A gift: the pause between breaths.


Breathe in. Pause. Breathe out. According to Etty Hillesum, “Sometimes the most important thing in a whole day is the rest we take between two deep breaths, or the turning inwards in prayer for five short minutes.” Esther “Etty” Hillesum was a Jewish woman whose letters and diaries, kept between 1941 and 1943, describe life in Amsterdam during the German occupation. They were published posthumously in 1981 (An Interrupted Life, republished 1999 by Persephone Books). Etty died in Auschwitz November 30, 1943. In her diaries, Etty evokes her spiritual evolution through a deep look inward. During one the ugliest times in our world’s history, Etty turned inward to console her spirit and documented her transformation with the intention of publication. Her life, though cut short, was given purpose through her words, her introspection, and spiritual awakening.

We can learn from her as we examine our own spirit and take a deep look inward. Let us turn inward and comfort our own hearts. Pray. Meditate. Breathe in. PAUSE. Then, breathe out.

In that moment between our breaths we stand to gain so much understanding, clarity, and focus, no matter what challenges we may be facing. It is in that moment when we pause that we can truly be present to ourselves, to our emotions, and to our dreams. It is in that moment where we can find peace and from where inspiration is born. By mindfully breathing slowly and deliberately… pausing between the inhale and the exhale, we are able to uncover what is most important to who we are and what is most significant in our lives.

One of the best gifts we can give ourselves is that pause between our breaths. As we linger in that moment for a beat (or two or three) of our hearts, magic happens. Try it right now, and notice what happens…at the very least, you will obtain composure. You may also experience: Lucidness. Transparency. Comprehension. Tranquility. Harmony. Serenity. Bliss. Contentment. And, so much more.

Me? I have experienced moments of being everywhere and nowhere at the same time when I pause between my breaths. Time stands still; and, I am floating. And, the moments after, I have found myself inspired and ready to take the next step, do the next thing, and face the rest of my day. The hardest part for me is to remember to take a minute to mindfully breathe and pause between the inhale and exhale. Let us keep in mind this simple spiritual practice; and, make the pause between our breaths part of our daily routine…a gift of the present moment.

All rights reserved.  ©2018 by A. K. Orobko


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