You know the proverbial “rule of three”?

It is the rough idea that a person can go three weeks without food, three days without water, and three minutes without breathing.

The first time I became aware of breath was when I was a small girl, and I was in the process of being hammered by a wave. I was tumbling through the white water, surfboard attached to my leg and I was completely powerless. I was enjoying myself until I realized that the adrenaline was making my need to breathe unbearably. When I finally popped up, that first breath of air felt like I had just been born – my body stopped crying out and I felt calm and euphoric.

When I got older I realized the power of breath during workouts. Focusing on the timing of my breathing made it easier to dig deep and go the final round.

Finally, recently meditation taught me the power of the breath. By doing breath work you can go from being dazed and confused to grounded and loving. It opens up your receptors to the world around you.

It’s crazy how something most of us do subconsciously can affect everything we do.

Becoming aware of my mental chatter was one of the most revelatory experiences for me. Most people have a steady stream of input from their brains that they aren’t even aware of. It is usually counterproductive but can be very illuminating. Pulling your focus inwards, to your breath is the first step in taking control of that chatter. And now I have a beautiful reminder to do just this.

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