When I was brand new, it was 3 am on 29 January 19??

The Mammy asked the already weary nurse (even though it was the Mammy who had just given birth) what weight is she?

The nurse replied “its a pity they don’t come with a weight tag”! I’m sure that’s why I got the smack on the back, but officially it was to get me breathing and that was pretty much how I learned, probably like most people.

Why is breathing a life saving skill?

1. 50 years later I smacked myself for not having relearned in all that time this basic skill necessary for my survival.

2. Announcing here that I didn’t realise that the nasal passage is designed specifically for breathing and mouth for digestion.

3. I thought it was whichever got air in through it first. I’m wondering how have I survived until now without it.  A bank raid, straddling a boulder 1000 meters above ground level, sitting on a 9meter basking shark, being pushed over a 10meter waterfall, in a kayak.

4. This brings me to why I had to learn how to breathe properly, I can’t rely on winging it anymore, my short sharp shallow breathing.

  • It’s not allowing my lungs to reach their full potential.
  • Or my muscular diaphragm to get a good stretch.
  • It doesn’t keep me present or focused.
  • My body nor yours is sustainable in flight or fight mode which is designed for a possible death threat, not the multitude of self-inflicted stressful moments.

I loved James Nestor’s recent interviews for his newly published book ‘Breath’. Had the Mammy known its contents I may not have got that smack in the back.

I might have been in a better position to negotiate with the raiders with my people-pleased addiction.  Been appreciative of being so close to a basking shark, fuelling my overthinking addiction and possibly not allowed myself to be talked into that push over a waterfall to reward myself with an adrenaline rush.

To keep you going until next blog time, equip yourself with a nugget from the James Nestor’s interview. Time yourself and count the number of breaths you take in one minute, breathing only through your nose and as you would normally breathe, otherwise you are cheating yourself out of a potentially life-saving insight.

James Nestor will tell you 7 – 9 breaths per minute is the ideal for well being, listening to his interview, I believe him.