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I have a habit that drives my husband crazy and keeps me sane. I sigh.
Obviously, I sigh more than I am consciously aware. Yet I’ve noticed that whenever my sighing is brought to my attention- “Please don’t do that“- I’m taking deep breaths for a very good reason.
Women sigh so that we won’t scream. There are several occasions in the course of any womans’s day when, without question, screaming is the appropriate response. However, on this side of an electrified fence, screaming is not considered good form.
So we sigh.
First we breathe in, quickly and sharply, inhaling reality, acknowledging the present situation-the current hassle or disappointment, confrontation or challange, long wait or lack of cooperation.
We hold our breath for a heartbeat.
Then we breathe out, slowly and deeply, exhaling and letting go of our initial response-our dismay, impatience, frustration, annoyance, disappointment, regret. Letting it go. Letting it go.
The act of sighing is a quiet vote of acceptance-of “getting over it” and moving on.
Women with significant others and/or children sigh more than their solitarty sisters because there are more preferences, needs, wants, wills, and demands to be dealt with, if there is to be a state of detente in the daily round. More bending in order not to break.
So should you feel the need to sigh today, by all means breathe slowly and deeply. Breathe expressively. Think of sighing as the hot air that makes rising to the occasion possible. Hot air that’s pent up will eventually explode, and steam can burn. But steam that’s deliberately allowed to escape through a safety valve can be converted into creative energy. So sigh without hesitation. Sigh without guilt. Sigh without embarrassment. Sigh with pleasure.
Sigh some more, my ladies, sigh some more.


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