Paradoxical balance

So often in life, especially in Western culture, we are taught to see things with an either or kind of mentality. It is either right or wrong. It is black or white. One is male or female. One is strong or one is weak. There is no room in this approach to thinking for both ands. Yet life is filled with these paradoxes, which seem to enable one to stay balanced and present in this world. Recently, I read a piece by Jos Slabbert, called The Modern Taoist Sage. He began this reflection by saying “The Taoist sage consists of paradoxes that would mortify most people, but do not seem to bother him at all:
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Breathe before speaking.

Last week, I talked about how the simple act of breathing can put the emotional brakes on our shenpa. Dr. Andrew Weil, a physician specializing in integrative medicine, said the “The single most effective relaxation technique I know is conscious regulation of breath.” Breathing is not just a sign that we are still alive and functioning. Breathing is a spiritual act, which bridges the mind and the body. If you pay close attention to your breathing, you will notice that there is this gap between your inhale and your exhale. This gap is said to be the movement of spirit within and through us. In many early languages, the words for spirit and breath are the same. Thus, breathing is not just necessary for our health and wellness, but it is the process through which we stay connected to the Creator. Remembering to breathe allows us to relax, align our responses to anything out of love, and not fear. When we learn how to breathe, just breathe, we can begin to improve our physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being. When we work at being conscious of our breathing, we can begin to take advantage of the blessings and gifts that come with the simple act of breathing. Just breathe.
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