‘The living moment is everything.’ ~ D.H. Lawrence

Learn to breathe again.

Recently, I’ve felt a huge urge to organise my surroundings, and purge myself of things I no longer need. I find that at times clutter reaches a point that invades my inner balance, and unless I clarify my surroundings I feel overwhelmed and unable to focus properly. After a busy few days sorting out most of my office and closet, I sat on the sofa with one of my cats, Sofia. It had been a while since I had been able to lose myself so completely to the moment. All I could feel was her warm little body and silky fur under my hand, our steady breathing and her gentle purr as she was enjoying our moment as well. Having pets has certainly helped me to catch those fleeting moments of now a lot more frequently, but I admit that I could be better at it still.

Clearing out your clutter helps clear your mind + allowing yourself get lost in the moment gives you a glimpse of life, right now.

If you want to be a little bit more mindful about trying to catch the now, try learning to breathe again (yes, really, most of us have forgotten how to breathe deeply). Here’s an exercise I use often, adapted from different sources over the years.

1. Sit comfortably.
2. Relax your shoulders and let your hands rest on your lap (or on your cat).
3. Exhale completely, so that you can feel your diaphragm draw in.
4. Inhale slowly through you nose counting to 6. You should see your tummy rise first, followed by your chest.
5. Pause.
6. Exhale through your mouth slooowly, try to count at least to 6, but keep going as long as you can.
7. Repeat.

Throughout the process, try to concentrate only on your breathing. If other thoughts come, acknowledge them and then let them slide along, bringing your thoughts back to your breathing.

Marianne Taylor is the creator of Beloved Magazine and founder of Her Lovely Heart