Breathe in. There you go lungs...have some oxygen. See how easy that was? Breathe out. And now, you get to live another two minutes. All because you respirated, just like you probably do 20,000 times a day without even thinking about it. Unless, of course, you are sick or stressed out; in which case, you spend considerable more time appreciating this simple life function.
Today my mammogram technician was instructing me to breathe in and breathe out. I wasn't necessarily stressed out, but a particular part of my body sure was. I asked her if those instructions were meant to keep me from passing out, and she said that indeed they were. Apparently she had two patients hit the floor this year because they unintentionally held their breathe during their mammogram. Ouch! (That's ouch before you even hit the floor, if you know what I mean, ladies.) Then she asked me how I knew that and I told her that it was because I had passed out at the eye doctor once from unintentionally holding my breathe...before the exam even started.
For the record, it's 4:30 am and I woke up just to think about breathing. True story. Do you think I might be a little stressed out?
But I didn't get out of bed to wallow in my sad, sad predicament. I could do that without leaving bed. I got out of bed to learn from it. What have I learned? Not much, really. Afterall, it's only 4 am. But I did find some really great quotes, so we're going to roll with those:
1. Laugh: "By trying we can easily endure adversity. Another man's, I mean. " Mark Twain
2. Love: "We are all here for a single purpose: to grow in wisdom and to learn to love better. We can do this through losing as well as through winning. All we need to do is show up for the class." Rachel Naomi Remen
3. Pray: "The long, dull, monotonous years of middle-aged prosperity or middle-aged adversity are excellent campaigning weather for the devil." C.S. Lewis
"Prosperity is the blessing of the Old Testament; Adversity is the blessing of the new."
4. Live: " I had thought joy to be rather synonymous with happiness, but it seems now to be far less vulnerable than happiness. Joy seems to be a part of an unconditional wish to live, not holding back because life may not meet our preferences and expectiations. It has a kind of invincibility that attachement to any particular ourtcome would deny us. Joy seems more closely related to aliveness than to happiness." Rachel Naomi Remen
5. Fight: "He who does not tire; tires adversity." Martin F. Tupper
I'm far from feeling like super woman. I don't even feel adequate. But I didn't cheat death just to be defeated by life. In addition to removing carbon dioxide, breathing results in loss of water from the body. Exhaled air has a relative humidity of 100% because of water diffusing across the moist surface of breathing passages. I'm writing this to remind myself that I'm dehydrated, not defeated. The point is: I got out of bed because I was thirsty and I'm thirsty because I'm alive and according to all those smart, eloquant people I just quoted...I'm in good company and I'll be ok.