I committed to giving you five minutes of encouragement each day. And I know that’s not much, but sometimes it’s all I’ve got! So, for the next five minutes, I want to encourage you to take advantage of one of the greatest tools a busy mom has.

Ready?

Inhale slowly until your rib cage expands, and the way down deep recesses of your lungs fill with air.

Hold it for a moment and let it out.

Do it again, and this time close your eyes.

Once more. This time when you exhale release it — whatever ‘it’ is. Stress, fear, worry, anxiety, conflict, unforgiveness, bitterness.

If you don’t know what I mean about releasing, I’ll give you an example I learned in childbirth classes way back when. The instructor told us to clench our fist and make a muscle, then she told us to consciously unclench and relax the muscle. She explained that we have the ability to relax all our tense muscles the same way — even those rock hard shoulder muscles that seem to be in a state of perpetual tenseness.

Try it. Use the same principles of intentional conscience relaxation to release those tight muscles.

Now, using the same principle, when you release and exhale your breath, release the things that cause you stress. Breath in. Breath out. In. Out. Oxygen in. Carbon dioxide out. You can’t see it. It’s invisible. But you can’t live on retained carbon dioxide . . . for more than a few minutes. Breathe in. Breathe out. Peace in. Stress out.

In. Out.

Feel better? Me, too!

Shari