In his piece on Friday, Ben reminded us that we are to blame for the current state of our world. The blame is his, mine, ours! The reality of that simple truth can be quite unsettling. As a good teacher will, he also provided a path forward. Stay centered. Stay present. Stay grounded.
Here’s a breathing technique that will help, if practiced regularly.
The Grounding Breath
This exercise can be done sitting, standing, or even walking. Initially, I would recommend trying it while sitting in a regular chair.
Not only will it be easier to read and follow the directions, but it will become easier to recreate in times of stress, and then you can play with it in other positions once you are comfortable with the technique.
To start, Find a comfortable position and center.
Take a couple of centered breathes.
As your body begins to relax, feel your feet against the floor and your body in the chair.
This connects you to the here and now. This exercise is not designed as an escape. Being present is essential.
Close your eyes and visualize dropping hollow tubes from your feet deep into the earth.
The circumference of the tubes is a personal choice. Start with them somewhat narrow and gradually widen them as you become more comfortable. Also, some people find a third tube, dropped from the tail bone, adds some stability and helps balance the flow of breath.
Take 3 centered breathes. On the third breath, exhale down through the tubes until the breath is deep in the earth, relax and let the inhale happen naturally.
We focus the exhale into the earth to help cleanse the energy of the breath. The earth will filter and balance the energy of the breath and bring a sense of stability to the body.
Practice this exhalation through the tubes into the earth 10 times.
We focus on the exhales because in times of extreme stress and discomfort it can be extremely difficult to have an open flowing breath. Notice that your ability to inhale and create flow becomes easier with each exhale.
Re-center and feel your feet against the floor, the chair against your legs, and the increased sense of flow within your body.
Obviously, this breath can be done anywhere. I highly recommend that you practice it several times a day and in many different situations. It is essential to practice this BEFORE you are stressed and energetically compromised. Remember, this technique is simply a tool. For it to be useful you must be confident in the process. If you wait until your distressed or distracted to try it, it might not work for you.