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Exhaling - sometimes we forget.

I think it was in one copy I received, by accident or fate, of World Pulse one day where I found recipes for spiritual baths. It could have been another magazine. Right now, all I remember were bath concoctions to cleanse the spirit or evoke loveliness. I closed my eyes and thought of a hotspring surrounded by moss and a steaming bath under a blanket of stars. The scents of sandalwood and lavender lingering on a mild cool breeze.

My brother had nowhere to live two weeks ago. I haven't lived with anyone for over a year. My last relationship left me in deep need of quiet reflection, solitude, and the space for me to be with myself. My brother is still finding his footing, learning who he is, and trying to take care of himself. He continues to express his gratitude for being in my home, even though I wake him up listening to Joni Mitchell or Moby, and have creosote in bottles or vases throughout the house. He is getting used to the scents of sage and patchouli and doesn't think the leafy foods I eat are weird anymore.

Last night he was complaining of a backache and I told him to take a bath with epson salt and clove oil or ginger. He hugged me and said, "I love being here. I haven't taken a bath in such a long time, I can't even remember."

So many times throughout the past few weeks I have been thinking of the final two weeks of class, the first article to write, the first seven minutes of an important interview that the recorder wasn't even working for, how everything will be paid for, how we'll be fed...and for some reason all it took was his hug to make me exhale as though I had not even been allowing myself to breathe.

Some of his friends have come in and out of my home since he has been with me and I hear something repetitive from each of them. Somehow they think I am living a dream by living alone and having my own quiet space. I know I would be seen so differently in other places - single woman, no interest in marriage or kids, working to improve the world one poem at a time. One of his friends is a single mother who exhales deeply each time she walks past my doorstep. I told her she can have this too, she can focus on school and understand herself and provide a little space of comfort and safety for herself and her children. I'm going to help her understand the financial and academic aspects of going to college this week.

We are all examples. With every breath. Sometimes all a person may need is to be heard, or to walk into a space that feels safe and to know they want and deserve the same. Every detail of our lives is inspiring. The articles and poems I write...the workshops and classes I is not these small glimpses that can be empowering - but the detail in every moment of every day and the intention behind the breath and each step.


jap21's picture

Hi Mei Li

As your biggest fan (or at least one of the biggest, since you have so many), every time I read your writings I feel like I am picking up the bit of soul, love and care that my heart needs to go on every day.

I have been through so much darkness lately, following the right schedule of getting up, taking a shower, eating, leaving and coming back at the right times, just to keep me going every day, that I also forgot to breath.

Thanks for reminding me. Thanks for inspiring me to do it all over again without finding comfort in pain. I am alive, I know. And I need to be near people like you, who will make these little details become part of my new life.



Jacqueline Patiño FundActiva
Tarija - Bolivia
South America

Mei Li's picture

Sweet Jackie, We are near

Sweet Jackie,

We are near and thanks to WP we are only a sign-in and click away from connecting. We all forget to breathe intentionally, this automatic response to living that we cannot help but do but sometimes to not draw our awareness to.

Thank you for saying you are my biggest fan because this week I was feeling so lost with trying to write an article and I remembered...just to write...and connect...and you uplift me every time you respond and remind me that there is purpose in connection and gratitude born out of the effort to do so.

Thank you...thank you...

Keep breathing and witnessing and telling about it,
with love

"...our compassion is the practice of unconditioning." Jakusho Kwong Roshi

Sharese's picture

You inspire me.

Every word I read from you is an inspiration. Thank you for all of your wisdom and grace Melissa.

In so much love,


JaniceW's picture

Words of wisdom

I have been away from PulseWire for a while and upon reconnecting, I read your post. I so enjoy your pearls of wisdom and your thoughts this day reminded me of something the Dalai Lama said. "The way we live day to day may not reflect back to us our power to influence life or the web of relationships that connects us.

If by chance you are unaware of the strength of your words, I wanted to let you know that each of your journal entries have such power in connecting and positively influencing us. You inspire people to be interested in participating in other people's stories, in their narratives. Your stream of consciousness often serves as a doorway to further questions that naturally arise in the wake of your thoughts. I love that, through you, my ideas crystallize and evolve.

So thank you again for bringing your authentic self to PW so that we may all share in the beauty of your consciousness.

Mei Li's picture

Welcome back! :) Isn't it

Welcome back! :)

Isn't it always lovely to reconnect? Thank you for your inspiring words and thoughtfulness. I am unaware of the strength of my words, as they will resonate differently with different people. I know what it means for me to release them though, it is like picking sticks out of the dam of myself and letting everything continue to flow.

By listening, you remind me of the importance to keep speaking and sharing, thank you for that :)

Tea kettle is screaming and an article must be written - reading your response grounded me momentarily and inspired me to keep writing today! The more we are listened to, the more eager we become to share ourselves, the louder our voices become, the smaller the gaps between us appear.

With love,

"...our compassion is the practice of unconditioning." Jakusho Kwong Roshi

JaniceW's picture

The gaps become small indeed

Yes, keep writing, sharing and speaking out. Although I may not always respond, I am listening with keen ears and an open mind. All the best with your article,

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