Rule No. 1: You Will Receive A Body ~ Part 1


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.


Breathing Correctly

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

18 thoughts on “Rule No. 1: You Will Receive A Body ~ Part 1

  1. Hunt, Truly great post, I would suggest that you get back into the habit of doing this. I would but for the most part I am past being able to lay flat on the floor. I do a lot of purse lipped breathing exercises. In the years to come, you will be so grateful you took your advice. It will truly serve you ten fold, — take care, Bill


    • Bill, that’s a great idea. I should update this for those who have COPD or asthma. (what makes you think I don’t take my own advice? grin) – I failed miserably at my one and only SCUBA lesson – a just filled pool (not heated) in Hawaii of all places – not only was I freezing, my teeth chattering, but due to all my focus on breathing – I kept trying to breathe in sync with the equipment – the sound alone like the Great Mother Heartbeat… I did not last the class. I bolted for a hot shower… grin.


    • Dear Bill, I wanted to say thank you because you reminded me of why I asked people to lay down on the floor. It was simply to ensure they could feel the difference between breathing from their belly and from their upper chest. You do not have to lay on the floor. You can just put your hand on your belly to see whether it expands – if only a little bit – I know how hard it can be to take a deep breath with COPD – we’re just working towards being aware of NOT breathing in your upper chest if you can. Benze helped me with this with her comments. Thanks to both of you! Best ~ HuntMode


      • Hunt, suck in as much knowledge and advice as you, and without a doubt learn the tricks to breathing now, long before you need a supplemental supply. The proper breathing will reduce a lot of anxiety, and will make breathing easier when it becomes difficult. (trust me I know it sounds off, but really it isn’t) — Take care Bill


  2. All of these steps you’ve named here will also help someone deal with panic attacks which is something I have suffered with for over 20 years. But I found myself practising my breathing the whole time I was reading this which was good for my COPD – you were right I was breathing too shallowly. Got to keep this in mind.


    • Dear Benze – I am so glad you found this helpful. Yes, these breathing exercises help everyone, if only to just stop as in “Peace! Be still…”

      Bill, above, noted he can no longer lay flat on the floor – that is okay – it was simply a way to be sure you began your breath – as much as you are able to, from your belly – rather than your upper chest.

      I produced two “official” meditation tapes, Benze. One for the evening and one for the a.m. My test group told me to put a caution on the tapes to not drive and listen to them. It was true feedback because when they left my class, they had difficulty getting out of their parking spaces. …Fast forward, a paralegal who suffers panic attacks, comes to me and says, “You know, I listened to it in my car while driving, and I didn’t have any problems.” She was slightly outraged at my caution, slightly proud she had triumphed.

      I looked at her, “Were you having a panic attack before you started the tape?”


      “Well, okay How did your panic attack go?”

      “Well…” She thought back. “It stopped.”

      “Uh huh.” I said dryly. “The caution was for people who were not experiencing a panic attack.”

      A legal secretary returned my tape to me, saying it didn’t work. I looked at her. “Really? Where did you listen to it?”

      “Right here.” She said, gesturing at her desk.

      “You listened to a meditation tape while answering your phone and transcribing?”


      “Okay. I can see how that would not work for you.” I took the tape back and went back to my desk, shaking my head. Laughter. Some things you just can’t fix.


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