BREATHING mindfully

Each moment, we receive an opportunity—a chance to be mindfully present—to witness what's happening within, to cradle any suffering, and to breathe. I find this especially helpful when feeling an intense emotion…until the intense emotion passes This process can help create calm, bring awareness, and help us sustainably thrive. Here are a few of my favorite resources that support this mindful adventure…

Just Breathe:

Throughout the day, I try to remember to just breathe. This brings me an inner calm.

If I feel an intense emotion (when my mindful skills have weaker moments), I still try to focus on just breathing. This helps me maintain an inner calm.

(Avoiding caffeine and sugar also help me with this.)

For those of us who were surrounded by abuse much of our lives, we know that abusers will escalate their behavior if they are confronted or held accountable. Since accountability is something I feel very strongly about, I’ve had to learn to breathe, instead, if I find an abuser has slipped into my surroundings. This has been my quickest route to healing from abuse trauma.

(I let law enforcement handle the rest.)

If I forget, I try to envision the importance of not digging through a dumpster. It’s big. It’s dirty. It only gets filthier. So I try to just breathe and witness what’s happening inside of me, which helps me heal and thrive.

The more I practice mindful skills in these moments, the easier it all becomes, and the more healing and peace I experience.

There are still surprises. I am still shocked. Which is why I keep practicing.

It’s important to note that even though I keep myself away from direct harm now, that does not stop an abuser from harming my life or the lives of others. For when an abuser can no longer control their victim, they will control what others think of their victim.

This is why I also find it essential to surround myself with others who understand this, who inquire with victims directly, who believe victims, and who stop automatically believing abusers.

Wise people will care to learn the truth and will care to protect the victims.

Breathing brings me peace during this process. And when I forget? I practice breathing again.

In case it’s helpful to others, here are some additional resources that I’ve found invaluable, either in my personal life or when helping other victims of abuse…

Trauma Support:

Trauma-informed… | Harvard on… | Adverse childhood… | Childhood trauma leads to… | What abuse of an adult child looks like… | Why there’s estrangement… | Overview of estrangement… | Family estrangement… | Myths of estrangement…

Free Crisis Support:

in the US, text 741741 | in Canada, text 686868 | in the UK, text 85258 | Coming to Ireland | Coming to South Africa

Therapy Anytime, Anywhere:


Mindful Body Movement:

Keeping a mindful routine on the road provides comfort, consistency, and predictability (when everything else is changing). Physical movement can also help heal trauma.

So I searched a long time to find a very special way to enjoy unlimited classes (yoga, meditation, Pilates), at any time. And I’m so grateful for the professionalism, kindness, and reasonable price of My Yoga Works (only $49 for an entire year).

Mindful Meditation:

Artie Wu of Preside Meditation made such an impact on my life, exactly when I needed it. I participated in two of his meditation programs.

The initial meditations I participated in were so calming that I signed up for his Monkey Mind meditations program.

The Monkey Mind meditations literally played within as I slept.

Months later, I could see the ongoing improvement that Artie’s work was still making within me. And I love that I can go back to his meditations anytime I want a tune-up.

Mindful Self-Compassion:

Dr. Kristin Neff shares her mindful self-compassion meditations, books, and resources. Check out her TedX video, too.

Mindful Magazine:

Mindful is the magazine leading the mindfulness movement. They have excellent articles and resources. I love reading it right before bed.

Mindful Leadership:

Dalai Lama | Thich Nhat Hanh

My Mindful Challenge:

One of my challenges is remembering to pause when talking with others. So I try to focus on watching their expression, tone, plus embrace the pause that follows their words (while I simply breathe). This allows their pause to come far later than I could have ever imagined, taking their story to a place I would have never otherwise known.


om: a mantra...used in contemplation... | venture: to go somewhere that is unknown...