A GREAT WEEKAND and . . . so much more!
BREATHING Pt. 2 of the CHEK TOTEM SERIES
Happy Monday to You!
I hope your weekend was restful and playful and that you are ready for another week of productivity and creative self-expression.
I had a full, but lovely weekend myself. I was fortunate to be able to visit with two of my favorite friends, Dan Hellman and Danny Way.
Saturday, Dan showed up to spend the day and night with Penny and I at the house. Shortly after Dan arrived, Danny Way and his lovely girlfriend (Rochelle) came to visit.
We spent the afternoon resting, doing art together, hiking in the hills and enjoying the rock garden and some nice food.
Like me, Dan travels around the world seeing clients and teaching for the CHEK Institute so a chance to lay on the grass and do nothing was welcomed by him.
This is me with Dan practicing doing nothing! Try it sometime. It’s better than adrenal exhaustion!
While I was watching Danny’s new movie, Waiting For Lightening! at the opening event in LA a while back, I had a vision of Danny jumping the sun on his skateboard. It was so strong in me that I started drawing it the next night after coming home.
I’ve been waiting a few months for him to return from a long road trip with Rochelle to give it to him.
Here you can see me giving Danny the art I created for him. He really liked it. He was most impressed with the fact that I’d positioned his feet correctly over the trucks on the skateboard.
I took this photo of the art piece so you could see it a little better. I thought this image was pretty cool as well.
This is the beautiful art piece Rochelle did with us. Danny tells me she’s a fantastic singer and he’s almost done producing her first album. I’ll let you know when it’s out so you can enjoy it if you like. She’s a beautiful woman so I’m sure her music will reflect her beauty.
This is the art piece Danny started with us. We all got tired of sitting in the house and decided to go for a hike so Danny didn’t finish it. I encouraged him to take it home and finish it because it’s turning out beautifully.
This is my art for the weekend. It’s the depiction of the path of Kabir, a famous Hindu-Muslem Saint, whose teachings I really love.
At the end of his life, the Hindu religious zealots tried to kill him because he was causing too much trouble; the untouchables and lower classed Hindus were studying his teachings devoutly, which broke down class barriers.
The Brahmans couldn’t handle the fact that so many lower class people were achieving spiritual illumination under the guidance of Kabir. Even though many of them studied under him and revered him, the majority of the Brahmans of his day felt insecure enough to have him sentenced to death.
First, they tried to have a war elephant attack him. As the elephant approached Kabir, it stopped and refused to attack him. They beat the elephant relentlessly and it would not move toward him!
Next, they chained his feet and his arms behind his back and threw him into a raging river. In a few minutes, he was seen walking out of the river untouched.
The captured him again. This time, they threw him onto a burning funeral pyre. He walked out of the flames untouched, without a mark on him.
THEN THEY ORDAINED HIM A SAINT AND LEFT HIM ALONE TO DIE PEACEFULLY!
My art shows me in the river, next to the war elephant who’s aggressiveness was transformed into peacefulness by Kabir’s presence.
Finally, Kabir is the master of fire and holds it within him, which is why the sun is in my solar plexus; it’s there in all of us to learn. I drew myself in the drawing as a reminder that no matter how challenging my life gets, I can rise above it all by remembering how the masters have done it; staying tuned to the love of Mother earth, Father Sun, and Great Spirit.
Sunday, I came into the office to work for a bit and then I had a quiet restful day alone with Penny and we really enjoyed out time together. We went for a nice walk together in the hills and I just enjoyed holding her hand and being with her. She’s my best friend in the world and we are so busy, I don’t get a lot of time to just “be” with her.
Vidya was at home resting from her trip to a wedding and to see her mother so I didn’t get to share the day with her.
Penny took the photo above of me after I’d finished my creative workout for the day. This baby was fun to build. I had to resort to using a stepladder because she got far too tall for me to safely stack rocks as steps and not risk injury.
The energy coming from this tower was amazing! Healing too!
BREATHING Pt. 2 of the CHEK TOTEM SERIES
As a reminder, breathing is at the top of the CHEK Totem Pole because breathing is the most essential physiological function we have when it comes to sustaining life; no breath, no life (here â˜º).
As I shared in my last post on breathing, the most important first step to making any legitimate changes in your body-mind construct is to have a worth motive for change – a love bigger than your challenges.
