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The Places You Go To Breathe

That’s me back from my own choice of breathing space: the  north west highlands of Scotland.  Truly, there’s nowhere quite like it.


Well, you did ask for photos :-)


It’s drawing to the end of this breathing space theme.  I think it’s one that’s struck a chord - maybe just because it’s something we all need to do from time to time.  Or there’s something in the air just now.

Anyway, since I started this theme, way back in late April, I’ve been gathering up links to the way other people describe their breathing places.

  • The places you go to take some time out, to breathe more easily, to refresh your spirit:
  • The space you carve for your writing to flourish and the words to flow.
  • The space you create in your mind to let new ideas and possibilities emerge.

Here are ten of the most intriguing places I read about:

The Places You Go

Ulla Hennig takes some time out to sit under the blossom: Breathing Space

You raise your head, and all you can see is – blossoms. You are sitting there, and you can smell them, watch them tenderly swaying in the breeze. You take a deep breath, and you can smell the scent.

-Deb reminds us why we need to switch off the machine: Four Reasons to Switch Off Your Computer at Punctuality Rules

Did you know, for example, that there’s this thing called the sun? And fresh air? You’d be surprised how refreshing it can be to spend time outdoors.

Bo Mackison at Seeded Earth shares a favourite bench - a place to Take it Easy

I love to sit here, settle in a bit, and day-dream. Everyone needs a good place to let their dreams wander and slowly take form. And this is as good a place as I’ve found. There’s a bit of magic in the bench under the shade tree, with the stone path curving here and there.

Amy Palko shares the experience of finding waves of kindness at the shore.  This is a beautiful piece of writing that she shared at the Calm Space - do check it out.

Standing there, on the edge of the water, the rhythmic rock and ripple of salt sea lulls me to a state I have not visited for oh so long a time.  The tension seeps from my bones, my frame relaxes, my vision refocuses, my mind retracts.

Karen Swim steps outside into the darkness of the night, and shares the relief we can feel, even for a moment, when we take the time to step away from our fears and breathe.  The Breath of Life

I stood in the air and an old song from church played in my head, “breathe on me.” I heard the gentle voices of the choir in my head and closed my eyes transporting my heart to the source of the song. Breathe on me. Transitions, questions, decisions. Breathe on me. Fear, uncertainty, excitement. Breathe on me.

The Space to Write

Jon Swanson at Levite Chronicles shares some ways to write and not write in 8 Ways to Write This Particular Afternoon

1. Sometimes it is okay to not write… 7. Sometimes your heart needs space to catch up with your life. Pay attention. 8. Sometimes you just need to start the tea.

Emma Newman at Post-Apocalyptic Publishing writes a letter to her future self with 10 Writing Lessons Learned

I gradually got enough distance from the book to be able to make dramatic edits, and tough decisions, but ultimately, it would have been impossible for me to get it into the shape it is now without the help of others. This has mostly been family and friends admittedly, but all of them said such helpful things that helped me realise what was wrong with it.

The Space to Create

Karen Wallace, editor of the Calm Space, reminds us of the need to create space to make room for new things: A Time for Space at Joyful Jubilant Learning

Whether we need to clean out the fridge, our wardrobe or the entire house; whether we need to reassess relationships to sort the good from the not-so-good; whether we need to turn down the volume a little and retreat; or whether we need to open space in our diaries, cull items from our to-do lists, ditch some obligations or say ‘no’ a little more often: creating space is about making room for living our best life.

Rosa Say encourages us to paint outside the lines - literally! Color Outside Your Lines at Talking Story

2009 is teaching us to be brave. We are finding we need to reinvent, and break out of any little boxes we may have put ourselves in.

Just One No.5 Brush by Rosa Say on Flickr

Janis Cartier invites us into the new and exciting space of uncertainty: The Principles of Uncertainty

Passion blooms. In your work, in your thrill of trying something different, or even some something from an unexpected direction. But how can it bloom if you never pick up that stick and play with it a bit?

After all if those barrista’s can do it so can we. We’re just using tiny little postcards…little bits of space to breathe upon…

Yep. Uncertainty… can you feel how lovely it can be? Roll in it, let it tickle you all it wants…it can be your friend.

How have you been gifting yourself the space to breathe this summer?

Photo Credits:

Just One No. 5 Brush by Rosa Say on Flickr, part of her Watercolor Project

Skyewards by Joanna Young on Flickr.

The photo was taken from near North Strome, looking out over Loch Reraig to the Isle of Skye.

You’ll find more photos from the north west highland holiday on my Flickr page (and if you’re on Flickr, please do add me as a contact.)

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  1. --Deb says:

    Wow, Joanna, that photo is STUNNING.

    And, ironic that you’d pick that quote from my post (thank you for the link), because it’s been weeks since we’ve had a sunny day. I can’t remember the last time we had such a rainy June! I kind of miss the sun…
    .-= -Deb´s last blog ..Heroes =-.

  2. Emma Newman
    Twitter: emapocalyptic

    I want to go there. Now.

