Photo credit: Paisleysphotography

Photo credit: Paisleysphotography

What does mediation mean to you?  Do you think of yoga, mountain retreats, and eating raw organic foods?  When I first moved to the Berkshires, I personally rejected the idea of meditation as something that would be helpful to me. After marrying, moving, and getting a new job I figured, I got this, I have been through much more stressful situations in my life.  Well at some point things just take a toll on you.  It took over 6 months to open myself up to the benefits of mindful meditation and breathing exercises.

With the constant use of technology and overwhelming schedules, it seems we as a society have become good at putting ourselves last.  From deadlines at work, to family obligations; it is easy to get caught up in the day to day stressors without seeing the effect mindlessly wondering through our lives has on us.  We get trapped into our way of life, thoughts, fears, emotions and we rarely do anything to work through them.  To help us mindfully pause and look at a situation completely.

Managing stress is important for both a persons physical and mental health.  There are many ways to deal with stress, exercise, art, reading, and many other coping mechanisms.  However, breathing exercises can reduce blood pressure, help cope with anxiety or stress, and refocus us when we are feeling distracted.  I will, however, admit that I sometimes forget to use this skill myself.  What if you could have a constant reminder that coping with your stress is just a breath away…

I came across the Shift by Komuso in a late night social media browse.  Captivated by its look and the idea that there is a tool that can help me practice what I preach.  The Shift is a necklace inspired by the design of a flute and the meditative effect slowing your breath has on the body.  The designers, Todd and Vanessa, are clearly passionate about their brand and the work they do.  Their passion for their product comes through in both communication and the product itself.  The necklace is designed to extend your exhale for ten seconds; which in turn can:

  • Decrease blood pressure
  • Relax muscles
  • Slow your heart rate
  • Quiet your mind
  • Improve focus
  • Remind you to be still

The day I received the Shift I opened the package, poured the necklace into my hand and noticed how significant it looked.  It is a beautiful rose gold held by a long chain, with the word Stillness engraved in Japanese.  It hangs low, falling on the mid to lower chest.  Now onto the magic.  I was a little skeptical at first; thinking, Okay, I’m going to try and breathe through that tiny hole, and it is going to GIVE me anxiety. My initial fear was that breathing through the shift would be restrictive and distracting.  However, I was pleasantly surprised.  The opening is big enough to allow my breath to flow freely, but small enough to help me focus on my breath. The intent is to inhale through your nose for three seconds or longer, then exhale through the Shift for ten seconds.

Now, for the real test.  My husband sat next to me as I tried the Shift for the first time.  Looking at me with the expression of Okay Kim, whatever you say. Reluctant to try, I handed him the necklace and said, just try it. Focus only on the breathing and not how silly you may feel.  Again, unenthusiastically taking the necklace in his hands and putting it up to his mouth, I could see the tension on his face.  Then something happened, as he deepened his breathing, focusing less on the task and more on his breath, I could see his facial muscles relax, almost unfolding.  This is how I knew the necklace had value.

To me, I understand not everyone needs a physical tool to help with mediation and breathing. However, I do feel the Shift results in its intended purpose. I find that it is a physical reminder for me to reset, be still, present, and mindful.  I use it most before meetings to refocus, when I feel overwhelmed with tasks, or more recently when I am about to enter an unfamiliar situation.  I feel this necklace can benefit anyone.  However, if you have a tendency to forget about meditation, or are new to it, the Shift could help in a big way!

The most important thing the Shift has brought me, is awareness.  The awareness that any moment can be turned into a pause.  A shift of the mind, from over stimulation to focus, from tense muscles to relaxation, and from a racing heart to peace.  The shift is a constant reminder that if I am feeling anxious, nervous, or worried, I can do something about it.

“There is a negative connotation tied to mediation…that you have to find a quiet place. Whether its in the mountains, by the ocean; but in reality, you can find that quiet place wherever you are.  Its just an internal dialogue with yourself”. -Vanessa, Komuso Design

You can check out their website at: And their Instagram at: @komusodesign

This product was provided to me by Komuso Design.  This is not a paid advertisement; all opinions are my own

Photo credit: Paisleysphotography

Photo credit: Paisleysphotography