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Strength For The Journey

Updated: May 20, 2020

These past few months have been a test of endurance for us all! We are laser focused on keeping ourselves and loved ones from the clutch of COVID19. Ironically, while we are absorbed in fighting the COVID19 virus lurking outside our homes, we can become hostages unaware to what is occurring inside our home (i.e. in our minds and emotional health). Our days are often long and, in some circumstances, confined to the sanctuary of our homes.

Historically, our home is where we find rest from the day’s challenges and refuge for our minds. More recently, however, our homes have become schools, gyms, or dance studios. Our bedrooms previously sanctified for rest have transformed to offices, conference rooms, and constant reminders of work. Instagram, Facebook, and Zoom have become our lifeline to our family, employment, and communities. The kitchen table has transformed into our place of gathering for everything! Our ability to historically compartmentalize our roles and focus our energies appropriately is no more. The boundary lines of wife, mom, teacher, employee, manager, cook, housekeeper, repair man, friend and veterinarian are all blurred!

From the time we rise in the morning. To the moment we pass out in our beds with exhaustion in the evening, we are stimulated by conference calls, news stories of the crisis, emails, and text messages. We give unselfishly of our time and mental capacity to care for those we love. Our souls (mind, will and emotions) are overstimulated and need rest. There’s not enough sleep to recharge our soul-tanks. No matter how much we hydrate, we are unable to quench our soul’s thirst. At a time when we must be resilient for the journey, we crave methods to release, refocus and recharge.

For the next few moments, I would like to share a simple breathing exercise with you to help you release, refocus, and recharge your soul. Breathing, while an automatic action, can become obstructed via stress, limiting the oxygen to your brain, triggering your fight-or-flight instinct. Over time, if we are unable to recharge, we will burn out from this constant fight-or-flight state of mind.

Are you ready? Let us begin.

  • Find a quiet space to sit on the edge of your chair or stand up straight, with your feet firmly planted-shoulder length apart.

  • Close your eyes to tune out your surroundings and focus inward.

  • On your next exhale, release the tension you are holding in your face.

  • Breathe in deeply through your nose, expanding your belly. Maximizing your oxygen intake.

  • Hold your breath for a few seconds, then slowly exhale through your mouth. Emptying all the air in your belly.

  • With the next inhalation, envision the stress that is scattered throughout your body, being gathered in the belly.

  • Hold your breath for a few moments, then slowly exhale through your mouth. Envision the stress being pushed out the small of your back.

  • Repeat the cycle, counting each time allowing your brain to focus and keeping you from being distracted.

  • Thoughts will jump to mind, notice them and with the next exhale, release them.

  • With the next inhale, refocus on your belly.

  • Repeat this cycle until you feel you have released and refocused. When ready, slowly open your eyes.

  • Quickly rub your palms together until you feel heat generating between them. Then take your palms and massage your face. Releasing any lingering stress in your eyes and face.

  • Rub your palms together again, then massage your knees. Releasing any lingering stress.

Congratulations on spending a few moments releasing and refocusing.

Be sure to recharge yourself at least 15-30 minutes every day with this breathing exercise. Avoid burnout by taking some time to refuel your tank! Do not be caught off guard and overwhelmed with emotional stress. Refuel your mind to ensure you not only have strength but can be resilient during this challenge time.

Until next time. Be well my friend.

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A refreshing site for body, mind, and spirit. Thank you.

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