Listen to the sigh; might be saying ‘let go’

I feel a bit of God in a good healthy sigh.

Could be, that all animals do, and it helps us relax for a millisecond before exhaling. The longer I exhale, the longer I feel the Presence.

Maybe it’s not God, the Almighty. He’s probably busy elsewhere designing new galaxies or prodding the dreams of great thinkers to come up with ideas to cure diseases or invent a new hula hoop toy, or whatever most people believe the Great and Wonderful Oz-like Creator usually works at fulltime. I know, I know . . .  He still keeps His eye on the sparrow and all that stuff, but I’d hate to see Him tied up with something so . . . small . . . as the trillion of sighs us sentient beings with built-in sighing mechanisms enjoy. Often involuntarily, almost by reflex. 

Perhaps its the “Holy Spirit” that sneaks into our system just at a moment in life when we need a little break, need to sigh to simply realize we actually have it good. I mean really good. Have you ever seen someone sigh and not accept life just as it is in that moment? Think about it.

Better yet, look at a dog or a cat. Yes, Virginia there really is a “sighing claws” ritual that animals engage in, particularly, cats. Take a look at your average, overworked feline the next time he or she settles into place for well-deserved nap.

Their whole body gets into the sigh. Chest expands, tiny shoulders droop (well, the area between the upper leg and neck relaxes. They love you scratching that spot, the ring-around-the-collar area, where you force cats to purr and dogs to close their eyes and salivate. Well, some dogs.)

My dog “Willie” would make an audible sound when sighing. Kinda like a a gentle snort and his whole body would “ease” in appreciation of life. At least life in that moment immediately after the sigh.

Ever see a cat stretch after a sigh? It’s a sight to behold. Like watching poetry in motion or seeing the world’s greatest choreographer perform a dance symbolizing a universal  “letting go” movement.

That’s what a stretch is, “letting go.” You let go of stiffness in hopes your body can shake off the lethargy that keeps it asleep and unaware of the “present” moment. For a cat, a sigh really does represent a “sighing claws” approach to life. Sighing to let nothing but Love occupy the moment. Stretch those claws, flex the back, and see ’em settle down with all that’s right in the world.

There’s time enough later to worry about the next meal, an old predator or the meaning of existence. A sigh is the Spirit’s way of telling me to slow down, enjoy the “now” and focus on nothing.

Try it. Beginning with your next sigh. Pay it forward. Or simply enjoy “being.” Both can lead to happiness.

16 comments on “Listen to the sigh; might be saying ‘let go’

  1. Helen T says:

    Hi Michael. When I want to let go negative emotions or feelings, I sigh slowly. It helps. I also say, ‘I let this feeling go. Right now’.
    Thank you.


    • contoveros says:

      I’ll have to pass this on, Helen.

      I have stetched out my sigh to “stay in the moment,” and I guess it works along the same lines as you just described. It’s like letting a sigh help float away any and all the negative airwaves.

      michael j


  2. lucky ducky says:

    If you don’t believe in a divine God, then how would you re-define a sigh?


    • contoveros says:

      I believe in God the Creator despite the lack of teachings of the Buddhist Dharma.

      I have no problem with God or the traditions from the Catholic Church I still treasure.

      Why can’t we have both? Buddha never said a word against it.

      Someone who wrote down something after his death might have, but there are several things the early Church fathers wrote that I don’t follow, yet still feel comfortable in my relationship with the Almighty.

      How about you?

      michael j


      • Emily says:

        I know several Catholics- even priests!- whom still practice and study Buddhism.


      • lucky ducky says:

        Highly subjective, at best. While I am fascinated by the “writings” of those in religious history, there is no science to back it up. It remains subjective…beautiful and inspirational, indeed…but highly subjective. Much of what we have today in terms of religion and spirituality is based on folklore. Recall that many historical “facts” about Jesus were stories told by villagers a half century and longer after his death. They did not know him personally. We do not have his DNA.

        I do like the “sighing” concept, however, in relation to spirituality. Biologically speaking, there is an explanation for the benefits of sighing. Mentally and emotionally, it is relaxing and assuring and gives us a moment in time to just “chill.”


        • contoveros says:

          You’re ok Lucky.

          May I call you Lucky?

          Got into trouble when I thought I was talking to some guy named Jhanajian for several posts, only to find out it was a girl (woman). Enlighten us, Oh Lucky one.

          I like your style, whether it be male or female.

          michael j


          • lucky ducky says:

            Calling me “Lucky” is just fine. I didn’t choose the name myself–well, at least not consciously anyway. When I stumbled upon these blogs I wanted to post a reply to one of them. When I clicked the reply button, the web browser program assigned me a name and asked if I wanted to use it. I figured why not…and so Lucky Ducky was cyber born.

            Genderless is better in cyberworld. Keeps one in wonder.

            I actually just “sighed” after I typed this! It’s time for bed.


            • contoveros says:

              No fair, Lucky. I like to know gender.

              But, what does that say about me? Would I treat a person different depending on their sex?

              I don’t know. Gotta think about it and try to discern this puzzle as time goes by.

              Just don’t tell me your favorite color is pink. It would be a dead give-a-way.

              michael j


      • michael j
        I am constantly sighing and loved this post & photo.

        We are all entitled to our own belief systems, but I believe, as it sounds like you do, in a Divine God who is not divided up into “religions”, which have politicized throughout history. All the Teachers have delivered the same basic message, it’s the humans who muck it up.

        I don’t believe science has all the answers, it’s much younger than spirituality. But I do think that they are both valid and can work together. Why all the disharmony?

        There are plenty of meditators and mystics throughout the ages who have personal proof that there is a God. It’s not just folklore. The key is experience. One cannot really believe something until they’ve experienced it for themselves.

        Questioning is a good and honest approach. We are each on our own paths of discovery, whatever that may or may not include for us. Happy travels all!
        Heavy Sigh…


  3. tobeme says:

    I like your thoughts on a sigh. For some though a sigh becomes a habit to display displeasure or disgust. In the space that you talk of a sigh it can serve us well just to let go.


    • contoveros says:

      Even in displeasure or disgust, there comes a moment when you “accept” what is actually happening in that moment. It allows you to catch a tiny bit more of air and focus clearer.

      One can choose to continue with displeasant thoughts and feelings or “give up’ and “let go” as calm and peace slowly settles over you.

      My choice is that taste of relaxation nowadays.

      michael j


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