We are so very bad at this. The moments go so quickly that we seem to plan our next breath whilst forgetting to breathe along the way. Too often, we use up our breath to yell, complain, blame, chastise, obfuscate, speak ill, and even to fill the few spaces between the sounds.
At practice tonight, one of the other black belts was working through some movements and came to realize how tense all of his moves had become. Every movement was a force of strength throughout the whole motion.
Asking to hear his breath through the move, it was clear that the very sound of each breath accompanying each move was forced. Taking on a my suggestion to control the speed and precision of his breath, he tried it differently and became less tense and observed his movements as having improved with better speed, fluidity, and control. We spoke for a few minutes about how different it was one way versus the next.
I, too, forget this very lesson – pretty much on a daily basis – to use breath in the way it was intended: to control, to ease, to form graceful and intentional movements, both physical and mental, in order to manage the self and surrounding circumstances with finesse and calm.
One day, near the end, we will be searching for those extra few breaths to say those things that really matter, or have them to listen and simply be for a few moments more.
Use every breath wisely and intently.