    I feel honoured to have my little bloggedy blog mentioned here Joanna, thank you :)

    Oh… I *really* want to go there!
    .-= Emma Newman´s last blog ..No longer my baby =-.

  3. Janice Cartier says:

    WOW o WOW.. now there’s a spot to feast my eyes on…..Speechless I am, and honored to be in such clever company. We need our breathing spaces as much as we need our laughing places, like going to the well and scooping up a ladle of fresh possible …again….wow… heaven on earth your highlands. ;)
    .-= Janice Cartier´s last blog ..Whatever You’re After =-.

  4. write a writing says:

    Its breath taking…have a happy journey!
    .-= write a writing´s last blog ..Why did Eric Clapton Write “Tears in Heaven”? =-.

  5. Joanna
    Twitter: joannapaterson

    -Deb sorry about that - you should really head over to Scotland, we’ve had months of sunshine! Feels like that anyway ;-)

    Emma I was delighted to mention your blog. Hope you find some space to breathe where you are… till you get where you need to be

    Janice yes, it is just like going to the well - Rosa has taught me some of that from the values of aloha - going to the well, and looking to the source :-) Glad you like the pic.

    @amna, glad you like it :-)

  6. Jen says:

    Great quotes, and incredible photo! Thank you very much.

  7. Karen Swim
    Twitter: karenswim

    Joanna, that photo literally took my breath away! It’s easy to see why you go there to breathe. It’s beautiful! There does seem to be something in the air, a collective intake of breath and a slow exhale as we take a break from the pace and contemplate the next season. It will be interesting to see where we all end up on the next breath.

  8. Lori Hoeck says:

    Nice shot! And I thought Colorado has some nice scenery. I may just have to put a visit to your breathing space in my bucket list.
    .-= Lori Hoeck´s last blog ..Think Like a Black Belt - the self defense E-Book =-.

  9. Karen Chaffee says:

    A great time of year to expound on the subject of “breathing space.” I find mine in nature, anything and everything nature. We all need regular spaces in which to truly “breathe.”

    Karen Chaffee

  10. Maria says:

    Pretty good post. I just came by your site and wanted to say
    that I have really enjoyed browsing your blog posts. In any case
    I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you write again soon!

  11. Ching Ya says:

    There’s no place to enjoy a good breathing than being in the nature. ^^
    Now your picture sure has made an impression. Feels like packing and go there straight! Should find myself a place like that as well, where I could close my eyes, enjoy the breeze, while relax my cluttered mind… yup, I should go to the beach sometimes.

    social media/blogging
    .-= Ching Ya´s last blog ..Family & Blogging — Who Comes First? =-.

  12. Joanna
    Twitter: joannapaterson

    Jen hi, glad you liked the photo and quotes - some great posts lying behind them too

    Karen it seems that way to me too. I think maybe there’s a social media ebb and flow… sometimes the enthusiasm reignites, other times we need to go a wee bit more slowly to be sure we’re aligned with what matters

    Lori it really is lovely… definitely worth a visit :-)

    Karen yes, that’s how it seems to me too. I need time to reconnect by being in and around nature. It doesn’t need to be as wild and gorgeous as this to get that feeling… though I do always feel inspired and grateful when I get to be in places as lovely as this

    Maria hi, thanks for the feedback. Sorry for the delay in showing your comment, it got gobbled for some reason by the spam monster.

    Ching Ya I think we all need those kind of places to ground ourselves, to breathe in air, to get back on the right course… I bet you’ve got somewhere lovely nearby that’s just waiting for you!

  13. Davina says:

    Hi Joanna. What a breathtaking photograph. I’m glad we asked :-) If this is the type of view you had I can imagine how refreshing your vacation was. Welcome back.

    How do I take breathing space? Well, I haven’t been taking enough of it lately. Sad, but true. When I do, it involves taking long walks or time away from the computer reading books and one of my favourites… an afternoon nap.
    .-= Davina´s last blog ..365 Days & Still Blogging =-.

  14. Wilson Pon says:

    Now, this is what I called, “Shangri-La”, Joanna!

  15. Joanna
    Twitter: joannapaterson

    Davina I’m glad you asked too :-) A bit like the request for the poem ;-) Hmm, those things are wonderful ways to breathe, and as we discussed on Twitter, there’s nothing quite like the (much underrated) afternoon nap…

    Wilson isn’t it just?!

  16. Ulla Hennig
    Twitter: ullahe

    I’ve just come back from one week of touring the three baltic states Estonia, Litvia and Lithuania, so I could not join the conversation earlier. Thanks for including my blog post in your list of great posts - I am feeling really honoured!
    And your photo is simply breath taking! Thanks for sharing.
    .-= Ulla Hennig´s last blog ..Lovely Lavender =-.

  17. Joanna
    Twitter: joannapaterson

    Ulla I was wondering where you were - that tour sounds wonderful. Look forward to hearing more. Glad you liked the photo :-)