Thursday, May 26, 2011

Stepping with confidence into the rosy unknown

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Humans love the familiar and known; the unknown is often perceived as a threat.

One explanation is that to stay alive, the body needs to maintain a certain homeostasis, that is, a state of balance that is by its nature resistant to changes that may threaten it. Homeostasis is maintained by a series of negative feedback systems; thus, humans have a biologically based tendency to resist change.

It doesn't have to be that way. We can learn how our system works, and how to invite and welcome positive change into our lives. Simple techniques can be used to maintain the healthy stability that sustains us without unduly pandering to the automatic and unconscious fear of the unknown.

The basis of life is breath. To soothe the mind and expand the awareness, controlled and conscious breathing has been known and used in many societies for thousands of years. We of the fast modern lifestyles would do well to return to awareness of our breath. By the regular practice of conscious breathing, we can easily and gently re-center ourselves in the flow of life.

Though we never know what fate has in store, remembering how to breathe cultivates the life affirming ability to move with confidence into the eternally unfolding unknown.

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