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Well Becoming

a blog about being well, becoming well, staying well - and flourishing. Written by a professor and family doctor living between Liverpool, UK and Granada, Spain

Breathing Space
Monday, February 9, 2015 @ 5:48 PM


I’m doing a lot of meditating these days, with the help of Headspace.  Twenty minutes or so, every morning, sitting in my favourite chair.  Often with a dog curled up near me.


The focus of the exercise is very much on my breathing. Not trying to alter it, or breathe in any particular way. Just observing it. Noticing each time I breathe in and out, how my chest moves out and in, the rise and fall of my belly. How each breath is always just a little bit different from the next one. Some are quicker, some slower; some are deeper, some shallower.  The pauses between the breaths: how the pause after the out-breath is usually longer than the pause after the in-breath. A wisp of air on my upper lip.

Maybe counting each breath, one in, two out, three in, four out…..up to ten, then starting over again. Or maybe not, maybe just letting each breath come and go. Resting my attention on the breath. Observing, watching, noticing, witnessing, all in a relaxed sort of way. Nothing too intense.




Sometimes it feels like I’m sitting on the sea shore, watching the waves coming in to land on the beach. They keep on rolling. They are endlessly different, and endlessly fascinating.  And you don’t have to do anything about waves. They just happen.


You might think it is boring, but it isn’t. It’s gentle, kind and enjoyable. I often find I’m smiling quietly to myself.  


It’s important, in a subtle, understated sort of a way. It creates more space for me. It puts other things, my everyday busyness and concerns, into perspective. And if I do get hassled during the day, I can take a few seconds out, just to breathe. I’m finding all those things I have to do, somehow may not be as important, as urgent, as serious or as worrying as I thought they were going to be.  


So making time for breathing now, creates more breathing space during the rest of the day.  Seems like a good deal to me!  

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Roo said:
Saturday, April 8, 2017 @ 9:46 AM

An app called "Calm" is similar to Headspace. I've tried both introductory sessions (the ones that are free before you have to start subscribing) and I prefer Calm. You can set a background sound with it - at the moment I have a crackling log fire, which I find relaxing in itself! I also think the speaker guides me more, which I prefer. I did like the animations on Headspace though. I am currently trying to get as much as I can out of it before I decide whether to commit to paying for it.

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