What do you breathe into others?

“My next breath may very well be in your lungs. Store it wisely, because my life depends on it.
”
Jarod Kintz, This Book Title is Invisible

At the gym this past weekend, a woman struck up a conversation with me. I believe she complimented my bag (nearly everyone does) and asked if I’m a quilter.“No, no”, I responded, too eager to tell her it was lovingly made by my mother-in-law and has been my exercise catchall since.  She mentioned she didn’t realize Saturdays were so busy, that she only comes to swim, that she lives in Hampshire, that she’s a writer, a widow…And my heart vernacular translated her ease of detail to this: she is very, very lonely.

I told her my husband comes to swim too, but I come for the classes. And yes, Saturdays are always packed.  Later in the conversation, I mentioned that he loves to go dancing, but that I’m more of a homebody, to which she replied, “Your husband likes to dance and you don’t go?  That’s terrible. Shame on you!” I wasn’t prepared for her candor, but immediately reminded myself that perhaps her husband was like mine and perhaps she was like me.  And now he’s gone and she’s left remembering no’s instead of yeses and dance floors that could have been explored by anxious feet and a sacrificial spirit.

By this time we were joined by another woman, excusing herself as she wiggled past me wrapped in the club’s small white towel, length-appropriate only for those aged 8 and under.  I responded then, with both women’s backs toward me, “Well, I breathe into him in other ways, so I don’t feel too bad about the dancing.” “What was that,” miniscule-towel-woman asked, “you breathe into him?  That’s a lovely thought.”  “Well, I do,” I responded.  “We all do.”  And there it was:  we. all. do.

I realize there is much out of my control, which is oftentimes why I refrain from watching the news, reading the paper and do a daily dodge of Yahoo News clips.  Because here’s the thing: bullets, terror and hatred are out there.  They’re in every country and every city on this great big, blue planet.  And when we hear of them and see the faces of those hurt or killed by them, I believe something Divine is silenced within us…something that inherently whispers goodness and tells us we’re more.

I’ll remember that Divine voice then next time a terror plot is foiled or carried out, the next time someone is trafficked, the next time a life is senselessly taken, the next time skin color is a reason for profiling, the next time a child is abused for being “different”, the next time a newborn is dumped in a trashcan, and the next time one person’s trauma is put upon another through acts of violence or emotional indifference.

I’ll remember.

And then I’ll remind myself that while I may not be able to change the hearts of the man wielding a machete in Nigeria or the woman setting her newborn alight in New Jersey, I can choose how and what I breathe into others.

I can choose kindness and love, instead of malice and hatred.

I can choose grace and forgiveness, instead of frustration and hostility.

I can choose Fullness instead of fear and life instead of death.

And if I breathe goodness into you, and you breathe it into others, and so on and so forth, then perhaps we will be the paddles which shock emotional hearts into rhythm. And perhaps then that Divine voice, our Divine voice, will whisper once more.

Our circle might seem small and our impact even smaller, but if we don’t act for fear that our actions won’t be enough, we extinguish our flame before it has even met the breath of opposition.

Make the choice to act.

Breathe Truth, light, Fullness and love into those who cross your path.

Be changed.

And then do this…

ask that they might be, as well.

  One thought on “What do you breathe into others?

  1. January 18, 2015 at 11:17 am

    Oh I love this. I am unabashedly going to borrow this as I mindfully breathe into my loved ones and fellow stumblers of this world. I agree with your concept of passing on kindness and love mindfully. Breathing into them…so visceral. So lovely. Thank you for this!!

    • January 18, 2015 at 12:10 pm

      Borrow away ❤ I am thrilled this spoke to you and that you'll be one more (hopefully, of many) speaking kindness and breathing love into others. Both are so needed. Blessings to you.

  2. mkk11304@comcast.net
    January 18, 2015 at 11:32 am

    Danielle,I loved this–awesome!  MKSent from XFINITY Connect Mobile AppK

    • January 18, 2015 at 12:10 pm

      Thanks, Mom. Love to know you’re reading.

