#70 Return to Breath and Water

I didn’t breathe for two months. First a fierce cough, and then pneumonia and a fierce cough, kept my breathing tiny and shallow and kept me at a low level of functioning. Even after my physical symptoms were gone, my breathing was inadequate. I’d fallen into a habit of barely breathing.

What a delight it is to return to my Breath and Water practice. It took some effort, some discipline, and some determination to get back in the groove, but I’m grooving now!

Perhaps it was good for me to be away, because returning has reminded me of the very real benefits I receive from Breath and Water.

* Beginning my day with peaceful breathing really does bring peace to my day.

* I finally feel alert and able. I feel curious and ready for life, thanks to Breath and Water.

* My Intentional Breathing has allowed me to find my own rhythm, my own breath. No effort.

* After two months of barely breathing, my Breath and Water practice is beginning to influence my breathing throughout the day. My habit of tiny breaths is being replaced by a habit of true breathing.

* Breathing at the end of the day is like a blessing — a blessing even though I’ve made mistakes during the day.

* The list goes on.

If you’ve drifted away from your Breath and Water practice, let me tell you that returning is a wonderful gift to give yourself.

#69 Breath and Water Blessings

I want to share with you this letter from a member of the Breath and Water Club. I share it with you as encouragement to continue or return to your Breath and Water practice.

Dear Jett,

I turned 70 this year, and I’ve been spending some time reviewing my life decade by decade. I’ve been looking for patterns, wondering when and how I learned the destructive ones I had for so long, and when and how I replaced them with beneficial ones.

I’ve noticed that after I turned 50 I began gradually to live my life on my own terms. Then during the last 10 years, the years of my 60s, I really began to feel happy for the first time in my life. It’s in the last 5 years that my life really settled into a kind of constant contentment. I went from being a woman of constant sorrow to being a woman of constant joy. I’m eager to see what my 70s will bring.

Then I realized something. I’ve been practicing Breath and Water for 6 years, ever since you suggested it in 2004. I believe there is a direct correlation between your teachings and my increasing happiness.

I love my 15 minutes of “intentional breathing” in the morning and evening. Thanks to it, I begin my day in peace, and regardless of how intense my day is, I end it in peace. There was a point not long after I turned 60 that I thought I was growing old. I thought that my body was falling apart and that I’d be using a walker in 5 years. Then you started the Breath and Water Club. Now I walk 3 miles every day, and I have a bounce in my step. Breathing and water, such simple things, but what a blessing they have been to me. Now I’m 70 and I don’t think I’ll feel old for another decade at least.

This is to say thank you for everything you offer. And I’m thanking myself for taking you up on your offers.

P.S. I don’t drink any coke or coffee at all any more! None. And you know how I used to survive on that stuff. I’d pop open a can of coke first thing in the morning and drink it while I was making my first pot of coffee. Now I drink water. How groovy is that?

#68 Breath and Water

Breathe: 15 minutes of intentional breathing twice a day.

Breathe with appreciation, making no attempt to control your breath in any way. Allow and appreciate. Notice how you feel when you’re done with your 15 minutes of breathing.

Drink: 8 glasses of water a day.

Practice intentional drinking — drink with awareness and appreciation. Taste the water, feel it going down. Enjoy.

It’s autumn here in the Northland, sweater weather for sure, and do I ever love it!

#67 Mea Culpa

This is my mea culpa issue. I have neglected this Newsletter. I hope you haven’t neglected your Breath and Water practice. I was afraid, when I began sending the weekly Tenacity Notes newsletter, that this one would suffer. It has. I apologize.

But you know, even as I write this I realize that the last issue was sent in April, and I was in Iowa City all those months, and the weather there truly did sap my strength. I couldn’t rally. So it wasn’t Tenacity Notes after all that caused me to neglect this newsletter, it was the weather. Whew, it’s a relief for me to realize that. Yes, I think that’s accurate.

But now I am in Duluth, feeling rejuvenated and alert.