When we get stressed, confused, or feel lost in life, our emotional-mental state is reflected in our breathing apparatus. The diaphragm’s tension commonly reflects that of the mind-state of the individual.
In a normal, healthy person, the first two thirds of the breath should be exemplified by expansion of the belly, with chest movement coming only in the last one third of the breath.
You can practice that by putting one hand on your tummy and the other on your chest. As you inhale, consciously relax your neck region and allow your tummy to expand fully with the inhalation. Only toward the last third of the breath should you allow your chest to rise.
Most people have that pattern inverted, which I call an “inverted breathing pattern” or “fear pattern”.
As you can see in the diagram above, with inhalation, the diaphragm drops down, creating a negative pressure in the lungs, drawing air inward. This downward motion of the diaphragm is essential to maintain.
The diaphragm is the chief biological pump of our body, working with the abdominal wall and pelvic floor to keep blood and lymphatic fluids moving freely through the body. The movement of the diaphragm is also essential for maintaining optimal “motility” or movement of the organs.
If you relax your belly, you should be able to stick your fingers up under the diaphragmatic arch of the rib cage and feel for tender spots. By holding pressure on them for about 20 seconds at a therapeutic level of intensity or discomfort (you can still relax but it hurts good), you can often release the tension and breathe more easily and naturally.
If you have a hard time getting under the rib cage, chances are good you’ll need the assistance of a good massage therapist of a CHEK Level 3 or 4 Practitioner to help restore your breathing mechanism.
Breathing is a great way to learn to meditate too. By getting in a comfortable position (standing, sitting or laying down) and focusing on the feeling of the breath entering and leaving your body, you can begin to relax.
As your body expands with the in-breath, pay close attention to the feelings you have in your body. Pay attention to any emotions that arise as well. Often as we enter into meditation, we are given the opportunity to become aware of where we are holding our mental-emotional baggage and what’s in the bag.
By focusing on your dream and being open to letting go of past pains and challenges, you can become fully present with yourself “now”, in the moment. This practice helps integrate the left and right brain hemispheres.
The integration of the brain hemispheres allows you to experience whole brain thinking and opens the gate to both imagination and intuition.
If your mind wonders, just bring yourself back fully to “feeling your body and the breath”. Wondering minds are normal so don’t let that stress you. Just treat your body as you’d treat your favorite dog and give it the love and consolation it needs to feel safe relaxing. Amazing things can happen with this exercise alone!
Here you can see me teaching my HLC2 students how to do alternate nostril breathing. This is another method of brain integration and is great to begin a meditation, tai-chi, qi-gong, or busy day with.
You simply plug on nostril and inhale, then exhale through it before switching sides. Then breath in, and out through the other nostril before switching again.
After as little as 3-6 minutes, a beautiful sense of calm typically comes over you. You can do this exercise for as long as you want, or as often as you want without any worry of negative consequences.
In my multimedia eBook, The Last 4 Doctors You’ll Ever Need – How To Get Healthy Now! I have a video clip teaching another method for learning to breath correctly and several work-in exercises anyone can use to restore vitality.
This book is great for anyone in the public so don’t feel like it may be too technical for you. Most children of age 12 or higher understand it well.
In my book, How To Eat Move and Be Healthy! I share 20 stretch tests you can use to create your own individualized stretching program. This is important because the muscles of the body, like the diaphragm, also respond to our emotional tides and thoughts.
To restore optimal breathing often requires that I teach people how to stretch and mobilize their bodies.
Because the whole body breathes, if we have restrictions in muscles and joints anywhere in the body, it can place unwanted load on the respiratory muscles. This often results in excessive neck and shoulder tension, and headaches.
Learning to breath and stretch properly is a far better approach than running around looking for pills to kill the symptoms of poor breathing and a tight body.
We have to learn to breath right to think right and move right. Learning to think in harmony with your stated dream is an essential first step to restoring optimal breathing patterns.
By checking to see where you are holding tension in your body with my stretch tests suggested above, you can go a long way to restoring “total body breathing”.
This can dramatically decrease stress and improve your emotional-mental state and overall well-being.
In my next blog, we will visit the next symbol on the CHEK Totem Pole, which is “mastication”.
Tonight, you can catch me on Sean Croxton’s Underground Wellness Show where I’ll be answering Questions from 5pm PDT onward. Dial 347.237.5608 to get ON THE AIR with Joel Salatin of Polyface Farm and I. I hope you’ll join me!
Enjoy the spirit of breath!
Love and chi,