Just Breathe

By Greg Cochran

Darn nectarine!

Maybe more accurate, darn me!

Kids camp was about to begin. I had just finished organizing all of the supplies in our cabin while the children were out exploring the camp surroundings.

Hurried, and not wanting to delay eating a snack I had packed “for later,” I took a chunk of a bite of a nectarine as I exited the cabin. In too much of a hurry, I did not chew thoroughly before I swallowed.

Without warning, the nectarine lodged in my windpipe and air stopped flowing. I could not breathe. No sound; no air. The closest adult was about a hundred yards away. Panic started rising. All I knew to do was to move toward help.

This program year, Well for the Journey will focus on the theme of breathing. Just as I realized then that I was choking because of my hurried pace (and being distracted by tasks beyond the moment) the same outcome may also be true now for our spiritual well being. We realize that our spirit is not breathing. No sound; no air. It seems as though help is a universe away.

At best, choked spiritual breathing is labored with no clear rhythm. Our spirit’s knuckles become white from the firm grip we exert – trying to hold on to expectations…trying to maintain “to-dos,” trying to hold everything in our minds – when spirits are suffocating. We hold our breath thinking we can sustain life on our own. We try to control the natural exchange of the Spirit to spirit conversation.

But just as a deepening relationship is a process, so is the process of “letting go” – of not laboring after every breath, of trusting the natural rhythm, of learning to be open and moving toward help.

It was my decision to jump off the porch of the cabin and move toward needed help that caused the nectarine to be dislodged so that my airway opened.

I invite you to move toward spiritual wellness as you listen to your soul’s natural instinct to breathe. I invite you to move toward the community here at the Well as we explore that natural exchange of breathing in (discovering) and breathing out (loving).

Every breath is one closer to who we will be – just breathe…