And yet...when was the last time you were truly still?
When was the last time you exhaled?
Maybe you've been running around inhaling all of the time. Holding onto your breath and trying to inhale just a little bit more. Doing just one more thing. Taking on just one more project. Saying yes to just one more friend. Saying you'll help with just one more good cause. All good things. Really. And yet...
I don't remember who said it, but I've always liked this quote: "I don't care if you always inhale or always exhale, either way you're dead."
When was the last time you allowed yourself a big old exhale?
The exhale. It releases toxins. It relaxes the body. It calms the mind. It stabilizes your core muscles (and the core of your life). It allows you to let go. It makes room for a big, nourishing, effortless inhale. It makes room for what wants to happen next.
Today, I'm pausing to exhale. And you know what I'm noticing? The inhale naturally follows. Creative energy starts to bubble up. A joyful desire to move is wending it's way through my body (Helloooo, brisk walk! I'm on my way!).
I love this quote from my teacher Martha Beck in an interview at Oprah.com about the quickest legal route to joy: "Rest until you feel like playing, then play until you feel like resting, period. Never do anything else."
And for Martha (and me and you!), the idea is that you love what you're doing so much, that it all feels like play.
Inhale and exhale. Play and rest. Movement and stillness. Each nourishes the other. Each is essential to authentic, full-bodied living. Plus, it's sooo much better than being dead.
Stop waiting to exhale, dear one. Now is a perfect moment. The next inhale will come on its own. Promise.
Let me know how it goes in the comments below!