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Breathe Magazine
Breathe Magazine
Breathe Magazine
Breathe Magazine
Breathe Magazine
Breathe Magazine
Breathe Magazine

Breathe Magazine

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Breathe Magazine
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Breathe magazine is the original mindfulness mag for a calmer and more relaxed you. This body-and-soul guide to a happier, healthier life includes 5 sections – wellbeing, living, mindfulness, creativity and escape. The aim of Breathe magazine is to help you “make more time for yourself”. Each issue includes beautiful illustrations, craft projects, and inspiring features such as how to achieve relief from stress, increase resilience and find greater happiness.

Breathe Issue 35

Uncertainty is a challenging beast. Caught in its grip, it can paralyse progress and destroy dreams. Sometimes, its causes are external and beyond one’s personal control. Over the past few months, communities worldwide have found themselves in a holding pattern, waiting for the day when they will once more be allowed to embrace loved ones, to enjoy unfettered access to the arts, to return to shared pastimes and projects. 

Even in a more predictable world, however, periods of enforced limbo or uncertainty punctuate life. Think of the days and weeks that follow a job interview, exams or a medical check-up. But what about those times when hesitation is more emotionally rooted? What happens when the decision to put life on hold, or, at least, to place to one side any dissatisfaction or doubt, comes from within? 

In the face of overwhelming everyday challenges or a surplus of self-doubt, a hiatus from change and the pursuit of goals can be an essential measure to sustain physical and mental health. And many, of course, are at their most content with routine, structure and familiarity. 

Sometimes, though, aspirations are left to drift in the hope that someone or something in the future will have all the answers and deliver the dream, be that a cottage by the sea, a small business or a loving and supportive relationship. But waiting for tomorrow can be both exhausting and self-limiting. Real life, with all its ups and downs, is the one playing out today. It will rarely be perfect, but it doesn’t have to be static. Uncertainty is tough, but it doesn’t have to rule out change – and small adjustments now could lead to a more fulfilling future.

Breathe Issue 34

A touch of frost, a fl urry of snow, a sudden downpour, a bracing easterly wind – a spell of inclement weather often prompts people to scurry indoors, batten down the hatches and hole up until the worst has passed. And why not? There’s a lot to be said for sitting on the sofa, mug of tea in hand, and quietly admiring frost-framed spiderwebs on a window pane or listening in wonder as the rain jolts against the roof tiles.

But this would mean missing out on all the joys of a sharp winter’s morning or an atmospherically drizzly afternoon when the senses are confronted head on – smelling the petrichor arising from damp ground, seeing all the subtleties in a grey sky, feeling one’s cheeks redden as the chill bites.

Stepping out on a tempestuous or raw day undoubtedly heightens the senses and off ers a fresh and often deeper appreciation of the natural world. Yes, it might be necessary to wear several layers topped off by a waterproof seal, but peek out from under that tightly drawn hood and think of a carpet of snow less as an obstacle to everyday plans and more as vital insulation for the soil and the creatures who depend on it. And all that rain? A precious resource that nourishes the world’s crops, sustains wildlife and keeps us all alive.

Inclement days also bestow at least two of life’s other great gifts – the opportunity to wear toasty, gripper-encased boots and throw snowballs at our nearest and dearest, and to don the wildest of wellies and jump in the biggest of puddles.

Next time the sky turns black and the clouds unleash their cargo, rather than hole up, head outside for a walk, let your hair down (it’ll get wet anyway), feel the moisture on your face and embrace your inner child. There’s plenty enough time to be grown-up, after all, and it’s the perfect reason to sink into a hot bath and warm those bones on your return.

Breathe Issue 33

Snap, crackle, pop. What image do those three words bring to mind? A certain childhood breakfast cereal, perhaps? Add flicker, glow and enchant to the list and hopefully a more toasty picture emerges, that of an open fire, emanating heat and radiating comfort while simultaneously mesmerising and grounding those whose faces flush pink in its warmth.

