Breathe: my new desktop image

I’ve known for some time the importance of breathing… I don’t mean, breathing to stay alive. I mean deep breathing mindfully. Yet, time and again, I find myself breathing in a shallow way and even occasionally holding my breath as I am stressing over something (an email, a situation, a phone call, etc.)

This morning, as I was following Tweets from the Craigslist Foundation Bootcamp, I read some live comments about the many wise things spoken by Chip Conley at the event. I then stumbled upon this particular tweet by Conley, that totally caught my attention:

So I proceeded to read the post Do You Know How to Breathe? How to Think Clearly and Feel Relaxed in Two Minutes. The author shared what he did (thanks to his wife) to remember BREATHING throughout the day:

… my wife gave me a framed print with the word breathe written in beautiful calligraphy. It sits on top of a bookshelf in my office, replacing the Post-it note reminder I used to have on my computer screen.

So I went about creating a desktop image to put ON my screen (which I am staring at most of the day), with the word BREATHE on it. I hope you find it useful to remind yourself the importance of REALLY breathing to help you stay focused and in the now. You can download the desktop image by clicking on the image below.

Inception: What It Has Done To Us

Inception is one of those movies that leaves you thinking. But that is a description that falls in many ways…

When we went to see inception, two of the other three people that joined us were seeing it for the second time. Reading forum topics about Inception, this is not a uncommon situation (people watching it 2-3-4 times to try to make sense of it…)

Truth is Christopher Nolan got us all talking. Even film music fans (I count myself among them) are talking about how the score plays subliminally with slowed-down versions of Edith Piaf songs!

The movie’s “true” meaning (something that Nolan may never give up… even something he may not even know himself) may never reveal itself to us. But that doesn’t matter too much, I think.

What stuck with me was the power of inception… beyond it, think what we as parents can do to our children by making them believe something as they are children: that they can realize their true potential, that they can make reach their goals… we are in a way planting those same seeds of an idea that were mentioned in the movie.

What did you think about Inception?

Howard Zinn: "You Can't Be Neutral on a Moving Train"

Sunday afternoon is always a good time for a good documentary. Today, it was time to sit down and watch Howard Zinn: You Can’t Be Neutral on a Moving Train. Until not too long ago, I admit my ignorance: I had no clue who Howard Zinn was… until I walked into a local Berkeley coffee shop with one of our new advisors at the Diabetes Hands Foundation and saw her pointing at his image on the wall, saying: “Howard Zinn! He’s one of my heroes…” I knew I had to find out more about him.

It turns out Howard Zinn wrote a seminal book titled A People’s History of the United States, a book where he sought:

“…to present American history through the eyes of working people, rather than political and economic elites.”

I learned there was a 2004 documentary about his life (good that he was alive at the time -he passed away in early 2010) so I decided to watch it today. As I watched the documentary, I live tweeted it:

Here’s a POWERFUL thought from Zinn, not unlike what Ghandi said in the day:

“To be hopeful in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness.”

He inspired me to write this:

Forget about trying to please everyone and focus on doing the right thing.

I would love to hear your thoughts on Howard Zinn. Have you read about him/his work?