A few days ago, I had a visit from a friend from back up in Yorkshire. We went for a walk and were happily catching up on life, the Universe and everything, when we both realised that we’d walked for a good half-mile looking at where we were putting our feet, rather than taking in the beauty of the space we were in. We’d neglected to breathe!
This sparked a conversation about how easy it is to focus on getting to where we’re going and forgetting to appreciate where we are. We realised we were forgetting to look up; forgetting to appreciate the beauty of nature around us. We were reminiscing about the past; planning the future; forgetting to be present in the here and now.
Reflecting back on that conversation made me wonder how often we forget to breathe? I don’t mean the kind of breathing that happens automatically, without any conscious thought on our parts. I mean the kind of breathing that is about stopping, looking up from what we’re doing and breathing to nourish our souls, not just our bodies.
From a physical perspective, “the breath is the bridge linking our mind and body. The practice of deep breathing helps to stimulate our parasympathetic nervous system, bringing us to a calm state.” Check out Breathing Tree, if you want to explore the science.
Breathing is Good for Business
As a business owner, who has just relocated to a completely new part of the country, with no contacts, or connections, I’m spending most of my time juggling too many balls, making a new home for my family; creating a beautiful space for my work; making sure my equine partners are properly taken care of; networking to build a new circle of connections, contacts and potential clients – and I find myself needing to be reminded to breathe.
My most reliable ‘reminder’ is my herd leader, Billy, who holds his breath if he’s feeling anxious. He also does it when I’m with him, if my head is full of ‘stuff’ that is blocking me from remembering to look up and breathe; blocking me from being really present.
He gave me the much appreciated reminder earlier this week, when I’d been spending all my time with my head down, ‘cracking on with things’ and forgetting to breathe.
Like lots of people, I can get so engrossed in ‘doing’ that I don’t always notice how inefficient I’ve become, just because my head is simply too busy. Stepping back and taking time to draw breath clears my mind and actually gives me more head space to think productively about my business.
My reminder from Billy has enabled me to get back to thinking creatively and imaginatively about my business and the ideas are now flowing again.
As a coach and facilitator, I have always had an idea brewing in the back of my mind about how to support other business owners who, like me, don’t always find it easy to create the breathing space that leads to head space.
So, thanks to Billy holding his breath (don’t worry, he’s breathing normally again), I can now shamelessly plug my new project, Breathing Space, which is aimed at busy business owners, leaders and managers, who struggle to make time to look up and breathe. If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you’ll know I don’t do ‘hard sell’, so I’m just sowing the seed and leaving it to you to find out more about the Breathing Space programme, if it sounds like something of interest.
In the meantime, don’t forget to breathe!