Even though the newsletter faltered, The Breath and Water practice remains as valuable as it was the day we started, in December of 2004. Stay with your practice. Make it the foundation of all your spiritual and physical practices. Intentional breathing for 15 minutes twice a day. That means breathe with awareness, breathe and feel the pleasure of it. Drink at least 8 glasses of water a day.

This Breath and Water practice will release all kinds of physical, psychological, and spiritual blocks you have to your own well-being. You know it — you either know it because you’ve experienced it, or you know it because you’ve read others’ accounts in this newsletter — the Breath and Water practice is a healing practice.

Some readers have told me that they like to read past issues, which is a very good idea, especially in the last few months when there were no current issues. At least one reader has made small pieces of paper, each one with a number between 1 and 66. She keeps them in a decorative bowl, and once a week, or once in a while, picks a number and reads the corresponding issue. She uses the discussion in that issue to guide her during her week.

I would like to hear from you. Have you kept up with your Breath and Water practice? Did you miss the newsletter?

In the meantime, I’ll commit to sending a Breath and Water Club newsletter at least once a month, even if it’s only a reminder to keep practicing.

Thanks for hanging in there. I still appreciate the support I get from this newsletter for my own Breath and Water practice. I like knowing that others out there are doing the same practice.

#66 Why are we doing this?

“Walking on water wasn’t built in a day.”  ~Jack Kerouac

Why are we doing this?

Do you remember why we began this Breath and Water Club?

This is from my December, 2004 invitation to form a club:“Some of you may remember the following suggestion I gave in my classes: Drink 8 glasses of water a day and breathe for 15 minutes twice a day. Do that for 6 months and your life will change in ways you never dreamed of.”

Practice is the means and the end

Breathing and drinking water every day is a good enough end in itself. But for us, it is more than that. It is also a means. A means to what end? That’s the mystery — it’s a means to an end that will only be known when it arrives.

Some of you found that the daily practice of Breath and Water eliminated long held physical aches and pains. Some found that they’d finally gotten pregnant, or gotten their master’s degree. Some were surprised to find a desire that led them to a new career when they thought they were preparing for retirement. Some found unimagined ease in this or that relationship. Some found that life wasn’t as onerous as they’d thought. What have you found?

Practice prepares the ground. Practice creates the foundation.

The daily practice of Breath and Water creates a foundation from which your life can take off.

Ray Charles went to his studio every day to practice the piano. What did he practice? He practiced the scales. He practiced the basics. Did he play the scales when he performed? No, of course not. But his daily practice of the basics prepared the ground, so that when he performed, he could soar.

That’s why we’re doing this.

We’re practicing Breath and Water for it’s own sake, because it’s good for us. But mostly, we’re practicing Breath and Water because it prepares the ground so that, in our lives, we can soar.

Breathe: 15 minutes of intentional breathing twice a day.
Drink: 8 glasses of water a day.

#65 Eat Well-being

Remember Icky Rice?

A reader suggested that I remind you to re-read the issues on eating and drinking:

Imbue and Imbibe, #16

Intentional Eating, #27 and Intentional Eating, #28

Icky Rice #44

I re-read them, which got me to talking with friends and acquaintances about the ideas in them. So I’ve been hearing people’s stories about intent, and eating and drinking, and healing — and I am inspired all over again.

I invite you to read the issues and be inspired to investigate the possibilities you have to literally eat and drink health and well-being.

#64 Details, details

Why focus on the good feeling of breathing?

Some have asked me why I don’t give a more structured breathing practice; why I mostly suggest that you simply enjoy the flow of breath in your body. I’ll try to answer that with a story about a friend of mine.

A true story

This friend recently decided that it was time to sell her house. Everyone asked her what she was going to do after, and she told everyone, “I don’t know, but I know that it will be better than I ever could have imagined.” Some people thought she was not being very realistic, maybe being a bit foolhardy. She’s 82, and some thought perhaps she was beginning to show her age.

