Many different sports and exercise disciplines focus on perfection and achievement of a focussed optimum target number.  Of course, that varies from one discipline to another – a perfect 10 in diving, dance, gymnastics etc....a perfect 147 in snooker.....but the number seven has a lot of precedent both in our physical and spiritual history – the biblical creation story, a prime number, the seven ages of man etc.

Many years ago, I was introduced to an exercise entitled “seven sighs”.  It’s really about taking some deeper time out, letting go of the stresses and concerns of our everyday lives.

We all sigh every so often, often without realising, and most usually when we find something is not working out the way we thought it would.  Or we feel exasperated by a situation.  Or we want to make a specific point to someone else!

But deliberately sitting down and sighing is another matter.  And seven sighs is quite a lot!

When I first used the exercise I just didn’t manage to get to seven.  So I gradually built it up over the days and weeks.

I challenge you to pause right here and sigh.  And again.  And again.

As you do so, you will most likely find that each time is a little slower and more drawn out.  The breath is deeper.  The time between the sighs gets longer.

As you sigh, you start to breathe out those concerns and worries occupy your mind.  Your focus turns from the external to the internal.  Your breathing.  The innermost part of your body, mind and soul.

Simply sitting with that experience will renew and refresh your mind and body.

So here’s another challenge – give yourself permission to stay in that space a little longer and focus your mind on seven joys for the day.  Make those joys specific to your experience, personal to you and your surroundings.

With a mind cleared of the busy-ness of life and work, you can start to build on your time of refreshment and renewal even further.

Of course, you may find seven joys as difficult as seven sighs to begin with.  But stick with it, and those seven joys will emerge to transform your body, mind and soul.

Seven sighs and seven joys.

A perfect number in any discipline.