YOU WILL RECEIVE A BODY
You may like it or hate it, but it will be yours
for the entire period of this time around.
The first lesson is to learn how to breathe. People, especially under stress, breathe from their upper chests, creating a very shallow reservoir of oxygen in their lungs. The single most important element to create health is your breath. Think of it. Without air, you cease to exist. Period.
It’s amazing how complicated something automatic becomes when you focus your attention on it.
Your breath should come from your belly. As you take in a deep breath, place your hand on your abdomen and feel it expand. It rises up through your rib cage, expands your chest via the lungs. Let it go.
Take a deep breath – just before exhaling, pause. Let it go. Let all the current stress go too. Pause again before taking breath.
To check yourself, lay flat on the floor on your back. It’s been said it is impossible to not breathe correctly in this position.
If you have a few minutes, stay there on floor. Close your eyes. Take 10 breaths, pausing at each full inhale and exhale. Note how hard it is to think of anything except the next breath. Feel it from the bottom of your toes, sweeping upwards through the diaphragm, up through the shoulders, sending vital nutrients to that incredible mind of yours.
Consider this breath technique one of the best investments you will make towards this body you may bless or abuse. You have some of the finest minds of our time. Your ability to think with clarity and sharp focus will improve immediately.
Each time, during the day, when you are feeling tight, tense, sleep deprived, over energized, stop for 10 breaths. Nothing exists that cannot wait ten breaths.
In the beginning, you might feel tired instead of relaxed and still. This is because you are conditioned to sleep when you stop all movement, turn off all outside noise and lay down.
There is a natural fear that when you begin to center and balance yourself, you’re going to sleep or suffer from inertia. You won’t. Oh, you might want to take more naps in the beginning. This is your body’s way of seizing the moment. As an entity, it has had to learn how to best utilize any moment you give it.
When was the last time you thanked your body for the incredible job it does? I know. My class. In Fit For Life, by Harvey and Marilyn Diamond, there is a terrific description of what an amazing machine this body is.
Between carrying briefcases and laptops which tilt you to one side, sitting at a desk with the telephone cradled between your shoulder, neck and chin, driving and dictating into the micro tape recorders, using cell phones, ipads, ipods, trapped on airplanes for hours at a time, stuffy conference rooms with old coffee and recalcitrant witnesses represented by belligerent counsel, copying machines that eat pleadings, fax machines that don’t, the endless loop voice mail represents, computers that crash on a 42 page brief needed to be filed in one hour, surrounded by secretaries who go out on Workers’ Comp. for the same reasons, judges who seemed to have gone fishing, yet they’re still sitting in front of you …
There’s no wonder in the fact that your neck hurts, your shoulders are tense, your head throbs, you’ve got cauliflower ear, your nose runs or clogs, your contact lenses feel like somebody glued them to the inside of your eyelids, your stomach is up in arms and in full rebellion, your knees have locked, your butt hurts from sitting for so long and your legs keep twitching, kicking the inside of your desk until your temporary secretary thinks you’re playing drums.
H.A.L.T. – Never get too hungry, too angry, too lonely or too tired . Any one of these can contribute to the above symptoms, two or more, it’s guaranteed. Get up and walk away, even for five minutes. Everybody understands a bathroom break. Use it. Fresh air, a quick walk, even if it’s running up and down a flight of stairs breaks the knots that become habitual with your daily environment.
To be continued…
Note: This is part of the AWOL Manual, “When to Lay the Weapons Down,” copyrighted 1995, renewed 2008