Breathe and Release: A Meditation for Healing

This is a meditation for when times get tough. It’s for when your vibrations are low. For when you need comfort during the murky, challenging chapters of life’s journey. 

Breathe and Release is a soothing balm for the heart and soul—and, in particular, it offers incredible healing for those who are facing addiction, grief, depression, and PTSD. The practice allows you to release blocked emotions in a safe and gentle manner. By tuning into two very simple tools—the body and the breath—you unlock your inner wisdom and move into greater levels of clarity, connectedness, and calm.

I recommend practicing this meditation if you’re feeling shocked by trauma, dealing with an overwhelming day, or if you’re feeling the urge to run to an outdated pattern (addiction). This is not necessarily a practice you will want to do every day (although it can be). Breathe and Release is a potent medicine to be taken as needed. You will know when you need it. It’s the ace up your sleeve when nothing else seems to work.

The Steps

You will need a blanket or yoga mat to practice this meditation.

Roll out your mat or spread out your blanket evenly across the floor in your home. Ideally, choose your favorite room for practice: the one that you find the most inspiring or soothing.

Set a timer for 5-10 minutes. By setting up a brief window of time for your practice (rather than a larger one), you invite your subconscious mind to relax, which allows your emotions to more easily flow. If, during the course of the meditation, you spontaneously want to lengthen the time, that’s perfectly fine. However, each time that you begin, hold the intention that you will practice for no more than ten minutes.

Allow your body to find the most relaxing position on the blanket or mat. Each time you practice, the way your body wants to relax will be different. Perhaps sometimes you will sit, cross-legged or kneeling. Perhaps you will lay on your stomach. Perhaps you will stretch out on your back. Perhaps you will curl up into a fetal position. Or perhaps you will discover a yoga pose. Find the perfect posture for that moment.

During your meditation, you may move or shift as needed. Simply set the intention to stay upon your mat or blanket for 5-10 minutes. This is your safe and sacred space. Your welcoming cocoon. 

Next, bring your attention to your heart chakra. (This is located at the center of your chest.) Be aware of this area. You may tap it with your fingertips or you may simply bring your curiosity, your loving attention to that area. Feel all of the physical sensations. Does your heart feel tight or relaxed? Hot or cold? Numb or tingling? Painful or tense? 

Whenever it feels right to do so, begin to direct your inhale and your exhale to your heart chakra. If it helps, you can visualize that you have a second nose located here, which draws in the inhalation and expels the exhalation.  

As you breathe and pay attention to your heart, allow any emotions that want to come forward. If there’s sadness, let there be sadness. If there’s tears, let there be tears. If there’s anger, let there be anger. Allow your blanket or mat to cradle you, as you bravely feel.

As you feel, breathe without any stories.

As you feel whatever is wanting to be felt, avoid the temptation to tell any stories about what you are feeling. Simply feel the emotions. In other words, do not try to intellectually understand or analyze what or why you’re feeling. All that’s needed is to simply feel. That’s all. 

On some days, you may quickly feel a calm sense of relief wash over you. On other days, the experience may be more intense. Sometimes you may want to smash your fists against your blanket or growl and howl as you release many primal, raw emotions.

The key is: Don’t censor yourself! Don’t worry about what anyone else might think! Just let loose!

Whether the experience is subtle or intense, simply keep staying on your blanket/mat and keep breathing into your heart. 

After 5-10 minutes, place your hands over your heart chakra and thank yourself for taking this sacred time for healing. Shake out your mat/blanket, visualizing that all the outdated (“negative”) energies are dispersing, flying out and far away from you. Continue on with the rest of your day.

Some Tips to keep in mind

Do your best to release any desire for specific results as you practice this meditation. Simply approach your Breathe and Release practice with an open mind. Stay curious. Be willing to let go of what you think “should” happen. 

As mentioned, you occasionally may choose to spontaneously extend the duration. If you’re in the midst of a really good cry, for example, you may not want to abruptly stop when your timer buzzes. In my own personal practice, for example, most of the time I simply lay on my mat for ten minutes. But, on other days, I am there for as much as half an hour and end up taking a lovely nap! But, again, please remember this: Begin each meditation session with the intention that you will only practice for five to ten minutes. 

Why is this so important? Well, giving yourself permission to do “just a short meditation” is the secret ingredient to disarming the ego, which is the aspect of your psyche that actually loves to suffer. By giving yourself permission to take a super-short meditation session, this relaxes the ego’s defenses and allows the emotions to flow. (Suffering is the result of blocked emotions.) The ego thinks to itself: “What could possibly happen in ten minutes? Probably not much.”

In this sense, we walk into our Breathe and Release meditation with no expectations—thus, paradoxically, we create the perfect environment for the deepest healing to occur.

