Mind-Breath-Nature Mashup Helps Navigate Chaos or Difficulty

Recently, we came across a photo we took of a page in Pema Chodron’s enduringly illuminating When Things Fall Apart, which we opened to at random while on retreat several years ago:

Through practice, we realize that we don’t have to obscure the joy and openness that is present in every moment of our existence…Life feels spacious, like the sky and the sea. There’s room to relax and breathe and swim, to swim so far out that we no longer have the reference point of the shore.

from When Things Fall Apart; photo, Sally Schneider

We were happy to rediscover its wise message.

We find, though, it’s not so easy to put aside our anxiety to get in touch with joy and openness in the face of real difficult.  Then we do two things to help us find our way we’ve gathered from reading the great Oliver Sacks and Dr. Andrew Weill:

We get into Nature fast, especially among trees. The change in our anxiety level is palpable every time we remember to do this. And with it, without effort comes a measure of joy and openness. The great Oliver Sacks  found it to be among the best non-pharmaceutical “therapies” he used in over 40 years of practice.

Sally Schneider


…AND we return to the very powerful 4-7-8 breathing technique we learned from Dr. Weil. He calls it the “the single most powerful anti-anxiety measure I’ve found”.  Although he says it is best done over time, we find it instantly effective.  We wrote about it in detail here.


Life savers. Available any time.


Learn more about Dr. Andrew Weil here and here.

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