Expanding with every breath


It was a door I had walked through many times, but all wasn’t as it was. To the right where once my eyes scanned a spacious place lit softly but brightly enough to highlight the displays of books, paper and household items–my favourite bling–wasn’t anymore. Plywood, popular in all construction spaces, walled the once Chapters store from the Starbucks where I now stood. Feeling a bit conspicuous (how could I have not known?) I walked past customers waiting for their embellished caffeine pretending I had to use the washroom.

I’d driven by the large sign on the shopping centre in my town indicating a new Indigo Store. It was just a block walk from the original Chapters store in the same centre. They were expanding and moving into the old Target store under the Indigo label. (For my outside-of-Canada-friends, Indigo is similar to Barnes & Noble, and the Chapters name under the same umbrella. And just in case you didn’t know–Target came and left Canada as quickly as a fox spotting a rabbit. It never made it.) Now it seemed the new store was open, and the old now empty and boarded.

I pulled my hood up, stepped back outside making my way to another door in the direction of the new sign I’d seen, the new home for the items of the old space I’d spent many hours in over the years, browsing, buying, and discovering.

Adventure being a top value of mine, I found myself light in step. Yes, it was just a new store, but adventure can be had in the smallest of activities….yes?

Adventures, though, can turn out the unexpected. And the unwanted.

Instantly I was confused. Stepping though the doors, instead of looking up and seeing a square space where every corner is visible, walls divided sections from the next. As I navigated the narrow pathways, sometimes having to turn sideways to avoid another and a display catastrophe, I found myself still looking up, trying to figure out where I was, easily done when the space is open, but not when inner walls divide and section.

And then I just started to look for the light. The light of the door to get out of there. A few wrong turns later, I exited out a door I did not enter. I took a deep breath, my lungs expanding with the cool, fresh air and the space in my chest increasing.

Grateful for the space again.


Gosh, I’ve really become a Breathing Space girl, I reflected to myself. For, like when our lungs expand when taking a breath in, creating space in our chest, so do we expand when spaces are present, when walls do not get in our way, when we can navigate wide paths, and through displays that enhance our experience rather than confine it.

So, breathe today my friend. Even just the act of taking that deep breath, expanding, unfurls and unravels, creating a physical space between the walls of your chest, and the walls in your mind that can loop you on narrow pathways and bump you into unseen things along the way.


Breathe in.


Breathe out.


Breath in.


Don’t stop.


The world needs you awake, alive and unencumbered my friend.

For the record, I am still a Chapters/Indigo fan! I just might be visiting more often it’s other stores where there are no inner walls, and the space is square and wide.

And when I look up I can see all the places I can be.

Learning to breathe
I’m learning to crawl
I’m finding that You and You alone can break my fall
I’m living again, awake and alive
I’m dying to breathe in these abundant skies. Learning to Breathe/Jon Foreman

And the LORD God formed manย ofย the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. Genesis 2:7






10 thoughts on “Expanding with every breath

  1. Lynn,
    For sure! Adventure is everywhere, even in the smallest of things, and can come upon us mysteriously and quickly, which is why it’s so appealing, isn’t it? And I like it that everyone’s idea of an adventure is different, too. I have to ask — isn’t that top photo St. Augustine? Or is it from Canada? ๐Ÿ™‚ xo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Val, Yes that is Flagler College in St. Augustine! Brings me back to navigating it’s hallways and beauty. So agree that we have different ideas of adventure for sure! And I find they are what keep my heart pumping and alive. I hope to have another adventure in the southern eastern states soon! hugs back!


  2. I caught myself breathing in and out as I read your words, Lynn. ๐Ÿ™‚ I love wide open spaces, too, especially nature, as you know. Such relaxing photos. I could feel your disappointment about the new book store. Now why would they do that? I love to walk into a book store that is wide open where one can see the rows upon rows of books. ๐Ÿ™‚ Love and hugs to you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so with you when it comes to wide, open spaces Trudy! It helps my mind stay uncluttered too. I’m not sure why they chose to design the store as they did, and some may even like it that way! Thankfully we have options to choose where we can shop for our books. Hugs back to you and may you be breathing deeply and unencumbered today!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Target didn’t make it? WOW. That is fascinating.

    Anyhoo… lol

    I felt that claustrophobic feeling rise in me as you tried to get out of that confining store, Lynn! I so get this. And your images and words to open our landscape and our lungs brought peace and relief. Thank you for this important reminder to BREATHE- especially during this fast and frenzied Holiday season.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi Lynn! You made a comment on my blog recently about ‘breathing spaces’. I can see how that concept resonates so deeply with you.
    Your experience at the store reminded me of a time when I went to IKEA for the first time. I’ve never had a panic attack before, but I think I know what one is now. I just had to get out of there…too much stuff, too overwhelming.
    I like the photos you used here, definitely inviting me to breathe.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Ahhh, Lynn. You’re speaking my language. A few years ago, my one word was BREATHE. I realized I literally only took shallow breaths because of the busyness, the uncertainty, the everything that barraged me every day. God showed me the necessity of breathing DEEP for health…in every aspect of who I (we) am (are).

    It is interesting how certain stores can make you feel hemmed in and unsettled. H&M, a clothing store here, did that to me the first few times I visited it. It was overwhelming in its seeming chaos. I couldn’t focus or shop in there.

    Thanks for your beautiful pictures. They help me breathe. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

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