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A More Abundant Life; part 6 of 7. Tuesday May 27, 2014


Of the seven signs of life (movement, nutrition, reproduction, excretion, growth, respiration, and sensitivity) 'respiration' or 'breathing' is understandably often the focal point. The language of respiration and breathing even enters many spiritual disciplines. For example, some languages use 'spirit' and 'breath' interchangeably. To 'inspire' is literally to breathe in. To 'expire' is to breathe out...

I don't know if you did what I did as a child, but I suspect most of us have tried this – to see how long we can hold our breath. Before long, you feel like you'll burst if you don't breathe out and then rapidly breathe in again. This reflects the drama going on at a cellular level: respiration (of which breathing is a vital part) is the transference of Oxygen from the outside world into the interior of the cells in our tissues. The mirror reaction, the transference of Carbon Dioxide out from the cells and tissues, is of equal importance. There are other technical aspects of respiration but my purpose today is to use the concept metaphorically to help us live a more abundant life.

(Gaseous) Exchange

At the heart of all this is a win-win exchange. We need the Oxygen, other organisms (mainly plants) need the Carbon Dioxide. This is the stuff of life – the flow of fair exchange. I believe with all my heart that this is an aspect we all need to explore: to find something valuable to give out to the World, and to have the grace to receive something in return. Like the child holding her or his breath, the exchange can never be sustained if it is only one way!

When we are feeling low, it can be very hard to ask for help – let alone to accept it. My message today is that this exchange – the giving and receiving of help, love, friendship, value – is the ebb and flow of life itself. It is the rhythm of life. Until we can learn to receive (to breathe in), we will be starved of vital Oxygen. You were not designed to struggle through life bravely (foolishly?) on your own. You need to receive... and you need to give.

Don't hold your breath! Breathe out today in the form of giving something to others. And here's the best part: what you breathe in is not what you breathe out. For me, this means giving without expecting anything in return from that specific person. Expect a return – but allow Nature to choose the channel through which the exchange will come. This adds elements of freedom and excitement and surprise to life. It also releases relationships from the curse of reciprocation, disappointment and guilt.

Love, also, is like breathing out... if you hold it in for too long, you'll burst! Breathe!

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Julia Tue, May 27th 2014 @ 8:06am

I like this Lex as I do all your blogs. I especially like your paragraph at the end which says we should give but not expect anything specific in return; allow nature to choose the channel of return and this in turn allows an element of freedom and surprise in our lives.

heather Tue, May 27th 2014 @ 9:25am

Well, Julia beat me to it. I too was going to pick out the remark about allowing nature to choose the channel of return. I know I so often get disappointed in people and I know that is wrong so that is a double whammy to make me feel low. I found this quite beautiful and emotional to read, Lex. Thanks. Heather x

Lex McKee Tue, May 27th 2014 @ 9:39am

Hi Heather and Julia... I'm so glad you liked that point especially. I'm happy to share my dirty washing on Moodscope - and the truth is I've been eaten up with bitterness over the years over the one-way nature of so many of my relationships. However, viewing my life through the focus of not expecting a 'return on investment' from the source I give to, but rather just being open to others, has really freed me. And, I'd have to say that I've got a lot of evidence that give-and-take has worked in the grand scheme of things. There is a balance.
I often have mixed feelings about faith but I have to admit that giving in secret is a great principle - and totally frees one up from any bitterness if there is no gratitude or response or reciprocation. My biggest concern for us Moodscopers is actually learning to receive as well as give.

Julia Tue, May 27th 2014 @ 9:49am

I agree we are not good at receiving as we or I guess some/most of us don't think we deserve it. We give a lot to compensate for our perceived inadequacies in relationships.
What exactly do you mean by giving in secret? I mean how does it free you up from bitterness if there is no reciprocation or response?

Lex McKee Tue, May 27th 2014 @ 11:36am

Hi Julia
By "giving in secret" I mean really not letting the recipient know it was you. You give anonymously, knowing that they will be surprised and delighted by what you've done, but they won't be embarrassed or be able to say 'no'. It's a way of being righeously sneaky!!!

