Breathe

My shoulders are hunched and tight, my forehead scrunched with worry. The precious moments of my life wasted with each short, gasping breath I take. My mind occupied with the mistakes from yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

Where am I going with my life? Maybe I shouldn’t be so stubborn with my Mom. Am I being a pushover at work? We’re going to run out of oil by 2030. What will I do if I get cancer? China will overtake the US economy by 2020. I should’ve bought that stock earlier. Is my cholesterol ok? What if I fall down these stairs, break my spine, and then live out the rest of my life regretting—

Take a deep breath in. There is nothing really wrong right now. Breathe out. I am alive, I exist, I am lucky and grateful.

I haven’t found an effective way to interrupt my stream of concerns. Regular Google calendar and Apple reminders haven’t helped me. Instead, I need a random reminder to open my eyes a little wider, relax my forehead, and take a deep doctor’s-office-checkup breath.

For those like me, deeply concerned about everything, I would like you to consider adding one more interruption into your life. I’ve partnered with talented people to work on a vision, towards which we are taking our first tentative steps. It’s an iOS App that interrupts your life to remind you to Breathe. We’re including an Apple Watch App so that you don’t have to glance at your iPhone during meetings.

The value I get from this app is 10 random moments from 10:00 AM to 9:00 PM to take one deep breath, regardless of what I’m working on, which meeting I’m in, or who I’m talking to. When I can, I try to set aside the weight of my responsibilities, and spend 10 seconds to relax my body and mind. I’m sure it’s good for me, we can collect all the statistics and do the research later and I can tell you about it.

Breathe is basically a polished beta app, so there aren’t very many bells and whistles. And maybe that’s how it should remain. I’d like to know what you think of it, please download and try it out for a few days. Then come back here and comment on what you think, and any benefits you get from the app.

Let’s start a conversation.

Breathe iOS App

Meditation FAIL

After 34 Minutes opened my eyes to just how loose-fit my life was, I decided that I want to change a few things.

I decided that maybe I should do 20 minutes of meditation every night at EXACTLY 10:00 PM to help me develop more discipline in the art of being on time and concentration and all that junk.

But little did I know just how painfully long 20 minutes would be.

I started the meditation about 22 minutes late, an improvement from 34 minutes of 35%.
After a while of shifting around, moving about, yawning, I began focusing on my breath.

5 breathes in, I began thinking about how I’m glad I’m doing this, it’ll really help me with my life. What if it’s like THAT thing. That thing that one day I’ll be on a TED talk and I’m relating this story about how I began to meditate 20 minutes every day and it changed my life and I made a million dollars that first month and then the next month I won a gold medal in being awesome-as-shit competition.

No wait.. shouldn’t be thinking about anything.
Empty the mind, focus on the breathing.

10 breathes in, I was thinking about my insecurities about my business. I’m not progressing as fast as I want to. I don’t know what I’m doing. I’m incompetent. I’m going to fail and then I’ll have to go back and start looking for a job, but by then the ponzi scheme the Fed has been running for 3 decades now finally breaks and there is global depression and I will be forced to wear tattered fluffy coats and stand in soup lines for 3 hours and..
Shit.. focus on breathing. Focussss.

I wonder what time it is? I’m sure it’s been like 15 minutes. Maybe even 18 minutes. Can’t be more than a few more minutes left.

Just as I check my phone, the time ticks down from 10:00 to 9:59.
Only half way through the meditation.

I laughed loudly at myself. “Man..” I thought, “This is pretty pathetic.”

Ok. Enough. Focus on breathing.
Inhale.
Exhale.
Inhale.
“Man my neck hurts.” Exhale.
Inhale loudly.
Exhale. “Oww.. this is really hurting right now.”
Yoga is like meditation right? I don’t know yoga, but I’m sure they have these neck stretching moves that I’m doing right now. So I’m still meditating right?
Right.

I wonder what time it is? This time I’m sure it’s almost over. But no. I shouldn’t check it.
Focus on breathing. Inhale. Exhale. It should almost be over.
Inhale. Exhale. What if the alarm app is broken?
Inhale. It must be, cause it’s been like 30 minutes already.
Exhale. I should check to make sure that the app is still running fine.

5:00