Day 1,392 – Thankful for Mental Calisthenics, Intentional Breathing, and Re-Reading a Modern Classic

Nothing quite like doing some mental calisthenics early in the work morning on Monday is there? This morning my brain was twisted, turned, stretched, and exercised hard. Just when I thought I was grasping a new concept the Tilt-a-Whirl hit the hill and went spinning again. It was wild!

So here’s the deal. As we had this conversation one of my mentors explained that what he was about to say next might break my brain. About half a year ago that’s totally what would have happened. There would have been the stretching sound like Wile E. Coyote’s rocket hitting the rubber band at full speed. Instead of the comical site of the antihero flying backwards there would have been an instantaneous explosion, not too dissimilar to the sound of his Acme dynamite exploding. That would have been my brain. Stretch, stretch, stretch, BANG!!!

Between COVID and a handful of other life lessons beforehand my brain was already starting to work on its plasticity. There’s still a very long way to go, but today it had just enough give to look at the world a little differently. I’m in that quasi “I’ve got it, but I don’t totally grasp how to utilize it” mindset. Regardless, I’m so thankful for the mental calisthenics this morning, the workout will help my Brian keep growing.

So much to learn constantly in life isn’t there? One of my old coaches used to say when we weren’t comfortable we were learning and growing. Seems like there’s been a lot of that lately! The more I can help my brain stretch and grow the more prepared I’ll be for whatever lay ahead.

Something else that really helped today was intentional breathing. I know, it’s something we all do all day until we finally stop, but I mean the breathing when we’re actually focused on our breathing. The slow and intentional drawing in of breath. Taking our time, feeling our lungs completely expand, hold, completely release, and then hold again before repeating. Is there anything quite so calming in any situation in life? Interesting, it’s something we almost always have the ability to do, but it’s rare how often I practice this form of relaxation.

Why this pic today? Two reasons. It’s one of my happy places, one of the places I go when I close my eyes and focus on my breath. The figure sitting on a rock staring out into the ocean was an unintentional inclusion but really made this pic the beauty it is.

Today I used it on a few occasions and it was borderline mind blowing. Funny how even a few minutes of closing my eyes and focusing on my breath can calm and quiet my mind so quickly. With that level of serenity I’m able to jump back int what I was doing with an increased focus I didn’t possess beforehand. I’m so grateful for learning and utilizing this practice, now to remember to use it more often.

Last, Becky and I watched the movie The Circle last night. What an excellent (and entertaining / horrifying) reminder of the dangers of connectivity. I couldn’t help myself and picked up Digital Minimalism again. What an awesome book focused on being intentional with our usage of the gifts technology provides us. Funny how after reading only a small portion my screen time outside of computer work has been reduced already today. How awesome is that – it gives me the one resource I can’t create more of… time.


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