“Pause, breathe, repair the universe – then proceed.”

“Pause, breathe, repair the universe – then proceed.”

—Author Unknown

Image from Unsplash by Sonja Langford

Let’s do an experiment. Take out your cell phone or other device that has a clock or time-keeping function. Count the number of breaths you take in one minute, breathing at a normal rate. Do not try to alter the way you breathe, just count the number of inhale/exhale cycles.

How did you do?

If you are like most people, you were probably between 15 and 20 cycles.

In his book Breath, James Nestor suggests that we could all benefit greatly if we would reduce our breathing cycle by two-thirds, to around six breaths per minute.

The quick and over simplified reason is to increase the amount of CO2 in each cell, which in turn causes more oxygen from the blood to go to that cell—helping us feel better.

Perhaps this recommendation is one reason why there is such an increase in the number of people embracing mindful breathing as part of their meditation practice.

EXERCISE:

How would more pausing and mindful breathing help you repair and improve your piece of the universe?

As a simple experiment, try breathing in to the count of five, and out to the count of five for two to three minutes and see how you feel.

Friday Review: Kindness

FRIDAY REVIEW: KINDNESS

What acts of kindness have you witnessed or displayed over the last year? Here are a few kindness-related posts you may have missed.

 

“Kindness causes us to learn, and to forget, many things.”

 

 

 

 

“Life is mostly froth and bubble, two things stand like stone. Kindness in another’s trouble, courage in your own.”

 

 

 

“It is hard to fight an enemy who has an outpost in your head.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving!

It’s been over nine years and 2,200 posts – I am motivated by your continued readership and grateful for your comments.

Over the years, we’ve looked at motivational quotes covering nearly 200 categories or topics. Take a look at the right sidebar, scroll down till you see “categories” and take your pick!

May your days be filled with Thanks-Giving.

 

“The nose is for breathing, the mouth is for eating.”

“The nose is for breathing, the mouth is for eating.”

—Author Unknown

Image from Unsplash by Marina Vitale

Did you know that 50% of kids and adults are chronic mouth breathers?

In yesterday’s post about James Nestor’s book, Breath, I mentioned that one of his key take-aways was the importance of nasal breathing over mouth breathing. Nestor conducted a ten-day experiment on himself, implanting silicone plugs in his nose to determine how chronic mouth breathing would affect his health.

After only a few hours of mouth breathing, he felt awful. Based on his heart rate measures, he found himself in a state of chronic stress. His blood pressure also spiked, putting him into a stage two state of hypertension. His ability to concentrate on work and remember facts took a hit as well.

When we breathe through our nose we purify, heat, moisten, and pressurize the air we breathe. This increases the amount of oxygen we absorb, as well as our levels of nitric oxide, which improves circulation.

EXERCISE:

How might a greater focus on nasal breathing versus mouth breathing throughout the day—and night, if you snore or wake with a dry mouth—allow your body to function at peak efficiency?

Doing so will allow the air you breathe and the healthy foods you eat maximize your energy throughout the day.

“Whenever I feel blue, I start breathing again.”

“Whenever I feel blue, I start breathing again.”

—L. Frank Baum, 19th Century Author of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

There are plenty of reasons to be more than a bit blue these days. Perhaps it is no wonder people around the world are flocking to meditation apps and practices, to bring greater calm and peace into their lives.

In James Nestor’s New York Times bestselling book, Breath – The New Science of a Lost Art, he points to a variety of reasons for the great benefits and strategies we can all employ.

Two significant take-aways are favoring nasal breathing over mouth breathing, and the reduction of the number of breaths we take.

For those who prefer a bit more science, these two strategies increase both nitric oxide and carbon dioxide levels in our blood. Both are associated with enhanced energy and feelings of well-being.

EXERCISE:

Please visit respiratorytherapyzone.com/quotes-about-breathing to explore 98 more nuggets of wisdom to inhale and improve your life.

