Colin Hodge – Mindfulness Breathing Meditation

I wanted to say, h­i, I’m Colin Hodge, primary therapist at Crossroads Centre. Some of you watching this will know me, some of you don’t, but I’m just grateful for the opportunity to be able to have a little conversation with you guys around everything that’s going on today surrounding people in recovery as well as people that are not even in recovery because these are really stressful times with the whole COVID-19 situation.

Presently, people are home. Crossroads staff, we are at home. There are restrictions with boatmen, curfews, borders have closed, and, you know, being at home, especially for me, I tend to be a little stir crazy type of person when I’m at home. So, I really want to talk a little bit about how do you get through some of these stressful times. What’s really helpful for me is grounding and just bringing awareness.

To give you a little idea, if you don’t know much about me, I practice what is called mindfulness-based relapse prevention techniques. It is more the use of mindfulness meditations and what it does is it brings a lot of awareness into what’s going on inside of me and what’s going on around me, what’s going on in my emotions, just my own fears, anxiety, panic, worry, things that might come up for me. Just being able to notice that and being able to sit with it and not try to change it or push it away. Especially being in an isolated type of environment right now. So, a lot of what I do is use just my breath, just focusing my awareness on just breathing, just bringing my focus, just on the in breath, the out breath.

You know, this situation we are in, as someone that’s in recovery myself, it… it really is a step one thing to me, that I am powerless over this coronavirus and my life is unmanageable. So, I also have to practice acceptance of the situation. What am I grateful for today? There’s a saying, they say, “There is more right with us than wrong.” This morning I have breath. You know, this morning I’m alive. This morning I have family. This morning I had something to eat. This morning I have friends that are supportive. So I can look for what I’m grateful for today and really pay attention to that and bring awareness of that versus getting caught up in the fear and anxiety of what is going to happen tomorrow. I don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow, but what I do have is today, and I can stay present in this moment.

There is a saying, “Yesterday is gone, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift.” Each day I can just live in the present in this moment and just focus my awareness on the breath. Everything happens right here. It’s the breath, the sensations in my body. If I can sit with that, I can actually feel my whole body, my peace of mind, my serenity, just my whole being feels a lot calmer and less disturbed with all that’s going on in this moment.

So, you know, maybe just practicing whatever works for you in terms of meditation, there are a lot of them out there. There are apps. You may have your preference of meditations, maybe it’s song, or calm, or guided. But I really encourage you to really look into meditations at this time and see the value of them to you in this time. So, again, stay calm, stay focused, and one day at a time. Peace.

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