tink-patter of raindrops against the tin made a wonderfully unpredictable rhythm of rest and repeat. With this heavenly symphony as my soundtrack, I couldn’t help but consider the sound of a sigh.
Breath itself has no noise; it’s the hum – the vibration of my voice box, the reverberation of my contented soul – that goes up past my heart and out my mouth to say, “This is good.” I guess breath is a lot like wind – it isn’t noticed until it brushes past your lips or tickles the sea oats. I would never have known the breeze was there until it played peek-a-boo around the neighbor’s shutters. It whistled through the shingles, kissing the picnic table and lapping against the rocking chairs on the back porch. This is good.
Steve Austin is an author, speaker, and life coach who is passionate about helping overwhelmed people learn to catch their breath. He is the author of two Amazon bestsellers, "Catching Your Breath," and "From Pastor to a Psych Ward." Steve lives with his wife and two children in Birmingham, Alabama.
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