Bring your life into balance

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Our breath, our soul

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Breathe

In the last Kabbalah class our rabbi, Monty Eliasov, talked about the five levels of soul in Biblical Hebrew. The third level is the breath-soul. The soul of our breath, the breath of our soul.

Isn’t that interesting? I practice with my Buddhist community for years now, sitting in meditation and bringing my attention back to my breath, over and over again. In Hebrew terms I am connecting to my soul, again and again.

Whom would have thought that something so basic and simple as our breath is so profound and unique at the same time?

Connecting to our breath, and being inspired

My meditation has become more sacred now that I realize I am actually connecting to my soul. It is more than bringing my focus to the here and now. It is about listening to what my spirit is telling me in the quiet of the moment. It helps me to be inspired.

Did you know that spirit and soul are etymologically related? Spirit stems from the Latin “spiritus”, which actually means breath, soul. Just like the Hebrew Neshamah. The Romans must have learned with the Jews.

I always thought of inspiration as being full with the Spirit, being full with something outside myself. Now I understand inspiration is being full of me, of my breath, of my soul, of my spirit. My assignment in life is to connect to my breath, nourish my soul, and trust my own inspiration.

Even as I sit here, I have no clue what to write next. I just sit, and feel my belly rise. And fall. And rise again. I put down my pen. I look out the window. I see the trees. I feel the sun, and bring my attention back to my breath. And whatever thoughts come up (and there are many, many!!) I label them as ‘thinking’ and bring my attention back to my breath. To my soul, my spirit. Till I feel inspired and know what to write again.

Bring your attention back to your breath, to your soul

Traffic, of course, provides a perfect opportunity to connect to your breath. Someone cuts me off. I startle. I get angry. I blame. I yell. ‘You idiot!’ I want to slash back. I catch myself. I drop the accusations and retaliations, and feel my breath. I feel it stuck in my chest. I feel it relax with my attention. My breath goes slower, deeper, and I notice how scared I was. The anger is just a cover up for my fear. I get that. Instead of blame, I need to comfort myself. ‘Gosh, sweetie, that was scary. You almost got hurt in a car accident. Thank goodness, you are safe.’ And instead of tailgating, I slow down, and pay attention to traffic.

It was just a little moment of disconnection with my soul. Let’s bring her back in.

Author: Elly van Laar

I am a coach. I specialize in helping mission-driven professionals bring their lives into balance. I have a Master's degree in Political Science, Leiden University, the Netherlands. I'm currently in an ICF-coaching certification program. I love meditation, walking, gardening, biking, and hanging out with family and friends.

2 thoughts on “Our breath, our soul

  1. lieve el, het is nu 18:50 Nederlandse tijd. ik heb zo’n beetje de hele dag een Elly-dag gehad en ben nu helemaal bij:) het was heel waardevol en vanaf nu ga ik je dagelijks volgens en ik hoop dat nog veel meer mensen je gaan volgen. ik ga je website aan mensen doorsturen waarvan ik vermoed dat zij ze net zo zullen waarderen als ik je oudste zus!!!

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    • Lieve Han, dank je wel voor het lezen van al mijn blogs. Ik voel me ontroerd, blij en dankbaar met deze vorm van steun en waardering. Dat vind ik heel bijzonder aan je: je bent zo toegewijd aan de relatie! Ik vind het fantastisch dat je mijn blogs wilt blijven lezen! En ook geweldig dat je papa en mama hierover hebt geemaild! IK HOU VAN JE!!

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