Are you breathing, my love? That's the ongoing question a friend and I ask one another most days. Are you breathing? Often I'm not and her message serves as a welcome reminder which comes through at the exact moment it's needed – Divine timing. I mean, obviously from a biological point of view, I'm taking in and expelling air from my lungs. But in terms of really savouring my breath; of surrendering to space and time, and taking pause to nurture and honour that moment, allowing the breath to wash over me like a wave of renewal? Then no, I'm not breathing. It's really interesting to observe the things we take for granted; life's little miracles that garner complacency, like the power of our breath, and equally, the power of our questions. When my friend asks if I'm breathing, there's so much value in that question, so much weight behind the words. It's rhetorical in nature and exists primarily as an invitation for some gentle self-enquiry. It has significantly more impact and substance than how are you? for instance. And then, secondly, it's kind. Embedded in that sentence is so much care and tenderness; free from any self-gain. Usually, when we ask a question, it's from a place of need – a seeking of information, an eliciting of action, (or reaction), or simply habitual. But our questions carry with them an enormous responsibility – an ability to respond to a situation with pure intention.
Sometimes we ask questions which are entirely self-serving, and sometimes the context calls for this, but how often do we actually take the time to gauge the necessity or desire for our question? Is the question welcomed? Does it evoke lightness or is it burdening? Is it any of our business? And equally, how often do we truly listen for and genuinely care about the response? We do it daily: how's things?, what have you been up to?, how was your weekend? We live in a society where small talk is considered polite and greater value is placed upon speaking versus listening. Half the time we could care less about someone's weekend, and whilst we're not obligated to care, we're also not obligated to ask. Of course, this doesn't mean we become rude or distant, we simply make a choice to use the space we occupy on this planet for the limited time we're here, more deliberately, more authentically. When we unnecessarily fill the silence with meaningless words or speak mindlessly on autopilot, we become numb; we tune out and neglect parts of life, creating separation and disharmony, and inevitably cut ourselves off from experiencing the fullness of who we are. As wholistic beings, it's naive to think that we can disconnect from one area of our lives and it will not impact on the whole. How we show up in our day to day interactions is a good indication of the things we're attracting into our existence. And when you think of all of the wonderful opportunities we have to connect with one another, it almost seems a little redundant to only ever ask how are you? when we could be asking: how are you prioritising your pleasure?, how are you sleeping?, what lights you up?, do you like who you're becoming? how is your heart?, are you well fed?, do you dream in colour?, how are your plants growing?, are you fulfilled?, what does your love feel like?, what's disturbing your peace?, do you remember why you came?
When we recognise that our words are vibrational then we can begin to give them the space and gravitas they deserve. We can speak with grace and conviction; provide words of comfort and inspiration; and ask thoughtful questions. If we can pause for long enough to feel and taste the words before we speak them into existence, then perhaps we can ask ourselves whether we could time them better, word them better or simply not say them at all. We have choices. And there's a lot to be said for that.