December 16, 2004
Tips From You and Me
We have a club!
A club with 40 members so far. 40 of us attempting the same practice—15 minutes of intentional breathing twice a day and 8 glasses of water a day.
Remember, if 15 minutes seems onerous, do less. Same with water. Start small and build up. No need to jump into the deep end. Like walking into a chilly lake—take a step at a time. When your ankles are used to the water, take another step. Pretty soon you'll be swimming.
The name intentional breathing comes from one of the club members. I'll pass on other things you have said. I will use italics for words that aren’t mine. I’d use quotation marks, but I’ll sometimes paraphrase so they aren't really quotes.
I'm starting my practice on the Solstice. I thought I'd love to do this from Winter Solstice to Summer Solstice. I know it will prove to be challenging at times, so I thought I'd incorporate all the help I can get...the earth!
Water Tips from you (in italics) and me
I like to keep a full glass of water in the bedroom at night. I try to drink it first thing in the morning before I go downstairs to start my day. This way, I have a start on my water intake before breakfast.
I keep a bottle of water in the bathroom, and every time I go into the bathroom I drink a glass of water.
I put a post-it note on my computer, in the middle of the screen so I can't miss it. I keep a bottle of water next to my computer. Every time I sit down at my computer, I drink a glass of water.
I used to place large glasses of water strategically all around the. Now that my house is so small, I have one 32oz. container that I know I have to drink twice. I thought I was doing great with water until I realized that Deb was drinking from the same container! Now it has my name on it.
I also like the string around the finger technique. I tie a string around the first finger on my right hand. Every time I notice it, I drink a glass of water. If I get so accustomed to the string that I don't notice it, I put it on a different finger. As I’m out and about during my day, inevitably someone comments on the string. Then I get to remember to drink water and tell the other why I have the string. Maybe they'll join the club.
I also do it when I can't sleep at night—it keeps me focused, stops my mind from wandering, and stops me from getting agitated.
I already do one set of breathing a day, when I put in my glaucoma eye drops.
I try to add in a few minutes more from time to time during the day when I’m feeling anxious. I was feeling nerved up about [something] last Monday, and the breathing helped me so much.
With the holidays upon us, using your breath intentionally can keep you balanced within yourself, even in stressful situations.
Here's another tip for staying balanced in stressful situations—keep part of your awareness on your feet. It'll keep you connected to your body, connected to Earth, and in present time.
Keep practicing and keep writing to let me know how you're doing!