She finally received an offer on her house. That same evening, an acquaintance of hers phoned and asked my friend if it was at all possible for her to house sit for the next 4 months. Not only that, but there was a second building on the property where my friend was invited to store all her stuff.

There could not have been a more perfect solution! Certainly, no matter how much she might have worried or planned or dreamed or thought about it, my friend would never have come up with the idea to be offered a 4-month house sitting gig at just the right time.

A story with a lesson

I was telling someone this story, and that person said, “Oh sure. So if I just think about being thin and gorgeous, I’ll become thin and gorgeous?” No, that’s not the point. Thin and gorgeous are details, and focusing on the details is not the point. Rather, focus on the feeling you want to have. Instead of wishing to be thin and gorgeous, you might instead want to feel happy about how you look and how you feel. And, as my friend did, you might practice feeling assured that the feeling you desire will certainly happen.

My friend truly didn’t know what she was going to do when her house sold. She knew she would find a solution, and she knew it would be better than she could have imagined. She let go of worrying about or trying to create the details. She focused on the feeling she wanted to have, and she let the details fall into place. And they did fall into place, in a way that was better than she ever could have imagined.

There are more creative forces in the universe than you and I, my friends. Be clear about how you want to feel, surrender uncertainty and control, let go of the belief that you know what will bring you the feeling you want (thin and gorgeous) and allow those creative forces to arrange the details.

Love the feeling of your breath in your body

When you breath for 15 minutes twice a day, it can be a lovely experience. With practice, you can easily dwell in the loveliness of your breath in your body. Just let yourself have the delight of 15 minutes of intentional breathing. No rules, no counting your inhalation and exhalation, no nostril switching. Just enjoyment. It’ll help you learn to focus on the feeling, learn to let the details fall into place.

#63 5 Years!

When dawn doesn’t arrive until after 7 am, and twilight comes by 5, it’s the perfect time to dwell within. In the midst of the manic energy of the “holiday season,” stay with your breath. Luxuriate in the long evenings by expanding your breathing minutes. Welcome the morning darkness with the peaceful calm of your breath. Participate with the season of dark with awareness of the cave that is your lungs. Feel the air circulate, experience the magic of being alive.


This is the time to return to your breath and water practice if you’ve fallen away. This is the time to deepen your practice if you’ve been constant. Give yourself the gift of the season, and spend time in your own interior. Be tenacious — return, deepen, return, deepen.


In fact, on December 21, there will be an hour and twenty-five minutes more daylight here in Blanco than in Minneapolis. And while it is bitter cold in Minnesota, it is merely chilly here. I do miss the snow, and the hot chocolate after ice skating, and walking in the park after a big snowfall, and the exhilaration of true cold. I do miss it, but only briefly.

Tenacity Notes

I see that I have been sending the Breath and Water Club Newsletter every other month since I began the Tenacity Notes. If you subscribe to the Breath and Water newsletter, and you want to also recieve the weekly Tenacity Notes, email me to tell me so. jett@savvypsychic.com or jett@mm.com

Happy Anniversary

The first Breath and Water Club Newsletter was sent five years ago, on December 4, 2004! Congratulations to us, every one!

#62 Breathe!

Remember your practice.

Breathe: 15 minutes of intentional breathing twice a day.
Drink: 8 glasses of water a day.

Breathe with awareness.

The other day I told someone that her back could expand when she breathed. She thought I was making it up!

This week, during your 15 minutes of morning breathing, spend a few minutes focusing on the parts of your rib cage. One day, intentionally expand your back when you inhale. Another day, expand your sides. Another day, your chest. Maybe one day you’ll put it all together and expand it all! Won’t that be something?

Breathe into your belly?

I imagine that, at some point, someone told you to breathe into your belly. After all the expanding you do in the coming week, you’ll know that you don’t breathe into your belly. You breathe into your lungs, which are encased in your rib cage. But your belly is worth your attention. To make room for your lungs to expand, your diaphragm moves downward. When that happens, the organs in your abdomen have to find someplace to go, and your belly expands to make room. In that way, your belly does participate in your breathing.

The community of you.

