In this strange time, we have taught ourselves to breathe shallow. We wear masks everywhere we go, in the [Powers that Be's] interest of "health."
What is the first thing we did when we were born?
And what is the last thing we will do when we die.
We breathe in, we breathe out.
Yogis and sages have explained spirit, aka "chi" this way for as long as recorded history can tell. Millenia of uncountable numbers of souls, all breathing in for the first time and then breathing out for the last.
As a master practitioner of Reiki, I can attest to the fact that the energy all around us is, in fact, magical. For lack of a better term, unless you prefer the word heavenly. Either way, air* is spirit.
*Water conducts spirit even more so. (That would be the "O" molecule in H2O.) But since breathing water would drown you and this is a post about breathing... I figured we'd save that for a different day. ;)
And we breathe that air all day, every day, of our lives. Even if a machine is doing it for us, God forbid.
But we tend to forget that we're breathing. Of course! If we had to focus on it all the time we'd never do anything else. It is quite literally the most important thing we need to survive. Or at least the most immediately critical.
Same with Spirit. Because it is Spirit. If we didn't have oxygen/Spirit constantly breathing into our lungs, and running through our veins, we would be dead. Many sacred texts allude to this, and anyone who has meditated and/or exercised seriously and at length will know exactly what I'm talking about just by experience alone. "Runner's high" is when the cells become pleasantly and very thoroughly oxygenated, thereby causing a tingling effect that is like (from what I hear) being on ecstasy. I personally LOVE meditating, yoga and working out for that very reason. Everything about me feels good!
My point is, though, that once you begin to adopt a strong and consistent enough spiritual practice involving the breath (again, meditation and yoga work best, and especially in conjunction one with another,) you begin to see literally everything differently.
So much so, that even the most mundane things suddenly become inspirational. You start to see beauty in everything, even if it's just by silver lining; and even the disgusting tells you a story that gives you hope overall. Yes, that is a BIG claim, but I make it with my chin up proud.
And if this feels way too crazy to even accept from where you're sitting, I dare you to try it yourself. Meditate twice daily (the real kind, not just any old YouTube guided imagery) for a month, and see if you too don't watch an old, shivering homeless man struggle up a hill with his cane and burst into tears, not out of pity but out of pride that he chooses to get up and take that walk every day, that he has the strength to choose to continue walk here on this plane at all.
See if you don't watch an obviously neglected/abused child throw a tantrum in the grocery store while his mother yells, and find your eyes narrowing and your chest swelling with rebellious pride that he's clearly such a strong soul that despite the abuse, he still has his voice, knows his voice, and by God he'll use it.
See if you don't look in the mirror and love yourself.