Some years ago I wrote to Donna Martin having been inspired by her poem ‘The Breath is Life’s Teacher” and she told me that the poem came to her in a meditation.

I stumbled across the poem again yesterday .. and still it speaks to me.


Observe me, says the Breath, and learn to live effortlessly in the Present Moment.
Feel me, says the Breath, and feel the Ebb and Flow of Life.
Allow me, says the Breath, and I’ll sustain and nourish you, filling you with energy and cleansing you of tension and fatigue.

Move with me, says the Breath, and I’ll invite your soul to dance.
Make sounds with me and I shall teach your soul to sing.
Follow me, says the Breath, and I’ll lead you out to the farthest reaches of the Universe, and inward to the deepest parts of your inner world.

Notice, says the Breath, that I am as valuable to you coming or going… that every part of my cycle is as necessary as another… that after I’m released, I return again and again… that even after a long pause – moments when nothing seems to happen – eventually I am there.

Each time I come, says the Breath, I am a gift from Life.
And yet you release me without regret… without suffering… without fear.
Notice how you take me in, invites the Breath. Is it with joy… with gratitude…? Do you take me in fully… invite me into all the inner spaces of your home? …Or carefully into just inside the door? What places in you am I not allowed to nourish?

And notice, says the Breath, how you release me. Do you hold me prisoner in closed up places in the body? Is my release resisted… do you let me go reluctantly, or easily?

And are my waves of Breath, of Life, as gentle as a quiet sea, softly smoothing sandy stretches of yourself….? Or anxious, urgent, choppy waves…? Or the crashing tumult of a stormy sea…?

And can you feel me as the link between your inner and outer worlds… feel me as Life’s exchange between the Universe and You?
The Universe breathes me into You…
You send me back to the Universe.
I am the flow of life between every single part and the Whole.

Your attitude to me, says the Breath, is your attitude to Life.
Welcome me… embrace me fully.
Let me nourish you completely, then set me free.
Move with me, dance with me, sing with me, sigh with me…
Love me. Trust me. Don’t try to control me.

I am the Breath.
Life is the Musician.
You are the flute.
And music – creativity – depends on all of us.
You are not the Creator… nor the Creation.
We are all a part of the process of Creativity…
You, Life, and me: the Breath.

Donna is a Hakomi therapist, stress management consultant and speaker based in Canada and you can find out more at

Photo by Vinicius Wiesehofer on Unsplash