Breathing In…Breathing Out

photo courtesy of

photo courtesy of

Seeking a sense of calm today, I am reminded to go to yoga, to breathe.  To breathe in deeply, to breath out slowly. To let my breath cleanse and open me to the possibilities of a new day. I took a few minutes to read one of my poems out loud. It took me back to the special place of yoga on my cancer journey.

The University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics offers two yoga classes to cancer patients, one special for breast cancer survivors. I went as soon as I found out about it. My first practice with my ‘Bosom Buddies’ was a week before my mastectomy. I was raw and vulnerable and ready for the comfort offered me there. Entering the room, the energy of these amazing women permeated the air, like jasmine, soft and sweet. I felt so invited and welcome even without our speaking. I knew it was worth it when, at the end of class during our resting posture, our  lovely  instructor Lisa touched my temples with lavendar oil…I can still feel her special healing touch.  I knew in that instant that I was right where I needed to be.

I’m Here, Breathing In…Breathing Out
By Vicki L. Flaherty

Here, I stretch into possibility,
conscious of my desire to move past discomfort.
I choose not to skim the surface,
rather, to fully experience the moment…
With each breath, deep breath —
Breathing In…Breathing Out…

Here, I try on different perspectives —
Of a dog, a cat, cow, camel, eagle, hero, child, corpse.
I glimpse parts of me that I don’t usually see —
discovering, like an adventurer in a new land…
With each breath, deep breath —
Breathing In…Breathing Out…

Here, every obstacle in my path bends
and moves me toward my destination.
I stretch further into myself,
finding the wisdom hidden there…
With each breath, deep breath —
Breathing In…Breathing Out…

Here, I free my body of the tension it holds.
The stress it packages for me, I open as a gift .
I touch it, I rest with it, and I let it go.
The layers wash away as I nurture my physical being…
With each breath, deep breath —
Breathing In…Breathing Out…

Here, oxygen moves like a medicine
into my lungs, massaging every muscle.
I feel the sustenance,
I sense it strengthening and healing me…
With each breath, deep breath —
Breathing In…Breathing Out…

Here, my body is alive and vibrant with energy.
My mind is open, reaching toward divinity.
My emotions are covered in light and love.
Everything moves through me in balance…
With each breath, deep breath —
Breathing In…Breathing Out…

Here, I am safe and the world is calm.
My aching spirit is soothed.
I open to the sky and feed my soul.
I visualize myself whole, flowing and graceful…
With each breath, deep breath —
Breathing In…Breathing Out…

© 2012, Vicki L. Flaherty, Mostly My Heart Sings


About Vicki L Flaherty

I am most alive when I am creating, whether through my writing, gardening, photography, or my work. Running and yoga enrich my being. I am happiest when I’m with my husband Jim. Travel opens me to new possibilities and greater awareness. I find a special joy in helping people succeed. I’ve done something valuable when I’ve helped a colleague or friend see their brilliance and express their full potential. I have awesome opportunities to do this as an industrial/organizational psychologist through leadership, mentoring, coaching, career and other talent programs. As I've focused on living more mindfully, I've found special joy in expressing myself through poetry and photography, and in truly being in relationship with those I meet along my journey.

5 responses »

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