My Precious and Powerful Breath, an excerpt from That Which Awakens Me by Ananda Leeke
Copyright 2008 by Madelyn C. Leeke
It’s Monday, September 15. This morning I woke up with the same persistent cough that I have been having for the past two weeks. Yesterday, I wondered why the Chinese herbal supplements that my acupuncturist Don prescribed were not working: It’s only been five days since I started taking them. Maybe it’s too soon to detect any improvement. Although I was sure that the supplements would help alleviate the cough, I worried that my body might be under serious attack by the nasty little culprit called pneumonia. That’s why I didn’t go to work as an artist-in-residence for Smith Farm Center for Healing and the Arts (http://www.smithfarm.com/) at Howard University Hospital (http://www.huhealthcare.com/). Missing a day of work disappointed me because I love working with patients and their families on creative projects.
In an effort to cheer myself up, I went for a morning walk that led me to the morning service at All Souls Unitarian Church (http://www.all-souls.org/). While walking up the hill from my apartment, my coughing increased. I took many deep breaths and touched my throat chakra give myself Reiki. My self-care efforts calmed my coughing. Within minutes of entering All Souls sanctuary, I experienced another shift. My mood shifted from disappointment to delight when I saw Professor Melissa Harris Lacewell’s name (http://www.melissaharrislacewell.com/) printed as the guest speaker on the order of service. Her sermon on race and gender in America echoed my own life’s truth as an African American woman. It also ignited a spark of renewed hope in America’s ability to embrace change and commit to creating a country embraces diversity and that takes care of all people.
When I came home from church, my heavy coughing returned. This time I took my herbal tablets and gave myself Reiki. Both treatments helped to quiet down my coughing. Several hours later as I was walking out the door to teach a yoga class in Malcolm X-Meridian Hill Park, my coughing kicked in to hard drive. I breathed deeply and moved slowly through each pose that makes up the sun salutation. My body felt each and every breath as I stretched my limbs. A spacious in my lungs emerged. It became a container for my coughing. My deep breathing channeled the coughs to the container. What a miracle! I needed one to get through my radio show that aired later in the evening.
During the recording of the second episode of my radio show, Go Green Sangha Radio (www.talkshoe.com/tc/21325), I continued breathing deeply. My deep breaths muffled the coughs. I kept thinking that my voice sounded like I was dragging myself through the show. I hoped the guests and listening audience didn’t notice because I really wanted to be present to the panelists. After all, they were some of my favorite yoga and green living practitioners. Thirty minutes into the show, I let go of that concern, kept on breathing deeply, and flowed with the program’s organic rhythm. The end result was a series of juicy conversations that offered insights and wisdom on how people can use yoga and green living to live a balanced life.
After the radio show was over, I listened to the recording and realized how precious and powerful my breath is. I noticed that I hadn’t coughed once during the show. I also noted that my breath allowed me to stay focused and in the present moment during the panel discussion. It also helped me listen and respond to each panelist and audience member with grace and ease. Now that’s a blessing to be grateful for.
My evening ended when I laid my head on my pillow and began coughing. All I could do was smile, get a glass of water from the kitchen to drink, give myself some Reiki healing touch on my chest area, take three herbal tablets, make an appointment to see my internist in the morning, and breathe. So I breathed fully … completely… deeply until I fell asleep.
About Ananda Kiamsha Madelyn
Causes Ananda Kiamsha Madelyn Leeke Supports
-Senator Barack Obama's Presidential Campaign
-People living with cancer who are served by Smith Farm Center for Healing and the Arts and Howard...