With all that has happened in 2020 and now in 2021, many of us have become familiar with the word “pivot”;  in the context of our lives changing and then changing again. We are learning to pivot to new ways of working, socializing, shopping, exercising, parenting, living and thinking in this life altering era. Pivoting guides us through a grounded fluid way of changing direction.

For many of us there is a feeling of not knowing what tomorrow may bring and the gradual recognition that it’s to our advantage to make friends with that feeling. Resisting the feeling of uncertainty keeps it stuck there, and can cause it to become a source of anxiety, depression and general unhappiness. So how do we move through this, and pivot in a new direction? One way can be found in our breath. 

The following breath-focused meditation can help you to pivot with ease, and is helpful to practice at any time. Set aside about 10 minutes of quiet time for yourself and follow these eight steps.

  1. Identify what thoughts are looping in your mind. What are you ruminating about?
  2. What body sensations are you aware of? Is there tightness, gripping, heaviness, a feeling of disassociation or any other discomfort?
  3. What emotions are you aware of? (For me these days, it’s often fear).
  4. Stay present with what is going on with you and breathe.

    When we become present with what we are thinking, feeling, and all that is around us, we can use our breath to regulate any uneasy feelings or thoughts that may be lingering.
  5. Start with a focused breath into your belly. Take 10 breaths into your belly and have your exhales be long. Count while you are exhaling. Count to 5 on your first exhale and work your way up 10. Stay at 10 for your last 5 breaths.
  6. Next move into a full body breath. Allow the belly to expand, the rib cage to widen slightly, and the chest and upper chest to open.
  7. Continue with the full-body breath as you now focus on your heart centre, in the centre of your chest. Say to yourself from your head to your heart: “I love you.” Say it many times on your breath: ‘I” on your inhale and “love you” on your exhale. Allow your words to ride on your breath. 
  8. Notice how this feels. Then ask your heart what you need to let go of. You can also ask what it is that you need to embrace. 

This breath exercise is an adaptation taken from “The Mindful Way through Depression” by Mark Williams, John Teasdale, Zindal Segal and Jon Katat-Zinn

This exercise may help you become more aware of your inner critic and thereby help you pivot to a different perspective. It can be done in 10 minutes but can also be extended into a longer meditation allowing you more time to settle into the process.  

Deedee works virtually providing Clarity Breathwork sessions and counselling. If you are interested in booking a breathwork therapy or counselling session with Deedee Poyner, RPC, email us at info@evolvevancouver.ca.