If you relax, and breathe, and pay attention, you may notice that your entire body participates in your breathing. Where can you feel your inhalation? Can you feel it in your calves? Your scalp? Your perineum? Where?

Where am I?

Today we begin our trek southward. We’ll land in Blanco State Park, in Texas, late in November. Between here and Blanco, we have a few stops we want to make — southeastern Kansas for some maintenance on our trailer; Guthrie, Oklahoma for hair cuts; and Aledo, Texas for some jambalaya (Debra ate some when she was working in Aledo in the spring, and she wants another taste). These last months up near Duluth have been wonderful. But it’s cold, and time to go!

#61 What Do You Want?

What with the prevalence of the movie The Secret, the law of attraction books, and such like, I hear from many people that they are engaged in consciously creating what they want in their lives. Often though, I find that people are attempting to create the means, rather than the end.

A story of teeth

For a couple of years now, I’ve noticed that my teeth hurt when I awake in the morning. Was I gritting my teeth in my sleep? I thought maybe I should do some research online, maybe talk to a dentist — but I did neither, it just never felt like the right time. All I knew for sure was that I didn’t want my teeth to hurt, and I assumed I’d find a means to that end sooner or later.

Then a few weeks ago, a piece of a tooth broke off. (This on the opposite side of my mouth from the teeth that hurt in the morning.) I went to the dentist and found I needed a crown, which I got. (In fact, I’d been saving money for crowns, assuming I’ll get one every year for a few years, so it was no surprise and no burden.)

Lo and behold, my teeth don’t hurt anymore in the morning! Maybe the crown changed the topography of my mouth, and I no longer grit my teeth at night. I don’t know. Whatever the cause, my teeth don’t hurt in the morning now — and that was my goal, that was my desired end, and that was what I focused on.

There are more creative forces in the universe than you and I

If I had focused on the means to get my teeth to stop hurting, never in my wildest imaginings would I have hit upon the idea to break one specific tooth and get a crown. But I focused on the desired end — teeth not hurting — and the means to that end were delivered to me. Release your attention to the means, and see what happens.

Keep asking why

To discern whether you are focused on the end or the means to get there, ask yourself why you want something.

You want to win the lottery — you think that is your goal. But ask yourself “Why?” To get lots of money. Again, ask “Why?” To feel safe and secure. “Why?” To have the freedom to be more creative. Maybe that’s the bottom line for you, to be more creative. Focus on your desired end. Remember that there are more creative forces in the universe than you or I, and forget about the means that you imagine will get you there. Let go, and see what means show up. Chances are very good that the means that do show up will be something you never would have imagined. You may not win the lottery, but you will find yourself being more creative.

Know what you want, and then get out of the way and allow all the mysterious creative forces of the universe to supply the means. Then you can write and tell us all what means showed up for you.

A Breath and Water reader writes:

It had been many months since I’d done my breath and water practice. I thought maybe I should just get off the mailing list. But I stayed on the mailing list, and I began my practice again, and I can’t find the words to express how good it feels. It’s been a month now, and I see many changes in my life. Thanks so much for sending the newsletters. I never would have begun again without them. Please don’t quit the Breath and Water newsletters even though you’re sending the weekly Tenacity Notes newsletter. I like that one too, I may even like it more since it’s easier to digest since it’s so short. But the Breath and Water newsletter is very important to me. Twice now I’ve seen my life change dramatically because of the Breath and Water practice. Thank you for continuing to send the Breath and Water newsletter.

Well, that answers that question. I’d been wondering if I should keep sending both newsletters.

Where am I?

I’m still in northern Minnesota, near Duluth. Deb has finally left Louisville and joined me here. It looks like I’ll be here until the RV parks close in early October. Deb will likely still be working in Duluth, while I’ll go south far enough to find a place to stay with the trailer (probably at the RV park at the Casino in Hinckley, MN, about 75 miles south)

Never a dull moment!

Breathe: 15 minutes of intentional breathing twice a day.
Drink: 8 glasses of water a day.