It is a funny thing about breathing – it happens without thinking AND we can control it. For me, Breathing Mindfully has become an essential practice of mine during this pandemic. It has never been a ‘go to’ skill for me, but it is critical for me in overcoming . . . working on . . . getting better at NOT attacking.
As my colleague Kristie likes to say, “Practice makes better.” That could not be more true for me accessing my breath and keeping myself regulated. BJ Fogg’s Tiny Habits change framework helped me. It was only after I started practicing Breathing Mindfully during the wait for my morning coffee to brew that I was able to choose to stay at peace by using my breath in real time, stress-inducing situations.
Remember when I said our breathing happens without thinking? As a dad, I have begun to notice more the patterns of my breathing, especially my tight, shallow breathing that directly precedes me losing my patience. It usually happens right around the second time I ask my son to get off the computer at the previously agreed ‘end of screen time’.
Sometimes I feel like Bruce Banner trying to hold back turning into the Incredible Hulk.
Breathing Mindfully, really breathing through my belly, keeps me grounded. It helps me speak clearly and calmly and remind my son that we made an agreement he needs to honor. Breathing Mindfully keeps me out of power dynamics and expressing myself with that deeper, louder voice (is ‘pre-yell’ a word?).
Long story short, I’m a hero. Wait, that came out wrong! I feel heroic when I am able to access a better version of myself, one that keeps me from being a villain in someone else’s story.
Experiencing the benefit of this skill during my morning practice allows me to access it during real time, on the front lines of #DadLife.I invite you to find a Breathing Mindfully practice that works for you.
Yours in partnership,