Remembering to Breathe

Its a module at Bible College, how to tell someone that they need to breathe

Said one of my close friends over the last 2 years. In the midst of the chaos, remembering to breathe, when there’s emotional trauma around, when there’s confusing relationships to react to, when there’s employment situation to work out, when there another house to live in or not so, when you’re unsure where you’ll be eating your next meal, let alone if..

Remembering ………. breathe….

I breathe a lot at the moment, the days of forgetting to breathe seem a long time ago. But in the midst, breathing is, well, good, isn’t it?

letting it out…… breathing it in

taking the time….. slow down…

Yesterday I had another, and I mean another, conversation of hopefulness, of shared life, with someone whom I’ve had more of a professional relationship with before, whom I had helped (or tried to) whilst hiding, or trying to hide, much of the chaos within. Yesterday, because it was just a beautiful conversation, I let some of it out, a conversation about Youthwork and management, then lasted nearly 4 hours…

This morning the person I was chatting with shared with me this song/poem that she had written, and has given me permission to share it with you.

Before I do, I would like to share also an extract from Matt Haigs book, which I read a few days ago too.

You’re ok, remember to breathe….

We need to carve out a place in time for ourselves, whether it is via books or meditation or appreciating the view out of the window (for me this was long walks, and is now, just everything) A place where we are not craving or yearning, or working, or worrying or over thinking. A place where we might not even be hoping. A place where we are set to neutral. Where we can just breathe, just be, just bathe in the simple contentment of being, and not crave anything except what we have already; life itself’

(Matt Haig, Notes on a nervous planet, page 260)

My Friends song:


When you feel that Hope has left you
And you cannot carry on
Remember what you’ve been through
Remember where you’re from
It’s strength that got you through it
You’re stronger than you know
Hope is but a breath away
Breathe in and let it go

Oh oh oh oh oh
Bre-eathe life
Bre-ee-eathe life
Breath speaks to the darkness
Bre-eathe life
Breathe in,
Breathe hope
Breathe life

‘here I go again, I’m down on my knees and I’m still free falling.
A bird with broken wings cannot fly’

At times one step is too much to take-
it seems like journey’s end
Hope has slipped away again
The world is closing in
Don’t think about tomorrow
Don’t think about today
Think about this moment
Listen to the breath
As you
Bre-eathe life
Bre- ee-eathe life
Breath speaks to the darkness
Bre-eathe life
Breathe in
Breathe hope
Breathe life

Theres nothing lost by slowing down, breathing, taking your time. Taking control of you and your time starts by breathing in and out and listening to your heart, listening to the very soul you have, breathing in, breathing out.

‘I stare at the sea…… and ……it…..calms….me’ (Matt Haig)


Author: James

Currently I work part time for both Frontier Youth Trust ( and Communities Together Durham ( , though this blog is my own personal views. I am also self employed and do various aspects of youthwork consultancy, including training, writing, lecturing, seminars and written pieces, including organisational consultancy, community profiling and detached/youthwork training. Please do get in touch if I can be of help to you in your church, project or organisation to develop your youth and community work. I have contributed to 'Here be Dragons (2013), and two recent articles in the youth and theology journal and 'ANVIL' the CMS online journal. My recent employment includes, working for FYT as a youthwork development adviser, being the centre director at Durham YFC, and before this I was known as 'Mr Sidewalk' as I was the project coordinator for the Sidewalk Project in Perth, where I facilitated the delivery of 5 years of detached youthwork on the streets, schools and communities to engage with young people , and support through alcohol misuse issues. In 2017 I completed an MA in Theology & Ministry at St John's College, Durham, and in 2008 graduated from ICC (now NTC Glasgow) with an honours degree in youth work with Applied theology.

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