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A Need for Breath and Breeze

Breeze Bliss (updated)

I don't know about you, but I have to remind myself to take deep breaths since I gasp for breath in these stressful times. While 'trying' to heal from a long all-consuming breast cancer path, I have to deal with Trump only adding to my anxiety and PTSD. It's not in my nature to stand by and simply watch the disgrace, and battle for the soul of this country - I sign petitions, call my representatives, while observing all I believe in continue to spiral into the abyss. So that I don't end up in a psych ward, sit paralyzed on my sofa for eternity, I must find ways to counteract the mayhem going on in the outer and inner world.

When I feel a nice breeze rush through my hair and brush against my face, I'm transported. A cool breeze wakes me up, and a warm breeze ignites sensual senses. A quick swirl of wind moves me to close my eyes and take it in. Autumn temperature, especially when a wind picks up and delivers rain emboldens me to feel refreshed. Let's say I yearn for that rain in what remains to be a parched Santa Barbara. I've been coming to a sudden stop during power walks to notice bold late afternoon color in the sky. We have to seek those moments of beauty to deal with what challenges us.

It's been far too long since this mermaid has been in her beloved tropics. Swimming, sailing, and snorkeling in that pristine turquoise water would be particularly healing. It might even erase Trump's ugly orange face from my mind and provide (however briefly) a reprieve from daily abominations coming from his creepy racist mouth; ah, what a relief that would be. It would also assist healing of scars I wear outside and the internal scars that hold on like clinging barbs. I'd like to swim deep in clear warm water amongst sea creatures living life as they're created to be - I am more than weary of human creatures in the White House and elsewhere acting opposite of living life in divine creation. I need to balance my restless and tattered soul in lapping waves.

It's time to feel a strong, balmy breeze all around me while the sun sinks into the blue. It never fails to give me the sense that all will be well. When I was a teenager living on Key Biscayne, out at night on my bike, or meeting friends at a deck bar right on the sand as waves softly rolled toward us, I'd drift into a calm state. After dark, the T-shirt, shorts, and flip flops worn during the day transitioned into night. Even if it became cool enough for a sweater, those breezes blew in a tropical manner. And the scent of clean salt water, along with tropical blossom filled the night air as the moon rose over a darker shimmering blue.

The temperate breeze and sea is a part of me, running through cell and bone. When I visit the tropics after moving to California decades ago, the stirring sensation is reignited in me. I no longer favor the hot humid summer days I can barely withstand, but the comfortable balmy air is lovely forever. I especially recall the beauty of being in the Bahamas, and sitting at the bar during sunset for the daily tropical cocktail. The bar held a cross-breeze that was perfectly positioned for patrons to be embraced by the velvety winds. I closed my eyes, willing myself to freeze frame this intoxicating feeling.

A similar moment to hold in my recall senses, was during a stay in Honolulu Hawaii. On one of my trips there, I flew in the early morning hours, and due to the time difference, was sitting with my friend by noon on the patio at the Halekulani. Jet lagged and exhausted, I was revived in an instant. The Hawaiian trade winds carried me through lunch to the beach below where I dove in gorgeous water, still warmed by the sultry breeze on my skin. At night, blowing through the sheer curtains, that same breeze lulled me to sleep.

Until I find myself in the tropics again, I'll be aware of Santa Barbara's autumn breeze and take deep breaths to clear my mind and visualize what brings peace. The winter brings rain that washes away dust and provides water for a thirsty earth. The days become a breathtaking crystal clear. Crisp, clean air energizes the spirit, and we all need our spirits continually reignited.

When you experience moments that blissfully transport you and ignite all your senses, close your eyes and take it in, telling yourself, "I will remember this." When I've gone through the toughest struggles, I pause, gently shut my eyes and envision a euphoric experience. It's been especially helpful to everything from simple daily challenge to the times I would lay on a gurney frightened before surgery, or the continued challenge of getting a needle into my tired veins. Even now, when I go in for a monthly IV to boost my immune system, the nurses are aware that I check-out to envision a blissful memory that calms my nerves. My eyes are closed and I think of swimming in perfect turquoise water as a warm breeze encircles me. What exhilarating memory do you possess that would have the ability to carry you to a tranquil and beautiful space? Keep on swimming through life, Valerie

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