Remember to Breathe: Your Leadership Depends on it.
Value of Deep Breathing
I recently watched a video discussion about breathing produced by a colleague. She made the point that for most of her life she was unaware of her own breath. More recently she attended to the value of deep breathing and consciousness of breath. It is a major component of meditative practice. The app “Headspace” reminds me frequently to be aware of my breath.
Breathing in a time of Pandemic
In Hebrew, the word breath, “ruah”, contains the sound of breathing, as does “pneuma” in Greek and even “breath” in English. Breath is that which gives life, and it is the elusive thing for those suffering from Covid-19, often leading to death. In the midst of your hectic days, take time to breathe. Feel the power of life in your lungs and be thankful for the good that we are permitted to do and to receive.
Breath and Leadership
2020 has been a year in which many of us have had little time to catch our breath. And, while our movements have been restricted, our days are filled with constant attention to myriad details, creating new ways of being, putting out fires, tending human lives in fragility and fear. Still we need to breathe. When we remember to breathe deeply, slow down, and hit the pause button things transform. We create the space for thought. Clarity descends, and the swirling stops. Moments and minutes of deep breathing suspend the hectic pace so that we can actually rethink what is essential each day.
Sabbath Time and Presence for Others
Leaders often overlook a key concept: giving time to/for Sabbath. Each of the Abrahamic faiths has a concept of Sabbath, of holy rest. Wayne Mueller explores these traditions in his book of reflections called Sabbath. Just as the rhythm of a weekly time of rest is key to health and wellbeing, so too the leader benefits from daily moments of Sabbath, rest, and reflection. Breathing deeply, quieting the mind, and being in the present. Then, having paused, leaders step forward into the next task or meeting with calm determination, creating new bandwidth for others. Leaders who invest in learning to breathe will also be more present to other team members.