  3. January 18, 2015 at 11:36 am

    Dani, this is the best #1000Speak post which ISN’T #1000Speak that I’ve come across. I’ve been meaning to email you all week, but it’s gone SO MAD…please, please add your voice to ours…

    February 20th, 1000 bloggers/vloggers/whoevers all FLOODING the internet with posts about compassion – because EXACTLY THIS! Because we all need a village, and we all need each other, and we all need to somehow, in some way, COMBAT THE BAD!

    So we are…

    …and if you could be part of it, I would be honoured.

    • January 18, 2015 at 11:42 am

      There’s nothing I would like more, Lizzi. Thank you for inviting me to be a part of something so special and so vital to heart and soul health across the globe. I. am. beyond. touched.

      • January 18, 2015 at 12:06 pm

        Are you on Facebook? I *so* hope you are…

        • January 18, 2015 at 12:08 pm

          I am, Lizzi. But from what I’ve been told, I’m very hard to find.

  4. January 18, 2015 at 11:43 am

    Utterly clear and true and real and so spot on in these troubled times. Bless you, my sweet friend. I’m right there with you diffusing negativity, holding more uplifting thoughts of love wherever and however I can, breathing love into any nook and cranny I find. Perhaps one day enough of us will tip the scales and light will prevail! Keep shining, dear heart! Xo

    • January 18, 2015 at 12:13 pm

      That is such a beautiful perhaps, Ginny. I know you try to live and breathe this (as I do) and am so blessed to call you confidant and friend. You are loved beyond measure. May you Breathe ❤

  5. January 18, 2015 at 11:44 am

    That is really beautiful – I love your image of breathing into someone, “inspiring” in its literal sense. Thank you for this.

    • January 18, 2015 at 12:16 pm

      I am so touched this spoke to you, Catherine. Thank you for telling me and thank you for doing your part to Breathe kindness, light and love.

  6. January 18, 2015 at 12:05 pm

    Absolutely spare in the most beautiful, reduced sense. Not a wasted word or too large a space for thought.

    So honored to read this… And breathe.

    Charissa

    • January 18, 2015 at 12:17 pm

      Blessed by this comment. More blessed by your love.

  7. Danielle de Luca
    January 18, 2015 at 12:08 pm

    I agree with you, we need breathe love and peace!!!!!

    • January 18, 2015 at 12:18 pm

      So glad you do, Dani!! Te amo, irma.

  8. January 18, 2015 at 12:12 pm

    Beautiful! Simply beautiful. If more people made the choice to act, just think about what our world could be. There is so much potential in our world, and the more of us who can breathe positivity, the better the world will be.

    • January 18, 2015 at 12:25 pm

      I agree. I think many of us (myself included) are stunted into inaction by how big the Bad is. I realize now that nothing will change if nothing is done. And really…I want to be a part of the something that changes as something is done. So I am, now, everyday. I hope you will, too, sweetie. With heart, Dani

  9. January 18, 2015 at 12:28 pm

    I just absolutely love your post or I must say the way you breathe! This is so beautiful, so enlightening! I took a deep breath of thankful relief that there are good people like you around. I’m so glad I got a chance to read this. Thanks for sharing such beautiful thoughts. 🙂

    • January 18, 2015 at 1:49 pm

      Thank you so much for visiting, Priyanki, and for your kind words. We can all make a difference…and if we ALL choose to breathe Truth and love into each other, what a different world we could create.

      And what a beautiful sight to behold.

      With heart,
      Dani

      • January 19, 2015 at 8:03 am

        Absolutely Dani! We all can make a difference that’s what I Believe!
        I feel so happy when I read post like yours. Stay blessed!

