Week 8: Breath, Commitment, & Practice

It has been such a pleasure to guide you through this stress-management program over the last several weeks. I hope I have helped you find peace, perspective, and nourishment—and I hope that all of this will serve you when moments get tough and you find your mind racing.

At the core, managing stress is all about honoring ourselves and others with love and compassion. This will help us step back, find clarity, and handle what we are feeling.

Throughout these eight weeks, we’ve focused on three foundational ideas: breath, commitment, and practice.

Breath

Many of our exercises have begun with the breath. With each breath, we are revived and brought back to the current moment. It is there for us, always. Slow, mindful breathing—the kind we implement in meditation or yoga—can hold so many answers for us when we simply stop to engage it. Going forward, I want you to continue taking a deep breath when you need to check in with yourself.

Practice

In every aspect of our lives we have the chance to create an intention and see it through with repeated action. For you, that may be in the mindful way you interact with others or taking 10 minutes to do yoga each night before bed. The way we choose to show up in this world takes practice. The things we tell ourselves internally take practice. Strengthening our bodies, minds, and relationships requires practice. There is no such thing as ‘perfect,’ so remove those expectations right now. Continue to try, to implement, to stretch, and to modify. Do not be afraid of mistakes in your practice—they are often lessons.

Commitment

In so many ways this is the key to it all. If, regardless of the circumstances, you are willing to show up to your practice day in and day out, you will succeed. Why? Because you’ve invested in yourself.

What I hope you have created is a newfound sense of self-worth. In sports, teams often have an anthem to “protect our house.” The same goes for what you’ve built, and my guess is you aren’t going to let anyone or anything destroy it. By committing to yourself, you decide the ways in which you will impact the world.

By following this series you have awoken your potential, and faced the unknown, which can indeed be scary—but that’s where the magic is. So, the last exercise we will embark on together (although you are welcome to revisit all or any of the practices from the last eight weeks) is a meditation to embrace your vitality and growth, and to celebrate life.

  • First, make a fist with your right hand, releasing the pinky and thumb. Take your thumb to your right nostril, inhale through your left nostril for 5-8 counts. Then exhale for 5-8 counts.
  • Then, place your pinky finger on your left nostril, inhaling through the right nostril for 5-8 counts. Exhale for 5-8 counts. Repeat this for 3 sets.
  • Bring your hands into prayer position and place your thumbs between your brows. This acknowledges your mind and provides for greater clarity. Bring your thumbs to your lips to acknowledge the truth of your word. Bring your thumbs to your heart to honor your journey, acknowledging your ability to give and receive love.

I’m so grateful that you have taken this journey with me, and hope that these weeks have not only reduced your stress but widened your perspective. Life has been waiting for you to show up and shine.