Mindfulness Activity #63
Breath to Create Positive Energy
Good Morning. Have you often noticed that it can be difficult under the current circumstances to begin the day with an optimistic stance? There is so much that is swirling and unknown right now. How long will distancing need to last? When will we have a vaccine? When will it be available? In addition, as COVID-19 has spread, so has its personal connections to people. Many of us have had people close to us contract the virus. Many have experienced deep personal losses because of this illness. It is difficult to be positive. We are off our equilibrium. When I ask most people how they are doing, the response is often, “hanging in there,” or “surviving.”
We have lost normal activity, moving from place to place, and coming into contact with people and things as we move. Lack of stimulation has the effect of depressing energy, creativity, and general optimism. We need to work just a little bit harder to stay even keeled. We might find ourselves a little sluggish or down. Today’s practice is designed to tip the emotional scales back and to create positive energy.
We have been working on variations of breathing, combining different sensations with awareness of top of the breath. I call today’s variation Breath to Create Positive Energy. This can be done seated or laying down on a bed or on a mat on the floor. Settle in and set a timer for three minutes.
Begin by taking a deep breath in through your nose until you feel your lungs filled to capacity. Notice the “top of the breath.” When there is no more room in your lungs and you notice the breath transition from in-breath to out-breath, slowly force all of the air out of your lungs. Remember to allow your exhale to be a little longer than your inhale. Whenever you feel ready to add the next layer, on your next in-breath imagine breathing in any worry thoughts, stress, pain, or irritability. Hold this at the top of your breath. On your exhale, focus on breathing out transformed energy. Imagine your exhale releasing positive energy, warmth, and good will out into the world. If you are bothered by a recurrent negative thought or emotion, just notice it, but on your exhale say to yourself “all will be well.” Imagine spreading positive energy to those you know and care about, as well as to all those affected by losses or difficulties. With every exhale, wish yourself and others wellness and positive feelings.
When done, reflect on your energy level and feelings about beginning the day. Have they changed?
This is a type of loving kindness practice that uses breath rather than words to activate positive feelings and energy. Later today, if you would like to lift your energy or your mood, return to 2 or three deep breaths and focus on the thought that all is well on your exhale. Some of you have been practicing this breathing daily in the morning and before bed. If you have, reflect on whether it is easier to find this calm place in the middle of your day now. The more we practice mindfulness outside of chaos, the more we can access this place of calm in the midst of chaos.
Wishing you positive energy today.