Breathe when it's hard
And when it's easy
Breathe when you're awake, when you're face is towards the sun
When you're lungs fill and deflate without effort, and you're carefree
Breathe when you're stressed, when you're anxious, and when you're scared
Make the conscious effort to inhale and exhale, counting as you go
Remember to take a deep breath
Remind your body what it feels like to appreciate oxygen, let it nourish your brain, let it pump your heart
Take time to breathe, to do away with the distractions and the worries
Moving so quickly, we forget to be mindful
especially with our breaths
Breathe. In. And.
And you will be okay.
Well, friends, it’s been close to four months of unemployment and I can honestly say, this wasn’t exactly the plan. I am a person who finds worth and pride in what I do, and responding to the question, “what are you up to these days?” with “sleeping until 11, binge watching Netflix, and annoying my mother” doesn’t make me feel proud or accomplished. I feel like a bum.
But, in an effort to remain positive and look on the bright side, I’ve been mentally compiling a list of what I have actually accomplished over these last few months, and here it is.
With the transition into autumn come chilly days, bonfire nights, warm drinks, and an array of colors among the trees. Mother Nature does some pretty incredible things all year round, but when the trees change colors during the fall months, we can’t help but look around and see beauty regardless of where we look.
I’ve always found it ironic how we awe over the leaves while they’re dying, how we take walks and take pictures and admire their life cycle. They’ve done their job for the year, and as the weather begins to get cold and winter sets in, the leaves cannot survive. They die and they fall. Then we even find joy in the crunching of them under our feet or the piles that our kids and dogs play in. I think about this every single year and realize how much these dead and dying leaves can really teach us about life.
But this year, I’ve discovered a different way to view the autumn leaves, and it’s stuck with me since. When the leaves are changing, and we are admiring their beauty, we are really admiring their “true colors”. (Hmm, maybe that’s where that saying comes from…)
See, we learn in elementary school that Chlorophyll makes plants green. It is vital to allowing the plant to use sunlight and turn it into food, thus keeping it alive. However, there is another substance that leaves produce called Carotenoid, and this is what creates the brown, yellow, and orange pigments we see in the fall. But, both Chlorophyll and Carotenoid are present in the trees all year round, but the green pigments (Chlorophyll) cover up the other colors during the spring and summer time. They’re masking their real colors because they’re trying to survive. Without Chlorophyll, the leaves die.
Can’t we relate to this though? Don’t we mask our true colors just to get through the day? We suppress our emotions, our dreams, our silly selves; because we’d rather portray the person that we think the world wants us to be. Sometimes we need to stay green so that, to others, we look alive and happy and put together. But the earth will inevitably make it’s rotation around the sun and autumn will come and our green fades away to reveal the browns underneath.
We tend to believe that our masks are more beautiful than what’s true and real. Why do we think like this when we can just look at the trees and be overcome by their splendor? Nature is the most beautiful in its truest form, and so are we. We have a lot to learn from the leaves on the trees.
So in this season, be reminded that just like the leaves, or the mountains or the sea, that you are wonderfully made and your true colors are worth showing, and I promise you, people will find them inspiring.
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