I chanted Breathe in joy and strength. And I took a breath in, letting joy and strength enter me, and fill me. Pause. I chanted Breathe out wisdom and peace. And I sent that intention into the world.
And as I chanted in my bed, with my sore throat, and my faint headache, I imaged with the words.
The breath in of lilac smoke, swirling to all parts of me -- around my heart, to my fingers, my head, down through my body, to my uterus, my toes, and then back to my heart. Gently. Slowly.
The breath out of white light. Shining, reaching, stretching, encompassing the space in front of me, filling the air around me. Full of energy, life, hope.
And as I often do, when my chanting has run its course, and it is winding down, my thoughts go to many places. It travels sometimes to the past, the stepping stones that bring me to this place. Sometimes to the hope of the future. Sometimes to soft places filled with love, and kindness. Sometimes to distance memories that have almost slipped away.
Tonight, out of utter boredom with having been home with sick children for days, I chanted again, but this time I just chanted "Strength and Peace," drawing out each main word as long as my breath would let me, tuning into the vibration on my lips and in my throat, and stretching my arms down and open on "strength" and raising them up and open to the universe on "peace."
The power of words, especially when blended with movement, always catches me a little off guard. This pervasive feeling I have right now - of being a firmly planted tree, of swaying with the wind in harmony and balance, is an amazing feeling that I wasn't expecting to be overwhelmed with on this long, long day. This long day of trying to handle sick children and a full day at work while I myself am a bit under the weather.
Thank you Universe for this small gift. Thank you Hashem for this small gift. Thank you Self for this small gift.