Mindfulness Challenge: Day 1

SunsetWelcome to Wildflower’s 10-Day Mindfulness Challenge! Our team has made a commitment to completing at least one mindfulness exercise per day over the next ten days and sharing our experiences in the comments section of this blog. We invite our colleagues, clients and friends to join us in this endeavor! Every day you will see a new post that introduces a particular mindfulness exercise. Feel free to engage in the suggested practice, or complete your own and contribute to the conversation in the comments section.

To learn more about mindfulness, you can read one of our articles here.


Focusing on the breath is a foundational mindfulness practice and a powerful means of anchoring ourselves in the here and now. Your breath is always with you, wherever you are. Many of us take the breath for granted, barely noticing it as we go about our everyday lives. Its life-sustaining force, not to mention the power to influence our mood and thoughts, may not be acknowledged unless we are perhaps having a panic attack or otherwise experiencing difficulty breathing. In this exercise, we will cultivate a gentle sense of curiosity about each in-breath and out-breath, without trying to control our breathing in any way. We will simply pay attention to the experience itself, notice when we become distracted or caught up in thoughts, and bring the attention back to breathing. You may find that you are having to return attention to your breath several times during this exercise. Make an effort to practice for at least 3-5 minutes. It may be helpful to set a timer.

Begin by sitting down on a chair, floor or wherever you can be comfortable while maintaining an erect and dignified posture. Place your feet on the floor; make sure your legs are uncrossed. Gently close your eyes. Start by focusing your attention on breathing in. As you breathe in, say quietly in your mind the word “inhale” and as you breathe out, say “exhale.” Repeat again and again, noticing the rising and falling of your chest, the air coming in and out of your nostrils, the sensation of air traveling through your body and making its way into your lungs and out again, the pause in between. If your mind wanders, as it naturally will, gently and without any judgment bring it back to your breath and to the words “inhale” and “exhale.”

We would love to hear about your experience with this exercise or any other mindfulness exercise you have chosen to practice today!

Thank you!

Wishing you a day full of wonder,



About Aga Grabowski, LCSW, PMH-C, CST (she/her)

I am a co-founder of Wildflower, a psychotherapist, a presenter and a consultant in the area of perinatal and reproductive mental health.  Many other aspects of my personal identity shape my clinical work: chief among them is the family and immigrant background which has informed my attunement to the psychological upheaval that accompanies major life transitions and to the many sociocultural forces that impact our lived experience.

In my clinical work, I am focused on helping people thrive and cope during periods of significant change, and particularly during journeys towards and through parenthood which may involve infertility, losses, depression, anxiety, and conflict.  I work with people from all walks in life. Clients I work with are some of the strongest, most resilient folks I know. They don’t always feel this way, and they come to therapy feeling raw, maybe lost, and certainly quite vulnerable. It takes courage to confront your pain and struggle. I view psychotherapy as a deeply collaborative process that aims to help you discover and tap into your strengths and resources.  You already have what it takes to feel better, be happier, face challenges – good psychotherapy basically helps you access all that. This can only happen if your therapist genuinely cares about and respects you and is invested in their own ongoing professional development and personal growth.

I have extensive training in perinatal and reproductive mental health, evidence-based treatment of mood and anxiety disorders, sex therapy, and trauma.  I earned my bachelor’s degree in international studies at the University of Chicago and obtained my master’s degree in clinical social work at the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration.  I often present on topics related to mental health. I am an AASECT-certified sex therapist and a certified perinatal mental health clinician. My most valuable learning experiences come from my clients: their experience, wisdom and perspective have shaped my clinical practice the most, something I am deeply grateful for.

LCSW License Number:149016046
Type 1 NPI Number: 1841631132
Accepts: BCBS PPO and BlueChoice plans, Lyra, self-pay and out of network clients


Selected training and affiliation
AASECT-Certified Sex Therapist
Certified Perinatal Mental Health Clinician
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) Training
Bringing Baby Home Educator Training, Gottman Institute
Circle of Security Parent Educator
Supportive Parenting for Anxious Childhood Emotions (SPACE) training
Gottman Method Level 1 training
Dialectical Behavior Therapy Training

Key beliefs
People are stronger and more resilient than they often realize.
Our culture teaches us to be fiercely independent. To thrive, we need to embrace being interdependent -- deep connection with others is essential for happiness.

More about me
I love the outdoors and hiking, camping, kayaking.
I can’t live without chocolate.
I feel grateful every day for getting to do the work I love.