Please reply to this post with the quotes that resonate best with you.

“You are under no obligation to remain the same person you were a year ago, a month ago, or even a day ago. You are here to create yourself, continuously.”

“You are under no obligation to remain the same person you were a year ago, a month ago, or even a day ago. You are here to create yourself, continuously.”

—Richard Feynman, 20th Century American theoretical physicist

Image from Unsplash by Inês Ferreira

Richard Feynman was considered one of the most influential physicists of our time. If a team of mankind’s most brilliant thinkers were put together to invent time travel, he would surely have been one of the leaders.

Many of us find ourselves looking back to pre-COVID times, wishfully hoping to gain back what was lost. In today’s quote, Feynman challenges each of us to play the cards we are dealt, and perhaps more importantly, take it upon ourselves to evolve and grow, to create ourselves and our world moment-by-moment.

EXERCISE:

How and in what ways can you be more intentional in your personal growth efforts?

Where could you be a year from now if you “kicked up” your self-creation efforts, beginning today?

Feel free to reply to this post regarding the promises you make to yourself and others.

Friday Review: Memories

FRIDAY REVIEW: MEMORIES

What are your favorite memories? Which memories aren’t so pleasant? Here are a few memory-related posts you may have missed.

 

 

“Things aren’t what they used to be and probably never were.”

 

 

 

 

“To keep a warm heart in winter is a real victory.”

 

 

 

 

“What comes easy won’t last long, and what lasts long won’t come easy.”

 

 

 

 

“A bit of fragrance clings to the hand that gives flowers.”

“A bit of fragrance clings to the hand that gives flowers.”

—Chinese Proverb

Image from Unsplash by Elizabeth Dalling

Most evenings my wife Wendy and I watch the ABC nightly news with David Muir to get our update on world events. The final segment, America Strong, is usually uplifting, with selected individuals or groups demonstrating their compassion, empathy, and generosity to others in their communities.

A wonderful result of these examples of giving is how happy and satisfied all parties are through these exchanges.

EXERCISE:

Who are the most generous givers in your communities? How can and will you acknowledge and give a part of your self back to these special folks. Don’t be surprised if doing so leaves behind a sweet, satisfying feeling in you.

 

“When will you do it?”

“When will you do it?”

—Author Unknown

Image from Unsplash byJeshoots.com

Most people love to be lead by inspired, visionary leaders of great character. They find it easy to buy in and align on the dreams and possibilities spoken by such people.

Alternatively, many people have difficulty with management and managers who want us to do as they wish. When such individuals try to hold us accountable by asking or demanding through the question, When will you do it?, we cringe and generally comply without the feeling of empowerment we all crave.

When inspired leadership comes before management, things feel very different. The answers to what and when we will do something come far easier and are often accompanied by genuine enthusiasm. In such cases, self-management and making and keeping promises provide us the empowerment we desire.

EXERCISE:

Where and on what personal or professional priority can and will you apply your own self-leadership and self-management? How can the question When will you do it? help you realize new levels of achievement and personal satisfaction?

“One reason people resist change is because they focus on what they have to give up instead of what they have to gain.”

“One reason people resist change is because they focus on what they have to give up instead of what they have to gain.”

—Rick Godwin, American Pastor

Image from Unsplash by NeOBRAND

We all know in our heads and even in our hearts that change is inevitable. The law of impermanence is pretty evident, yet our need for control has us always swimming upstream against the currents of life.

What is there to lose? is a question worth exploring deeply. It is this real or perceived loss that troubles us most. The Serenity Prayer, originally written by the American theologian Reinhold Niebuhr in 1932, can be helpful to navigate such waters. The modern version reads:

God grant me the Serenity to accept
the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things
I can, and the Wisdom to know the difference

EXERCISE:

Where and how can a shift of mindset to a positive, opportunistic view of change help you explore and realize previously invisible gains that await you?