It appears to cost nothing to pause…and breathe. Yet it can be the most challenging action for most of us to take especially in times of emotional and physical conflict. The pausing to breathe I am talking about isn’t that experienced by an asthmatic or anyone with compromised breathing. It is the breathing of a being not compromised, be that human or not.
Pausing, gives one time to re-align themselves and focus on what is truly the most pressing or urgent priority to the given situation they find themselves in. Not only does breathing provide your body with necessary oxygen, but it also rids the body of waste like carbon dioxide. When conflict threatens to invade our space, our ability to protect ourselves often becomes at odds with our ability to remember to breathe properly. What often ensue are harsh words or actions to deflect any perceived threat.
Not long back now my mother’s habit over water came to make sense. Whilst most of us reach for our mobile phones as escorts to everywhere we go, for my mother a full bottle of water has been her companion. She will make sure her drinking water bottle is filled up at every given opportunity irrespective of seasons of the year.
Initially it concerned me, thinking she might have an underlying medical condition that made her feel thirsty so I took to running all sorts of tests to rule out everything and anything my inquisitive mind could think of until I was satisfied there was nothing to remain concerned about medically. I just accepted she loved her water. At least that was what I thought until realisation set in.
How I came to finding out why this habit of carrying a water bottle had become such a defining factor to my mother’s way of living was actually by accident whilst listening to a song Buladina by a well-known Kadongo kamu artist – Paul Kafeero. Now in this song among much advice, the father advises his daughter on how to avoid being quarrelsome or how to remain calm by way of sipping on water which she should always keep in a small gourd (ensumbi y’amazzi) by her side.
This song along with having observed my mother’s relationship with her ‘drinking-water bottle companion’ is what brought me to the realisation of the benefits of remembering to breathe so as to avoid not only physical and emotional conflict, but to stay healthy.
Taking a sip of water aids in forcing me physically to pause and breathe…whereby I avoid saying or carrying out impulsive actions in a reactionary fit.