        • January 19, 2015 at 1:50 pm

          And you, Priyanki. I’m so glad you’re a part of this tribe; we’re all about sharing compassion and living with heart. With blessings, Dani

          • January 21, 2015 at 1:49 pm

            Thank You so much 🙂

          • January 21, 2015 at 4:27 pm

            🙂

  10. January 18, 2015 at 12:49 pm

    That we breathe into each other – that’s not something I’ve heard before and it feels so right. It’s understandable that so many feel powerless in this world but we do have a choice. One voice is enough. My voice is enough. “We will be the paddles which shock emotional hearts into rhythm.” You are an inspiration to me, Dani. I just saw that you joined the 1000 Voices of Compassion group. I haven’t done my part in telling people about it so I’m so glad you found it and are going to take part. Blessings to you sweet friend!

    • January 18, 2015 at 12:55 pm

      Actually, Lizzi told me about it after reading this post. I had no idea it even existed, but am so glad to take part. And, honestly, I feel even more Full that you area a part of it, as well. Thank you for reading, Karen, but thank you more for Being ❤

    • January 18, 2015 at 1:52 pm

      P.S. The idea of breathing into others feels like home ❤

  11. January 18, 2015 at 12:58 pm

    Beautifully put! I’m sending good thoughts toward that widow right now:). I love that she’s still getting out there and trying to make contact . . .

  12. January 18, 2015 at 2:02 pm

    I do, too, Kay. I wasn’t prepared for her to be so open, but I welcomed it, of course. I hope I will see her again and who knows?? Perhaps we could share some cider and a few stories.

    Thank you for reading and commenting. I truly appreciate both.

    With heart,
    Dani

  13. StephanieJane
    January 18, 2015 at 3:56 pm

    “but if we don’t act for fear that our actions won’t be enough, we extinguish our flame before it has even met the breath of opposition.”

    Loved this post. Especially that quote. I need reminders like that. Thanks for breathing into me today, Dani!

    • January 18, 2015 at 4:23 pm

      Thank you for taking the time to read and comment, StephanieJane. It is my pleasure to breathe into you today; I am quite sure you’ll return the favor. ❤ With blessings, Dani

  14. January 18, 2015 at 4:30 pm

    Yes, Dani, yes. I can’t change the world and I can’t stop the madness. I decided several years ago to stop gnashing about that, and care more about who I touch. Or breathe into as you so lovingly suggest.

    Just beautiful – your message and belief.

    • January 18, 2015 at 5:40 pm

      Thank you, Sammy. I have said this for some time, but its impact didn’t quite hit me until that conversation last week. I feel that woman’s question made me realize how much it means and what a gift it is to breathe into each other in such loving ways. Thank you again for reading and for believing. With heart, Dani

  15. January 18, 2015 at 5:37 pm

    So right, Dani. Life started with a breath. What we breathe into others with our attitudes, gestures and words makes an impact, like a coin tossed into a lake. We never know who the ripples will touch. I want mine to be life-giving.

    I’m grateful for your choices, and for your willingness to share them. Your words have beautiful ripples.

    • January 18, 2015 at 5:49 pm

      Oh, Jane, hearts must be open to hear such words, so that ripples are possible. I’m so glad that yours is a safe place and that it is open to me and my words. You are treasured, friend: you, your lovely heart and your soul-anchored words. With blessings, Dani

  16. January 18, 2015 at 6:12 pm

    Wonderful advice, Dani! I will try harder today than yesterday!

    • January 18, 2015 at 7:17 pm

      As we all hope to, I’m sure, Stephen. Blessings to you, friend 🙂

  17. January 18, 2015 at 6:50 pm

    Incredible insight. Thank you so very much for sharing. You helped fill in some missing pieces of a puzzle I have been working through. I too pretty much ignore “news” and instead try to focus on putting one foot in front of the other and do the right thing. The line I remember from the film “What About Bob?” just the idea of taking baby steps, but taking steps . . . thanks so much

    • January 18, 2015 at 7:30 pm

      Oh gosh, I love “What about Bob”: [Bob to himself] … baby steps get on the bus, baby steps down the aisle, baby steps…

      And I agree, Robert, it’s so important that we take steps forward. Perhaps we won’t change the world in a day. Perhaps we’ll never change it. But what’s important is our heartfelt intention and movement forward to do so.

