We are not just here. We are here again. Every single one of us should be outraged by the persistent racism, injustice and lack of accountability that exists in our country. We should be outraged by the countless layers of broken systems too numerous to mention in this short piece. In cities globally, people are taking to the streets in numbers, carrying their signs and using their voices to say, “No more!” The problems are the same but the experiences and outcomes from one city to the next differ, depending on the actions taken by the people involved.

Letting our rage lead us will further divide and polarize us. Eventually, it will destroy us. On the other hand, that very same rage can become our rocket fuel in the marathon toward the change we so desperately need. The way we channel that energy is the key and that’s a choice every single one of us has the power to make, in any moment.

So how do we get there when we are overwrought with emotion, exhausted and tensions are running so high? We start with three simple letters: P.B.A.

Pause to slow everything down

Breathe fully, deeply and counting to four as you inhale and exhale

Assess what you’re thinking and feeling

When we are threatened or in some kind of danger, our nervous system engages our flight or fight response. Big surges of chemicals are released that help us spring into action. The same thing happens when we get stressed or angry and that can lead us to make harmful choices that cause us to divide and destroy. But, if we can pause and breathe, we can activate the peaceful side of our nervous system. Breathing helps us channel our rage, calm down, think more clearly and come together to find solutionsThe more you practice, the easier it becomes to activate this gateway to the good stuff.

I explain it to my clients this way. Imagine you live in a wooden house. If a flame starts burning in your kitchen, you can extinguish it as long as you have water in your well. Without water, the flame can rage into a fire and burn your whole house down. Keeping water in your well can protect your house and save you. Every time you choose to pause and breathe on purpose, you are adding a cup of water to your “well”. When the “flames” of outrage start burning, if your “well” is full, you can draw water to douse it before it burns out of control.

The fires of emotion and tension are raging. As we move forward together, please make a choice. Practice P.B.A. Use it to channel your rage so it can become fuel for good in this marathon toward the positive change we all need to realize.