The life you save may be your own

July 6, 2006

This afternoon my new Pod Blogger pal Sebastian Prooth, in Leeds, England was walking me through several installations on my new PC, here in Desert Hot Springs, California. I started to feel weak, so I excused myself and went to have a sandwich. While I rushed through lunch, my chest tightened and my left arm suddenly felt like there were thousands of volts of electricity running through it! From all of the symptoms I was experiencing, I assumed I was having a heart attack!

I said a prayer and started to use a method I learned 30 years ago from Dr. Henry Mundt, an expert in deep relaxation techniques, who taught me ways to instantly relieve stress. It’s called a 2-2-5, a simple breathing excercise that calms anxiety. A method so effective that I’m able to slow down my heart and decrease my blood pressure in just a few minutes. It wasn’t long before all of the symptoms subsided…but I was severely shaken by the experience.

A few minutes later, after a few more 2-2-5s and I got back onto Skype and called Sebastian. He told me to call a doctor right away ’cause it sounded like I was having a stroke…the kind that claimed his grandfather a few months ago! I told him that I used a few 2-2-5s to calm me down, the same exercise I showed him that made his voice deeper and more resonant when he recorded podcasts. I was ready to continue letting him show me how to use new programs he just installed, but he asked instead to do a few 2-2-5s along with me. He said that he had been stressed out all day and could stand a little deep relaxation himself.

As we went through the breathing excercise, we heard our voices deepen as we both started to relax. When he asked me to show him the steps I take to enter into deep meditation, I was tired but happy to share the routine I’d been using every morning for the past 30 years.

1. Inhale through the nose [ count 1…..2…..] Exhale through the mouth.

2. Inhale through the nose [ count 1…..2…..] Exhale through the mouth.

3. Inhale through the nose [ count 1…..2…..3…..4…..5 ] Exhale through the mouth.

Close your eyes and repeat the 2-2-5 breathing pattern ’til you’re relaxed.

Then with your feet flat on the floor, with your hands on your knees or in your lap, visualise yourself walking down a long flight of stairs. Count backwards from 100 as you descend. 100…99…98…at a leisurely pace…relaxing a bit more with every step until you finally reach the bottom.

Take a moment to enjoy the feeling…like you’re floating with no cares in the world. then repeat, “Positive thinking brings results I desire, Positive thinking brings results I desire”. Say this with conviction 10 more times…then take a another deep breath.

Finally visualize an elevator door opening in front of you…you get on and press the button marked 10…watch the elevator ascend from level 1 up to 10 to your regular level of consciousness…then continue your normal activities.

I guess it was the equivelant of rebooting a computer. I felt more energized than I had in years and realized that if Sebastian hadn’t asked me to show him my deeper meditation technique when he did, I might not be here writing this piece.

I want to thank him for what he did and when he installs my sound recorder tomorrow, the first thing I’m going to do is record the relaxation technique and make it available to anyone who e-mails me for a copy.

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