      Thank you for reading, friend. May 2015 be kind to you and yours.

      With blessings,
      Dani

  18. valj2750
    January 19, 2015 at 6:11 am

    Through the inhale and the exhale, the yin and yang of the breath, we are all connected. Your post was inspiring.

    • January 19, 2015 at 1:55 pm

      Thank you so much for visiting, Val. It’s so nice to “meet” you. Sending heartfelt blessings your way, Dani

  19. Lisa @ The Meaning of Me
    January 19, 2015 at 4:20 pm

    I love this, Dani – the idea of breathing into one another. It’s exquisite. I saw your chat in the comments with Lizzi – so glad you’re joining in!
    I do have to say that your spider photo nearly did me in – I have an unholy fear of them! 😀

    • January 19, 2015 at 6:30 pm

      You’re not the first to feel that way, I assure you!! Anyway, thank you for dropping by and for being so liberal with your kindness. I’m really thrilled we’ve “met” and are taking part in this initiative together. It’s wonderful and will hopefully do wonders for all it reaches. Blessings to you, Lisa. With heart, Dani

  20. January 19, 2015 at 7:10 pm

    You are amazing. I hope you are well. Your husband is lucky 🙂

  21. January 19, 2015 at 7:50 pm

    Alexis, I assure you, he’s the amazing one. Most days I just feel lucky to be along for the ride ❤

    P.S. I'm doing quite well, thankfully. I realize we're only a few weeks into the new year, but it has me feeling Much more at peace than this time last year. Praises for that!

    Squeezes to you, sweetie 🙂

  22. January 20, 2015 at 1:23 am

    beautifully said, dani.

    • January 20, 2015 at 8:09 am

      Thank you so much, Georgia.

      Blessings to you,
      Dani

  23. January 20, 2015 at 4:10 am

    A beautiful post and an even more lovely thought 🙂

    • January 20, 2015 at 7:54 am

      Thank you kindly for reading and commenting. Both are truly appreciated. With blessings, Dani

  24. January 20, 2015 at 8:09 am

    Oh Dani!
    This is more beautiful and timely than you could ever imagine. I first read it at 4 a.m. today. I saw “American Sniper” and “Unbroken” in the same week and both have played heavy on my heart. Since then, I’ve wanted to remove myself from everything social: media, WP, news….even Pinterest!
    Your lesson is so wise and full of light and love. I felt you breathing into me just now and it’s likely the breath that saved me from another heavy day.
    Thank you, my friend! xoxoxo

    • January 20, 2015 at 8:16 am

      Your words feel like that toasty blanket just removed from the dryer on a Very cold day. I am wrapping myself in them as I type, Michelle, and savoring each one. I exhaled, you inhaled. Pass it on, love. Pass it on. And know (as I truly do) it will come back to us. With heart, Dani

  25. January 23, 2015 at 1:22 am

    Beautiful, inspiring post. I so appreciate your outlook and sentiments. I share the same beliefs. Thanks for being a voice.

    • February 1, 2015 at 1:07 pm

      Thank you, Jackie. It’s wonderful to “meet” you. Thank you for sharing your heart here and for being a Voice, as well.

      With blessings,
      Dani

  26. hya21
    January 23, 2015 at 10:08 am

    Lovely post!

    • February 1, 2015 at 1:13 pm

      Thank you, Nadine; it’s lovely to hear from you. Here’s hoping your heart is healthy and your soul is well.

      With blessings,
      Dani

  27. Laura
    March 1, 2015 at 9:16 pm

    wonderful post! I’m working on breathing some new life into myself as well as others!

  28. SS
    April 18, 2015 at 2:55 am

    Inspired as always Dani xx

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