The Howells Group Blog

The Need to Breathe


My last blog posed the question as 2015 began – “How will you flourish”?  We all have individualized approaches that help us live vibrantly and authentically. And, there are some truths that are universal.  So let’s start with one that’s crucial; breathing.  No, I’m not talking about breathing physically –  I’m talking about a different kind of oxygen –breathing for our souls.

A story I’ve never forgotten tells of an entrepreneur traveling deep in the tropics. He’s journeyed thousands of miles and is  anxious to make a lucrative business deal to acquire rare natural resources. After 2 days slogging through the thick underground, the local tribe members on the trek suddenly just stop. And then; they sit down almost in unison right in the middle  of the muddy trail. Frustrated, he yells at his translator “What in the world are they doing? Why are they stopping here? We’ve got to keep up the pace!”. The translator turns to the chief, also seated in the middle of the trail and asks what is going on. The chief explains “ We must stop to let our souls catch up with our bodies. If we move all the time our souls can’t find us and will be lost”.

What a message for people in this century! Soul care is crowded out by the pressures and urgencies and  become lost in the blitz of connectivity, expectations and noise.  We find ourselves in constant and urgent reaction if we aren’t mindful. We lose touch with what matters. Even the most competitive technology companies are recognizing that people need help staying connected; to themselves. Google and Intel now have internal classes on meditation to help employees calm and focus in the midst of their urgent cultures.

This morning I’m writing this from the concourse of the Portland airport that is under construction. The drills are spinning, hammers and saws are like percussion in the symphony of hard hatted workers and the airport announcements occasionally burst through the noise. The forklift is beeping and the bustle of people hurry make connections. But in the midst, a beautiful electronic cello plays by an artist named Adam. It soothes and steadies and calls out in the cacophony, reminding me; “don’t leave your soul behind today“.  Take a moment today or this evening and ask yourself “does my soul need to catch up”? Take a walk, write a letter, find the journal you haven’t touched for months; do whatever reconnects you to what matters most –  and let your soul take a badly needed and very deep breath.


  1. Posted February 4, 2015 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

    A beautiful reminder for me!

  2. Posted February 5, 2015 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    Very nice sentiment expressed here, Karen!

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