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Deep Breaths on the Farm

Life is all about change. It’s never stagnant. If you’re a control freak like me, that’s not exactly reassuring. And, if like me, you’re someone who wants life to flow along at a leisurely pace, with very few ripples along the way, maybe you’re dealing with some anxiety right about now.

As changes occur in our business and other areas of my life, I’m trying to remind myself to do what I already know to do. We’ve all heard the reminders to: “just breathe” and to “take a deep breath.” And believe me, they’re not trite exhortations. They truly make a difference when we practice them. Every day we have opportunities to breathe - literally and figuratively. 

Here’s what a typical day looks like for me on the farm, as it relates to the practice of breathing:

Mental: I try to begin every day taking a deep breath mentally and spiritually. Whether I’m writing in a gratitude journal or prayerfully meditating on what’s good in my life, the practice immediately lifts my spirits. 

Living on the farm, I get to breathe in the fresh air daily. Whether I’m walking between tents greeting guests, looking in on the new baby chicks or hanging clothes out on the line (Yes! You can do that out in the country.), I’m able to breathe air that is free of pollution. 

Physical: Once the sun comes up I’m able to get outside for a brisk walk. It’s a great way to get my heart rate up and increase my breathing. Doing outdoor chores also allows me to breathe in the fresh country air. Afterward, I do stretching and breathing exercises. I feel so much better physically AND mentally when I prioritize this time. 

Relational: Relationships are so important. Often, connections with family and friends are the proverbial deep breath I need. This is especially true when I’m feeling blue or anxious. Whether I reach out to them or they initiate a conversation or get together, connecting with those I love brings a deep sense of wellbeing.

Every day, each of us has opportunities to practice breathing - physically, mentally and relationally. What we do with those opportunities is up to us. 

I’d like to end today’s column with a quote by Andrea Boydston: “If you woke up breathing, congratulations! You have another chance.”

This piece first appeared in Sherry’s column, Finding Myself in a Small Town, in the October 7, 2023 edition of the Corsicana Daily Sun.

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