How To Tap Into The Power Of Breathwork To Survive Global Change

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How To Tap Into The Power Of Breathwork

What is breathwork?

From the "I can’t breathe" mantra of the Black Lives Matter movement to the dire warning of breathing too close to one another in the age of the COVID-19 pandemic, breath and breathing is on everyone's mind lately.

The life-giving force of breath has become a flashpoint for a routine bodily function we generally are not aware of.

It lives underneath our radar, until we don’t have it. It takes only seconds of disruption of breath to trigger our alert systems that we are in life-threatening danger.

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From the beginning of recorded history, there have been descriptions of breath practices for health and spiritual awareness.

All of these techniques are methods to open a door to influencing the workings of our nervous system.

And more recently, there's an awareness that modifying the nervous system with breath has an impact on the working of our immune system (a big plus in the era of COVID-19).

Breathwork is an autonomous rhythm that operates under our awareness.

We can harness the power of breath with conscious attention to regulate the multiple layers of physical, emotional, and spiritual health.

With our conscious awareness, we can direct the breath to stimulate energy flows in our body which promotes vitality and can generate beneficial emotional states.

Learning to harness the energy of our own breath can contribute to the idea of learning to "breathe together" and will improve the fate of humanity on the planet.

It's possible.

In order to come together collectively, we must build a foundation of safety and trust.

Safety is an actual state in our nervous system and can be intentionally cultivated through breath practices. It is from this starting point that our mammalian nervous system reaches outward to socially engage with others.

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Without this self-regulation in the body, we are seriously hampered in efforts to constructively reach across divisions and creatively solve the problems we face together as a global community.

In addition to needing the foundation of safety in our nervous system through the regulation of the breath, we need to build capacity to have optimism and hope.

At the same time, holding the currents of fear and pain we are experiencing collectively at this time of great upheaval.

We don't want to bypass or be in denial of the distressing events of the day. Yet, we also don't want the fear and pain to sap us of the vital energy we need to move forward to meet the need for change.

In ancient texts, breath is described as much more than air. There is an understanding of its connection to energy and life force. "Chi" or "prana" are widely known concepts, which describe this relationship.

The more "breath" we have, the more life there is.

Breathwork is intimately connected to the heart and modulates the field of electromagnetic energy, which pulses through our body with each heartbeat.

We connect with each other through this powerful electromagnetic heart field, and breath is the key to open the door to strengthening its influence.

Heart Rhythm Meditation is a method using conscious breath and heartbeat to influence our environment through the electromagnetic heart field.

Through HRM, we can create an atmosphere, which promotes social connection and trust.

If we breathe together, we will join together beyond fear and open a path for deep cultural change.

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Dr. Kathleen Friend is a child psychiatrist, children's book author of The Greatness Chair, and Heart Rhythm Meditation teacher committed to bringing out the best in children, parents, caregivers, and teachers through the principles of positive psychology, spiritual growth, and trauma-informed practice.