While at the grocery store the other day ready to check out, I looked from line to line doing my best to figure out which line would be the quickest. I waited anxiously for my turn as I continued to scan the other lines to determine if I had made the “right” choice. Still considering if I should make a last minute change, I began to unload my groceries on the conveyor belt just as the cashier asked for a price check over the store intercom. Frustration and anxiety were my first reactions before realizing there was nothing I could do to change my current situation, but there was something I could do to change my relationship to it.
I took a breath, experienced my shoulders fall away from my ears, and relaxed. I felt a shift in my body and immediately felt more calm. My mind was registering the experience in my body in that moment. The inner atmosphere that was created was familiar from the many Breema classes I have taken over the years. After another breath, I noticed the delay no longer bothered me. There was gratitude for such simple tools to let go of the unnecessary stress I experienced due to a situation in my life. I realized that there was no rush. I did not have to live my life reacting to everything habitually and unconsciously. There was something simple in that moment that I could do.
Breema and the Nine Principles of Harmony give me the support to change how I relate to my daily experiences. My thoughts and judgments about everything create most of the challenges I experience in my daily life. Breema supports me to learn how to bring my mind to the activity of my body. I know that my body breathes over and over again, yet I almost never actually experience my breath during the day. I can bring my mind to register my breath in any moment and when I do that, I experience a shift within myself. I am no longer lost in thought, but instead I am connected to my body. My mind and body are working in harmony with each other. I have a moment of body-mind connection. When I give my mind a simple job to do, I begin to let go of my identification I have with the thoughts in my head.
The beauty of this practice is that I can do this in any moment at any time. Whenever I exhale, I notice my shoulders fall down my back. I feel relaxed, more alert, and connected to my body. I benefit so much by making this effort to be Present and experience this body-mind connection.
I can choose to work with any of the Nine Principles in any moment to support me to be present—Body Comfortable, Full Participation, Single Moment Single Activity, No Hurry No Pause, No Force, Mutual Support, Firmness and Gentleness, No Extra, and No Judgment. I hand the cashier some money to pay for my groceries with single moment single activity alive and for that one moment I Am Present.
Steve Brodsky is a Breema Instructor with a regular teaching practice in Oregon.
To experience Breema, visit breema.info/intensive or call 510-428-0937 for more information on classes during the upcoming Breema Intensive, at the Breema Center in Oakland, that you are invited to attend.