BY REV. DORAL PULLEY
“Let everything that hath breath praise the LORD. Praise ye the LORD.” - Psalm 150:6
A young man came into my office and asked me to help him stop smoking. He was so frustrated because he used so many other resources and was unsuccessful. I prayed with the gentleman and the Holy Ghost revealed to me the reason why he couldn’t stop smoking. Smoking relaxed him. Whenever he felt pressure or uncomfortable, he smoked a cigarette. He had not found another vehicle to deal with the stress in his life.
As we continued to work together, it became crystal clear to me that it was not the cigarettes or the nicotine that relaxed him but the breathing. When he was smoking, he was breathing slowly, deeply and intentionally. This “breathing exercise” was making him relaxed. Over time, we reduced the smoking and increased the deep, slow and intentional breathing without smoking. Eventually, the young man stopped smoking completely and learned various breathing techniques for stress management.
How often do we focus on our breath? When we are still and quiet and focusing on our breath, our inhaling and exhaling, it quiets the body and brings us to a state of peace and tranquility. Take time throughout your day to sit still and be quiet. When you feel stress, just breathe. Instead of eating, drinking or smoking your way through it, breathe your way through it. God breathed into our nostrils this breath of life and we became living souls. The more we breathe and focus on our breath, the more we become who God created us to be.
Rev. Doral Pulley is the senior pastor of Unity Temple of Truth Church, 511 Prescott St. S, St. Petersburg.