Monday Meditation: A Deep Breath

“I took a deep breath and listened to the old bray of my heart. I am. I am. I am.”

-Sylvia Plath

In grief, especially in the early days, a chaotic whirlwind swoops in and creates emotional confusion and mental anguish. Though it fades over (a lot of) time, this whirlwind can return without warning, bringing its wake anxiety, stress, negativity, etc.

It may seem that we are powerless against it, but we can learn to approach this frenetic mind by standing still for a moment amidst the gales. This may seem counter intuitive; after all, why stop in the middle of something you want to escape? Like every hurricane, this grief whirlwind has an eye, a calm point, a moment of silence where you can hear. In grief, this eye is most often self-created. Grievers must strive to make their own moment of calm.

Photo by Ruvim on

To get there, take a long, deep breath. Then listen. Listen to what you hear within. Listen to hear yourself again. What does your body, mind, and spirit tell you it needs? Listen to remind yourself that you are still here, despite the sadness and despair, you are here. Listen to hear how you are changing. What are your priorities now? If for nothing else, listen to the sound of your breath and let its rhythm calm you.

Never underestimate a self-care pause in the middle of what feels like chaos. One hundred pauses a day equals one hundred point of calm you have introduced into your life. Get out of the stress and back to yourself.

Published by ancarroll

Alexandra N. Carroll is an author, grief advocate, crafter, mother, and partner. She writes on grief and self-care from her home in Vermont. Her forthcoming book concerns how to untangle life-after-loss through the creation of a strong self-care plan.

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