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Respire: Change is the Breath of New Life

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Psychologist Nahal Delpassand calls us to “respire, to breathe life into our new reality.”

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Psychologist Nahal Delpassand.

Sponsored Content, photo by Taylor Prinsen Photography.

Nahal Delpassand is a licensed psychologist with a private practice in central Austin. She has now recently expanded her clinical practice to include Respire Consulting PLLC. Aimed at focusing on corporate consulting, writing and speaking engagements. This new endeavor has been a long-time passion project and was born from the changes, both personal and professional, that Delpassand has experienced. These changes have solidified the importance for her of extending and diversifying her reach beyond her office in hopes of translating useful psychological concepts to various realms of life.


We are seven months into the pandemic, and there is one word that defines our shared experience. Change. Historically, it has been seductive to believe that our lives should follow a linear course. The impact of the pandemic is anything but linear, collapsing our confidence in a straight and certain path for our lives. In its wake is discomfort in the present and anxiety about the future.

In his latest book, Life is in the Transitions, Bruce Feiler discusses the demise of the linear life and the importance of acknowledging life transitions as opportunities to shape and reshape our life course, thus challenging us to “stare down the barrel of change” and reflect on the meaning of our existence. He refers to explosive transitions that seem to collapse and constrict the footprint of our lives as life quakes. These life quakes are disruptions, intense transitions that put us on our heels but ultimately help to shift our gaze to what matters most. 

ABCs of Meaning

Feiler describes the ABCs of meaning. An umbrella of three core values: Agency, Belongingness and Cause. He asserts that the aftershocks indicative of a life quake result in a reappraisal of the way we view and engage with personal initiative (agency), connectedness in relationships and community (belonging) and responsibility to discover endeavors that uncover our authentic “calling” (cause). 

For many of us, the pandemic has uprooted and reorganized these tenants of meaning. Grieving the loss of both what was and what was supposed to be, we now need to ask ourselves, who will I be now? How have my values shifted? What kind of an impact do I want to have? 

The Breath of New Life

Collectively, we are now called to loosen our grip and move forward. It is normal to have fear of the unchartered, but we must not allow fear to consume us. We need to embrace our fear and use it as a catapulting force to pivot toward ingenuity. Acknowledging that the little exchanges that used to make our lives comfortable and predictable are now, forever, reconfigured. Keys, wallet and mask are now the essential items we cannot live without.

We need to respire, to breathe life into our new reality. We need to recover hope, courage and strength during this time of difficulty. Before we write this year off, like so many of us have, let’s take a moment to find the hidden opportunities for increased conscientiousness, resilience and gratitude. Lets not forget, continuous effort is critical to mastering change.

I am excited to launch this new quarterly article series, “Respire.” I will showcase a different book and author with each article. My aim is that the “Respire” series will create opportunities for reflection, insight and shifted perspective. Most importantly it will highlight that we are all walking through this evolving path together. 


Read more coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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