“Inside each of us there’s a river – placid and contained sometimes, but raging and overflowing its banks at others. There’s a lot to navigate.” -Marc Brackett, Permission to Feel

The birds seem to sing more loudly these days. So, too, are emotions “singing” more prominently. I wonder how much is actually heightened and how much is the time and space to listen, within the quieting of our daily lives. Perhaps it is a mix of both.

My teacher uses the metaphor of the river (and more specifically the river banks) to talk about our emotional lives and also boundaries. If the river banks are too high and tightly constrained, the river is more likely to become pressurized and choppy. If the river banks are too low and broad, the river floods more easily. Such is true with the way we hold our emotions, our relations with others, our expectations for ourselves, our work… Using one of the poses from yesterday’s post (back flat on the floor, knees bent, soles of the feet also on the floor… or, supported bridge pose) try getting back in touch with your breath, without needing to change it in any way. The practice is about seeing, not needing to fix anything. ***Notice where you sense the river banks of your breath.*** Simply watch and try to keep your attention there.

Sometimes the tension in our bodies reveals itself in the river banks of the breath, offering important information about what needs tending in our lives. Imagine how useful it might be to listen in… With warmth and gratitude,
Jess Stevens, writing mindfulness for Isabella