Tuesday, May 23, 2006

I got mine

Did you get yours?

In stores today! - Wide Eyed and Mystified

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Four-Part Breath

You need to read this.

The last time Krista and I managed to have a nice sushi supper together, she told me about a method of breathing to help me sleep. When I hit a slow time at work, I look through a business magazine to see if I can find anything of interest. It was only a few days after this dinner discussion on breathing that I came across an article called, “Four-Part Breath”. Interesting, I thought, and I started reading. The article begins by describing three troubled lives...my very own breath caught in my throat as I read. “I know these people, I’m sure I do.” is what came to mind. I remembered Krista telling me about breathing, and I continued to read. We need to learn and remember to do this. Our lives move so quickly these days, surely we all forget to really breathe. With permission from the author, I’ve posted “Four-Part Breath” on my blog. Read it and “breath your way back to your best self”.

Four-Part Breath

Breathing your way back to your best self

By Linda Gregorio

She sits distraught and shaken in her family room, laptop in hand, a glass of
red wine on the side table. Tears of frustration drop onto her keyboard. She has
withstood a barrage of corporate bull for weeks, but this last business trip put
her over the top. If only she could get the insanity at work to stop, maybe she
could get ‘back to normal’.

He stands at his drawing table, shoes off for comfort, music on for serenity, as
he works yet another Saturday while trying to convince himself it isn’t a
regular work day – though for 16 days in a row he has been trying to get ‘caught

She marches into the boardroom wearing a power suit looking in control and
purposeful, all the while secretly wishing she could regain the focus that death
and destruction has robbed her of lately. She does what she can to get past the
loss of her sister and somehow find a way to get ‘back into work again’.

These talented professionals have much in common. They are human – they share the struggle of how to be passionate and emotionally attached to their jobs, while remaining detached enough so problems do not get to them and rob them of their overall life energy.

And they are all doing what they know best to release the stress which has accumulated over time and which somehow they have allowed to assault their senses, and get them off balance.

It isn’t new, to have work pressures to cope with. It isn’t new to have family life situations to contend with while working, either. Maybe what has become new, however, is the extent to which both work and life pressures happen in the same ‘in breath’, and the loss of our overall capacity to release those pressures on the ‘out breath’.

We have conditioned ourselves to open ourselves up fully to our experiences, and give things our all. Not a bad thing. Or is it? Maybe we have learned to ‘inhale’, to take in and take on as much as we can, at the expense of our ‘exhale’. Maybe we inhale so much only to find ourselves holding our breath, without finding ways of effectively exhaling that which doesn’t serve to keep us oxygenated, refreshed and vibrant.

As successful and talented professionals with a life, as we fully open ourselves to experiences, we must also remain fully open to the new methods of coping with the heightened effects of stress.

Successful professionals are exploring meditation, yoga, and other forms of body-breath work in general. Though the concept of full-blown spirituality in the workplace is not taking on the momentum once anticipated, the relaxation and stress management techniques often associated with spiritual learning are fast becoming a viable option as a means to de-stress. Along with massage, don’t be surprised to see people trying hydrotherapy baths, reiki, therapeutic touch, yoga, or meditation.

Why would they consider this kind of thing? Imagine that everything we do registers in our body as either; a) ‘in breath/inhale’, b) a ‘hold breath’, or c) an ‘out breath/exhale. That said, are you breathing well? Is your exhale rushed and almost non-existent as you race to take in and take on another inhale? You probably can’t remember ever deliberately focusing on your exhale – unless you are already doing meditation or yoga, having babies, or singing. To remember what belly breathing is like, take a second to breathe. Breathe in, hold, and then release. How does that feel? Try it again.

Don’t feel badly if you have forgotten how to breathe; most of us have. It’s important that we all learn to breath again, and not from the upper half of our lungs, where hyperventilating occurs, but from deep within our diaphragms and bellies. We need to learn to take deep oxygenating breaths that serve to fuel our body and mind.

Let me suggest a simple yet proven breathing technique, called “Four-Part Breath”.

Four-Part Breath

Breathing in a very mindful way will go a long way to ground you and to support you in releasing the stress that will accumulate in you over time. Try this Four-Part Breath technique at least four times a day, even if you only get through it once each time. One time is better than nothing and you’ll notice you can work it up to longer. Train your mind and body to breath in (a) very methodical way and let the affects of stress move past your lips on every out breath.

Always start by sitting comfortably with your back supported. Close your eyes, take a first breath in and concentrate on lowering your shoulders down and away from your ears. When ready….Start in with the four-part breath.

1. Inhale a big breath (to full capacity).
2. Hold (hold that breath for as long as you can).
3. Exhale slowly (exhale slowly and steadily, silently counting to four).
4. Exhale deeply (blow out a hard breath to release that which is left at the bottom).

Imagine taking in clean healthy air, filling yourself with new and renewed energy and then slowly releasing the old stuff that has been storing up in you, and finishing off with a final, deep and forceful exhale to rid from you all the stress hiding in the nooks and crannies in your system. Breathe. Relax, and enjoy – your body, your mind and perhaps even your family and colleagues will love you for it because you’ll be back to your ‘best self’ in no time.

First Published in Exchange Magazine May 2006

Linda Gregorio
Presents of Mind
“A Strategic Planning/Organizational and Leadership Development Firm”
Office: 519-740-7281
Cell: 519-574-1187

Tuesday, May 02, 2006


"Do not believe that he who seeks to comfort you lives untroubled among the simple and quiet words that sometimes do you good. His life has much difficulty . . . Were it otherwise he would never have been able to find those
~ Rainer Marie Rilke ~

Thank you to those troubled ones with the simple and quiet words of wisdom.