Because they don't know it's you, there's no awkward sense of obligation. It's good for you, it's good for them, and there is no sense of discomfort. Magic.

Julia Tue, May 27th 2014 @ 11:59am

Ah I see what you mean. Thx.x

Vanessa Tue, May 27th 2014 @ 4:20pm

Hmm, lots to think about here, thanks Lex. I too struggle to receive back what I feel I give in relationships from time to time, although I also think that I struggle to ask for what I need, and want people to read my mind! Sometimes I think I would like to have one of those signs that flash up by the side of the road, although mine would say "please give me a hug now" or "please REALLY ask me how I am", rather than "slow 40" (although that might be appropriate too?!)

Richard Tue, May 27th 2014 @ 4:25pm

Fine post again.
Saturday I get the keys to my new flat.
Thankyou for helping me to this new chapter.
Business cards pending.
Warm regards,
Your friend,
Rich Harrison

Mary Blackhurst Hill Tue, May 27th 2014 @ 5:26pm

Best wishes for your new home Richard: wishing you peace and happiness there.

Mary Blackhurst Hill Tue, May 27th 2014 @ 5:29pm

Hi Lex, Julia, Vanessa. I loved that bit about allowing the universe to decide how things come back too. I am a great believer in what goes around comes around and "paying it forward". what's far more challenging is being a gracious receiver. I am getting a lot of help at present (I need it) but it's much harder to receive than to give.

vanessa Tue, May 27th 2014 @ 5:55pm

Hello Mary, I admire your courage in being open to receive that help. It sounds very much as though you are an 'active receiver' as Lex describes, in that ebb and flow of giving and receiving. Its not easy though, I'm thinking of you! Vanessa x

vanessa Tue, May 27th 2014 @ 5:56pm

New chapters are exciting and scary! All good wishes!

heather Tue, May 27th 2014 @ 6:00pm

Pipped to the post again, by Mary this time ! I was about to say that I believe that what goes around comes around. I do, however, think I am good at graciously receiving, even gratefully receiving! but am absolutely unable to let people know what I need to receive, and most of the time don't really know myself ! I loved Lex's new way of explaining things.

Julia Tue, May 27th 2014 @ 6:23pm

I am sorry I pipped you to the post this morning Heather.It wouldn't normally happen as I don't like early mornings but we are in France right now and one hour ahead.Anyway I am glad you felt the same (and Mary)

Julia Tue, May 27th 2014 @ 6:25pm

Hugs are vital to life I feel Vanessa but we don't get them often enough, the genuine heartfelt ones I mean.

Lex McKee Tue, May 27th 2014 @ 6:29pm

A Flat?
A Major new chapter
More like...
A new start
A new beginning
Well beyond "da capo"
Up tempo
In your own Key Signature
Rich rhythms
And warm personal tones
That defines what it means to be

Lex McKee Tue, May 27th 2014 @ 6:34pm

I'd love the intimacy that Vanessa desires. Wouldn't it be great just to be able to say it as it is and ask for what we want? Oh to be loved for who we really are - the yukky bits as well as the more acceptable parts! I have really enjoyed the way Conchita Wurst's victory in the Eurovision Song Contest has provoked such a response. Here is a warm human who is happy to be just who he/she wants to be. That's courage and inspiration in the same package.

Anonymous Tue, May 27th 2014 @ 8:08pm

WONDERFUL NEWS Rich; hope all goes well for you; wishing you peace of mind and heart and home. Frankie

Anonymous Tue, May 27th 2014 @ 10:39pm

Thank you for this Lex. I had just finished a mindfulness breathing exercise, so one of those lovely coincidences!

Richard Wed, May 28th 2014 @ 9:15pm

Thankyou everyone. I am touched by the warmth of your replies.
I will succeed. I have faith in myself.
My Moodscope friends are with me.
Love, Rich x

Lex McKee Wed, May 28th 2014 @ 10:19pm

I wonder how you could post photos of your new flat? It would be lovely to share your top moments. Flickr? Instagram? Have a wonderful experience Rich x

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