Inhale. Exhale. Shift.
     The Shift. It is word that could describe a single, simple thing. The Shift, however, is not a single thing, and it is far from simple.
     Shift is not an easy concept and it is not an easy process to describe. Saying that all aspects of The Shift can be defined and described in a blog post is a little like suggesting that one can discuss Life and all of its facets.
     A complex and multidimensional notion, The Shift can be understood holistically only when we are able to make it our own. To own it, we need to engage it on many levels.
     Awareness of the existence of a Shift must come before any other work, and anyone who is reading this blog likely has already become aware.
     To begin to internalize what The Shift mean in an individual life, however, step one would be to focus the mind into the reality of your current habitat in a human body.
     There are many ways in which people who self-define as Spiritual Seekers may be disconnected from the physical plane. Human consciousness has an astonishing ability to maintain focus in that place which others might label absent-minded or space cadet.
     Sometimes abstract thought overtakes and overwhelms the practical and mundane realities of life. Intellectual stimulation and conceptual thinking might seem more appealing than coping with the minutiae of simple existence. Cooking and laundry and washing the dishes might be perceived as exceptionally unstimulating to the mind, and thought patterns might take flight into possibilities and potentials of the newest exciting hypothesis.
     The world needs creative thinkers, and I am not suggesting that there isn’t great value to this pursuit. Thinking, however, cannot be an excuse for not being attached to the body in which we live. We cannot find success if we are not gaining all the teachings that human life has to offer us.
     From that place outside of linear time where we are our fullest selves, we chose to be here. We elected to be here, in this time, to promote our understanding of physical life and to evolve our souls. It is therefore immensely important that we engage with all the resources that are available, and the foremost of these is our body.
     All the mindfulness practices of various disciplines are attempts to bring an alignment between the inner monologue of the creative mind and physical stimulus. When we are mindful, we line up the inner awareness with the outer, physical facts. We feel the fabric of our clothes; we sense the temperature of the room; and smell the apple core in the garbage. As we settle into allowing our senses to reveal our immediate environment, we open the way for awareness of much more. We may connect to omnipresent self-criticisms we are formulating; we may notice our trepidation about meeting the next client; the immense love we feel for someone who is absent; or the self-consciousness and insecurities that underlie our being.
     Being present and mindful is not the default setting for most people. If we are to become fully immersed in Shift Energy, then our first task is to get present with what is, here and now. In and of itself, this may very well be the first Shift that we make.
     Breath is the most accessible tool for becoming mindful when we want to shift attention from thoughts of tomorrow or yesterday or what Morgan was really talking about.
     The year 2015 carries a numerological value of Eight, and I often talk about the symmetry and flow of the figure 8 which horizontally represents Infinity. More than once I have likened it to the path of breath, with the divided cycle representing and inhalation and an exhalation, neither of which can exist without the other. It makes sense to me that this is the year when many people make the decision to begin the process of learning to be conscious about breath-work.
     As we learn to remain engaged with breathing – which can, and will, continue automatically without attention – we expand our relationship with an aspect of human life. This must surely be one of the reasons we chose to enter human life: to experience this astonishing miracle which is breathing in and out, knowing that when it stops, we will no longer inhabit this wondrous place.
     Breath-work is a field of study and practice, and yet we are all breathing all the time: no study is required to begin. With our willingness to direct attention to it, breath will exhibit the marvel that it is.
Start Now:
Close your eyes and breathe; allow your body to set a comfortable rhythm.
1. Pay attention to your physical senses. What do you hear and smell and taste? What textures are touching your skin? What images are dancing behind your eyelids?
2. Move your attention to the breath itself: notice how your ribs accommodate the incoming volume of air. Feel the air as it travels through your nostrils; observe the need to inhale at the end of an out-breath.
3. Congratulate yourself on connecting to your human, physical experience, which is available for you, at any time. 
You are Shifting.
This is one of the reasons you agreed to be here now.
Thank you for that.

     Jo Leath has been supporting clients through change and growth since the 1980s.
     This summer Jo will be offering the Breathing for Adult Beginners class in person and as a webinar. Email for details.
     For a consultation, in person or by Skype click here
     For a free printable labyrinth click here