In mindfulness work, many people talk about using our own breath to be present in the moment – to ground ourselves in our breath can help us sit with discomfort – our own and/or others’. Letting our minds wander into the past (here’s how this person has been in the past with me), or into the future (well, how is this person going to react to what I’m trying to say here), leads away from the present, from being mindful of ourselves and others in the moment and from what our ultimate goal may be for inclusion and belonging. Our breath can remind us that we are here, alive and engaged with the people around us – that we can share the air in more ways than one: we can let someone else speak when we might want to jump in; we can take a deep breath before we want to respond; we can let someone else “take a breather” during a challenging conversation.
I invite you to look into various mindfulness practices that may assist you in sitting with and moving through discomfort – personal and professional. All these practices can help ground and center us – and others – in the work that is diversity, inclusion and belonging. Building our lungs and breathing capacities provide greater energy and focus to sustain us in the long run, too!