Breathe

Written by Lisa Yen, NP, NBC-HWC - January 10th, 2019

In the last blog, “Be Inspired,” I wrote that the word “inspire” comes from the Latin word “inspirare,” which means “to breathe or blow into.” Since then, I’ve been thinking of what it means to breathe.

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What is a breath?

It’s so simple.

In.

Out.

In through the nostrils.

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Out through the mouth.


It’s routine.  

It’s mundane.

It’s steady.

It’s basic.


The breath is nourishing.

It brings in oxygen.

It gives life.

There are times we are told to take a breath. Sometimes we are told to hold the breath. And sometimes we are told to exhale. MRI scans, injections, heavy lifting, and yoga.

What does holding your breath mean to you?

If you’re anything like me, there are times I catch myself holding my breath. It happens subconsciously. Maybe it’s because I think that somehow, if I hold my breath, whatever is causing me distress will go away. Perhaps you’re anxious about an upcoming scan or treatment. Maybe you’re at a crossroads and wrestling with a decision. Or perhaps you’re struggling with the uncertainty of living with NET.

If you’re breathing, there’s more right with you than wrong.”
— Jon Kabat-Zinn
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Breathe. In. Out. In through the nostrils. Out through the mouth. Allow the breath to come into your body and to leave your body. Naturally. Not trying to force it in any way. Not trying to change it. Simply being aware. Simply observing. Becoming totally present in each moment with each breath.

What do you want to breathe out today?

What do you want to breathe in today?

The breath is an anchor. In fact, it is the anchor for becoming more mindful. Mindfulness is a practice to calm and focus the mind. It isn’t a way of forcing calmness or stopping the train of thoughts. It’s a way to pause in the midst of the storm and simply breathe.

I choose to breathe out anxiety and stress.

I choose to breathe in hope, gratitude, and love.

I choose to breathe. To live. And to live with intention and gratefulness.

Breathe. And live.


If you want to learn more about mindfulness, here are some resources:

More reading:

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Click here to read the blog post, “Be Inspired.”