Finally, it helps to share this meditation with others and create a support system. After practicing, you may want to share your experiences with like-minded friends or encourage others to practice this meditation if they’re struggling. Remember that community is essential for growth. Healing is a group effort! As we enjoy the supportive energies of fellow human beings on a similar spiritual path, we are reminded that we are never alone. We are reminded, through the loving support of others, that we are always protected and guided. This Universe is a pretty awesome place!

The Healing Process of Cord-Clearing (aka, cord-cutting)



The process of cord-clearing (aka, cord-cutting) is a simple meditation technique that frees you from harmful attachments to another person. Before I explain the process in detail, it is helpful to understand what cords are and why it’s a good idea to clear them.


What are cords of attachment?


From a spiritual perspective, a cord is an unhealthy attachment of energy that binds two people. These cords are based upon negative thoughts and emotions, such as jealousy, fear, insecurity, greed, anger, manipulation, and lack.


An attachment is different from a connection. While the former is based on toxic, low-frequency energy, the latter is based upon healthy, high-frequency energy.


Connections are energetic flows of tenderness, respect, trust, kindness, inspiration, compassion, and other forms of love. Connections help bring people together in an uplifting, mutually supportive way; they are energetic flows that serve to support evolution.


In contrast, attachments are cords of dense energy that serve fear.




How To Do the Practice


We can start by practicing cord-clearing for five minutes every evening before bed. If we feel the process is helpful, we could increase the time spent to multiple sessions per day.


The first step is to find a comfortable seated position. You may sit on a chair or a comfortable couch. You could even sit outside in nature on the grass.


Close your eyes and take a few slow, deep breaths. Say to yourself, “If there are any negative cords of attachment, please reveal them to me now.” Take a few more deep breaths. Relax. Slowly, you will begin to see in your mind’s eye some cords (usually dark brown, grey, or black) that link from your body to the other person’s body. You may see them attached to your belly, heart, head, or somewhere else. The cords may look like rope, wood, plastic, metal, or something else. Some will look shiny and some will look murky. How you see the cords will be unique to you.


The second step is to visualize yourself clearing away these cords. You can do this in a number of ways. In my practice over the years, I’ve used dozens of different visualizations: some have been inspired by fellow healers and some I’ve invented. The idea is to be exploratory, and select what works for you.


I’ll share some of my favorite visualizations. You can imagine that you are holding a comb or a hairbrush in your hand. Slowly and gently you swipe that comb or brush across your body, and also throughout your auric field (the energy that extends a few feet all around your body). Watch as the comb/brush breaks apart the cords.


I also really like using nature images. You can imagine that a soft, soothing waterfall is flowing down upon you from the sky. The water is gently washing away the cords. Another great nature image is that of butterflies or birds. You can imagine that these beautiful beings are flying all around your body and they are breaking through the cords. Watch the cords effortlessly fall away.


If, as you do the practice, the cords grow back or if they feel too thick to clear (this sometimes happens if you’re working with a person with whom you’ve had significant triggers), simply keep at it. Be patient. Eventually, you will feel lighter and more peaceful.


It’s important to remember that visualization is not simply a “nice” thing for you to do. It is real, actual medicine. Visualization is healing you on a quantum level. There are countless studies now in the scientific literature about the power of visualization to heal and bring about miraculous changes in the body-mind. A great example is studies done on athletes. When they visualize exercising or lifting weights, they grow more muscle mass without adding any additional movement to their routine.


Simply put, when we imagine something, actual changes happen in our physical world. This seems unbelievable because most of us have been taught in school that these things are “impossible.” But the new science of quantum physics is currently rewriting our old textbooks.


When we visualize something, this creates vibrational changes on the energetic/spiritual planes of consciousness, which then ripples out to affect the physical/material planes.


Thus, it’s important to understand that when you are cord-clearing, you are really clearing away actual cords! That is why the practice of cord-clearing is so vital for those who are wanting to heal their relationships and perform their caregiving/healing work more effectively.



Leaving Toxic Relationships


We can use cord-clearing in different kinds of relational situations. If, overall, a relationship feels light and full of freedom, trust, and mutual support, then it would probably be wonderful to maintain that relationship. The need to practice cord-clearing is a great tool to use when, occasionally, disagreements or other challenging situations arise.


If, on the other hand, a relationship feels incredibly heavy, violent, sad and/or traumatic, then we can utilize cord-clearing to help us end that relationship. Leaving someone is much easier when we have cord-clearing in our toolkit.


When we’re leaving a relationship, the key is to be incredibly mindful of the thoughts we’re thinking. Our thoughts are incredibly powerful! If we leave someone with hate in our hearts, we are then more likely to attract another person in the future who may have a different face, but yet they have the same underlying personality dynamics. Simply put, the Universe will put the lesson of forgiveness “on repeat” until we can learn to let go with love.


Make no mistake: Forgiving and letting go with love is an advanced lesson! Not everyone on this planet is ready for it. Only those who are willing to release their ego (identification with a separate self) can achieve this masterful state of being.


