Focus On Your Breath

“Focus on your breath,” I hear in a lush, serene voice as I sit with my eyes closed.

It’s a sentence that I keep hearing again and again in my new journey with meditation. In an increasingly chaotic world, my anxiety is at sky-high limits so I’ve turned to meditation to help. To sit alone with my breath.

“Focus on your breath” I hear again.

As I inhale, I feel what it is like to be alive as my breath fills me up. I am reminded of the luxury of breathing. Something we do every day without a thought, but when we sit still can be a powerful tool.

“Focus on your breath”. Silence.

All of the focus on the breath is an interesting calming technique for me as so much of my anxiety leads to a sort of breathlessness.

“I can’t breathe” is something I say when my anxiety swells to a fever pitch and my lungs seem to be shrinking, gasping for air. Not something I will ever say to the police in my last waking moments.

“I can’t breathe” is something I say when the terror of a panic attack overtakes my body and I surrender in defeat. Not from the terror of being murdered.

“I can’t breathe” is something I say when my breath, like quick staccato notes emerges into a crescendo as it feels like there’s not enough air. Not something I will say on my last breath.

“I can’t breathe” is something I say when it feels like my heavy heart will jump out of my chest. Not a phrase that will be the source of so many heartaches and news’ headlines.

As I focus on quelling my anxiety and focusing on my breath, I am haunted by the voices of those no longer with us who said time and time again “I can’t breathe”. Of which, there are many.

According to The New York Times, in the past decade, 70 people have died in police custody and uttered the phrase “I can’t breathe”.

Too many black lives gone, too many hashtags, too many breaths not focused on enough.

Writer. Author of Dear Debt. Host of the Mental Health and Wealth Show. Founder of Lola Retreat. Let’s talk money. Support me: https://ko-fi.com/melanielockert

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Melanie Lockert

Writer. Author of Dear Debt. Host of the Mental Health and Wealth Show. Founder of Lola Retreat. Let’s talk money. Support me: https://ko-fi.com/melanielockert