For many this scene will also include a sofa, a mug of something chocolate-y and sumptuous, and some good music or a book. Others might envision a line of trees and a moonlit sky as a hearty supper is cooked outdoors over an open flame and quiet voices harmonise with the soundtrack of a forest glade.

Either way, both the preparation and the appreciation of the scene offer the chance to immerse oneself, body and soul, into nature: the physicality and repetition to be found in splitting and stacking logs; the pleasure to be discovered as kindling is chosen and positioned; the excitement to be grasped as the fire takes; and the inner reflection encouraged by the patterns that burn into the night.

Yet fire is also unpredictable. And just as it can take time and effort to coax it into life, it also needs ongoing attention to keep it burning – more logs, minor adjustments – and a close eye to make sure its sparks cause no harm. Indoors or outdoors, it requires a focus on the here and now for those basking in its heat to stay safe and warm.

As the evenings draw in and the nights take on a distinctive chill, many will be preparing to hunker down for winter, some relishing the prospect, others wishing it was already over. Whichever camp you’re in or, indeed, if you straddle the two, make sure your mind and body stay snug and cosy. Do things that bring you pleasure, see people who bring you joy, try things that feel fresh. Keep the inner fire burning.

 

Breathe Issue 31

What are you good at? Baking, running, writing? Are your talents visible, award-winning even, on display for all to see – the first-prize rosette for a lemon drizzle cake, the medal acknowledging a completed marathon, the winner’s certificate for a short story? No? Don’t worry. The reality is that most skills, accomplishments and triumphs are less obvious, but that doesn’t make them any less meaningful or remarkable. 

 

It’s easy, for example, to underestimate the care taken to comfort a troubled friend, to brush aside ‘as nothing’ a kindness shown to a colleague who’s struggling or to forget a smile that lifted a stranger’s day. And it’s possible to miss entirely that sometimes getting out of bed in the morning and putting one foot in front of another can take a marathon effort. 

 

Yet these everyday feats, which tend to garner less applause and fewer exclamations of incredulity and admiration than more conspicuous achievements, are amazing and enriching. They bring ongoing help, love and understanding and enrich life and soul.

 

Of course, there’ll be occasions when tiredness, lack of time, waning interest or self-doubt make these less visible tasks impossible. And that’s okay. In fact, it’s more than okay. It’s totally fine. Because what’s important is to recognise that everyone’s human – good at some things, not so great at others – and life is complicated. No one wins first prize every day, no one uses the full breadth of their talents every day, no one is perfect full stop. 

 

So, let’s hand out virtual rosettes for all our efforts, seen or unseen, big or small. One step at a time.

Breathe Issue 30

Few things are accessible to everyone. Cost, geography and expectations – both internal and external – frequently get in the way. Yet right on our doorstep whether that’s in deep countryside or a densely populated city is one of the world’s most awe-inspiring sights. And its power to lift the spirits and feed the soul is freely available. All we need do to harness this natural wellbeing tool is cast our gaze upwards and look at the sky. 

What we see might feel gentle and reassuring – wisps of white lining a grey-blue vista – or fierce and dangerous as dark clouds warn of an advancing storm. But it will always be a chance to glimpse the extraordinary in everyday life, to reassess our place within the world and to use this humbling and breathtaking spectacle to reconnect with nature, to reach out to others and to be kinder to our inner self. 

An upward glance can also inspire creativity. The ever-changing colours, shapes and patterns often find their way into an artist’s pallette, an author’s prose or a songwriter’s lyrics but they can just as easily be used in our everyday journalling – words we might commit to paper on first waking up or at the day’s end – or old-fashioned snail-mail letters we send to friends and loved ones. 

At a time when the world for many is a strange and frightening place and self-care often equals prohibitively expensive or time-consuming rituals over relaxation, looking up is one of nature’s best but often neglected remedies. No gadgets, no potions, no mantras, no schedule. Just you, the sky and a whole lot of awe. Step outside and cast your gaze upwards…

 

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