Angry, judgmental, and condemning thoughts directed towards another person will only serve to delay true healing for all parties involved. In the system of Reiki, a Japanese form of energy healing, the fifth principle is “Have compassion for yourself and others.” This principle includes everyone—even our ex-partners, ex-abusers, and those who have been catalysts for our pain.


To condemn, blame, or hate is a negative energy that poisons everyone, including the sender. Therefore, we learn to say goodbye with forgiveness and peace in our hearts. By ending a relationship this way, we take ultimate responsibility for our lives. We model a peaceful way of living.


Even though it may be challenging, the wisest thing we can do when we are leaving a toxic or abusive situation is to remember that there was (and is) an element of love that originally drew us to that person. There are no mistakes in this Universe. (When I use the word “love” in this context, I do not refer to the romantic sense of the word, but rather a spiritual sense of love: as a universal energy that wants us to grow, that wants us to evolve and find truth.)


When we leave an abusive relationship, we have the choice between falling into the victim role or rising into empowerment. We can ask ourselves: What did we learn from that relationship? What did we learn about our own strength and courage? What did we learn about how we want to be treated and how we want to treat others?


Feeling gratitude for the wisdom we acquired from a negative experience will transform that experience into a positive one.


Even though we may leave a relationship physically, there is still work to be done on an energetic level. That is why cord-clearing is so essential! The practice helps us to transcend the feelings of victimhood and to find a deep sense of worthiness. It also helps us break addictive patterns, as well. As we clear cords, the temptation to return to that relationship will dissolve. If someone still has their energetic “hooks” in us, they may be able to manipulate us to return. However, by clearing the cords, you are releasing those dense energetic hooks and freeing yourself to begin a new life.


We might need to practice cord-clearing with a particular person for weeks, months, or even years, depending on the severity of the situation. Take as much time as you need. Remember that grief is okay.


If you no longer cry or feel anger or worry when you think about that person, then that’s a strong indicator that you no longer have a negative attachment to that person and you no longer need to practice cord-clearing with them.



Cord-Clearing in Professional Relationships


 It is very helpful to regularly practice cord-clearing in our professional relationships. For social workers, therapists, teachers, nurses, clergy, coaches, intuitives, and others in the helping professions, taking time every day to perform cord-clearing is absolutely vital if we wish to maintain a positive attitude and not succumb to burnout.


At the end of a session, meeting, class, phone call, or at the end of your office day, find a space alone. You can sit in your car or a private place where you will not be disturbed. Allow yourself the freedom to take five or ten minutes (or as long as needed) to clear the cords that may have attached themselves during your time with your clients and/or colleagues.


Often, as professionals explore energetic practices such as cord clearing, their intuitive abilities and problem-solving skills are heightened. This gives additional motivation to continue the practice.


It’s important to understand that performing cord-clearing is not an act of judgment against the person(s) with whom you’re clearing cords. Rather, it’s simply an acknowledgment of the emotional intensity of the situation in which you’re involved. Cords arise, and that’s okay. It’s normal. However, those cords are not for our ultimate benefit. We can live in a more beautiful way.


When we help someone else, there is a fine line between co-dependency and true empowerment. If we work as caregivers, healers, and wayshowers, our work is the most potent when we wish for our clients and patients to become empowered, wise, and committed to their own growth process. In other words, it’s best if they do not become addicted to our help, but rather to use us as a temporary diving board to leap off into their own journey. Or, another way of putting it is this: Eventually, we want our birdies to leave the nest. We want them to trust themselves and to be free. When we clear cords at the end of a session or class, we are simply reinforcing that basic intention. We do not want someone to need us forever. We want them to become their own guru.


Whether we are working with students, clients, or colleagues, it’s important to make (and re-make!) the commitment to honor their own innate ability to heal and guide themselves.


When we clear cords in professional situations, it’s helpful to repeat the following affirmation:


“I am grateful to you, dear one, for allowing me the honor of serving you, working with you. As you walk away from me now, you are fully free to explore your own path of life. It may involve me in the future, or it may not. Do what feels right for you, dear one. Be happy; be free.”


As you repeat this affirmation daily with all of your clients and colleagues, you will notice how the tendency to worry about them falls away. What remains is the good stuff: love, tenderness, and compassion!


The Immense Power of Words and Thoughts


You can find thousands of resources online about the topic of cord-cutting. My choice to use the term “clear” rather than “cut” is a significant one. As I’ve worked with thousands of people seeking healing, what I’ve discovered is that gentleness is always the most effective stance. There’s no need for a harsh cutting. We don’t need scissors or an ax. There’s no need for war or violence against anything.


To clear a cord with a brush or water or birds is simply to give the old way (fear) permission to leave in the face of a new way (love). There’s no need to force. Everything in this Universe wants to be healed. It is through our intentional choice of words and thoughts that we leave the dimension of victimhood and enter the realm of mastery. Through our thoughts and daily practices, we learn how truly powerful we are. We learn to wield that power in a gentle, compassionate manner.


Blessings to you, dear reader, as you empower others to empower themselves.