One Breath At A Time

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Have you ever felt anxious? Overwhelmed with the amount of tasks on your “to-do” list? Have you found yourself being stressed out before you could even roll out of bed? If you’ve check off all three boxes look no further… do I have a product for you!

Good news, what I’m about to sell you is absolutely free. All that I ask is that you share the message and spread it to someone in need.

I recently woke up last Monday (April 8) and felt like the whole weight of the world was sitting on my beard. Yes indeed ladies & gentlemen… the world was sitting on my beard or so it felt like it.

I didn’t want to get up. I just wanted to hit the snooze button, pull the sheets back over my head and sleep the day away. For someone like myself who is always on the go, working from sunrise to sundown, this wasn’t my normal self. I wasn’t motivated, I had felt overwhelmed from the night before thinking about the future, tasks that needed to get done the week ahead of me and asking myself questions that I did not have the answer to.

So what did I do? I tossed on the shoes, got in the car and drove my ass to the gym. Summer is coming, this dad bod needs to be looking NICE!

The entire time I’m in the gym my head won't stop running through my “to-do” list and all the things that need to get accomplished today, tomorrow, next week, next month and hopefully by the end of 2019. People warn you that, “creating your own brand or business is extremely difficult and takes a ton of work” but being the stubborn human beings that we are, we tend to brush off the noise. “Yeah yeah, I know the drill” and we don’t actually fully understand the amount of work it will take to build something great until...we’re in the trenches actually doing the damn thing.

Side note - don’t ever not do something because people tell you it’s going to be difficult. If you really really reaaallly want something, you’ll find a way to make it work.

My mind is constantly running at about 54,432 miles an hour. Now that’s pretty fast, wouldn’t you say? All these thoughts of who will be on the podcast next? How am I going to turn this into a full-running business? When is this shit going to take off? Where do I see myself in the next couple months/years? Bah blah blah blah, you get the point.

No matter the day of week or hour of day, there’s no emergency button that I can hit that just magically shuts it down completely because there is always something that needs to be done. However, one thing that has helped me is meditating.

Some of you are reading this scratching your head saying, “Meditating huh? The shit you sit on the floor, with your legs crossed and you say “ooommmmm”. That’s mediating, right?”

I mean sure, that’s probably the way I would’ve described it 3 years ago when I was ignorant and didn’t fully understand what the practice was like. I didn’t have the experience of  personally knowing some of the benefits that come with it but now that I’ve been messing around with it for quite a bit I can say that meditating is the emergency button to slow our mind down when we’re feeling anxious or overwhelmed. I think almost anyone in this world could find value in it, regardless of career path or passions.

Got a big presentation coming up? Meditate beforehand. How about a big photoshoot for a brand? Perfect, meditate! You’re preparing to launch your pop-up shop next month and still don’t have a location locked in? Meditation is here to help.

When I got back Monday from the gym, still foggy in my head I knew I needed to change it up. I needed to do something out of the norm to get me back on track. So what did i do? I’m glad you asked! I went for a run the second I got home. This wasn’t your average run, this was a gratitude run. A run focused on breathing and appreciating everything around me.

As I ran through my neighborhood in the Valley of Los Angeles (north of Downtown LA for those who’re unfamiliar with the city) I took note of everything happening around me and special detail of this place that I tend to take for granted.

I’ve been living out here for a little over a year in a half now and like anything else in life, once you get used to something you’ve always wanted (ex: moving to LA), the celebration of living here becomes your reality and all your time and energy is focused on building your career or in my case… building out the bearded man content.

I get into this grind mode where I’m constantly making shit happen: recording podcasts, emailing possible guests, rolling out social media content, slaying the Uber STREETS that before you know it, it’s Sunday night, the week has flown by and I can’t believe how fast it’s gone by. Monday morning comes and without hesitation there I am, rolling out of bed at 6am, lacing up the shoes and off to the gym I go. The cycle keeps going and it’s on me to stop, take a pause and look around.

As I’m running, I’m taking in the beautiful California sun that’s beating down on me, the beautiful Verdugo Mountains that sit on the backside of Burbank in the distance look incredible as we’re coming off a rainy winter here in LA. Winter = rain in LA and for someone who is from the east coast or Massachusetts to be specific, people make a big freakin deal about the rain out here. It cracks me up.

As I look up, the palm trees were glistening from the morning sun rays, people are entering and exiting the local bus route heading to wherever the world was taking them next and I did all of this with no music. Just listening to my breath and taking in everything / anything around me.

People honking their horns at each other because someone cut them off, the birds are chirping and I am now fully present just embracing the environment I’m in. I’m not thinking about that “to-do” list anymore, I’m thinking about how fortunate and lucky I am do be living my dream, living in Los Angeles and having some sort of direction as to what I want my career to look like or what I believe to be is my purpose.

See this is what the meditation had taught me in the past couple years. This idea of living in the present and focusing on what I have in front of me, literally, in this moment. As you read this, you might lose track as you’re thinking of the millions of other things you need to get done today, tomorrow and or this week but I challenge you to solely focus on the words as you read them. The bearded man words. I may not be the greatest writer but stick with me people!

As I return with my dad bod looking better than ever, sweat pouring down my face and my entire body, i’m breathing heavily as if I just ran the Boston marathon but yet it’s as if someone flipped a switch inside of me because I was ready to get after. There was no more cloudy headspace, there was no more time for me to dwell and think about this “to-do” list, I was ready to start executing and crossing off one of those suckers at a time. I was ready to take on the day and I knew no matter how long that list might be, I was going to do my absolute best and not worry about anything else except what was actually in front of me.

One item at a time, I was going to get it done.

Here’s the lesson. Grab your pencil, paper or even open up the notepad on your iPhone. If you have an android I’m sorry, but we can no longer be friends.

Lots of people say to live your life one day at a time and although I completely agree and have preached this concept in my content before I want to take it a step further.

Live your life one breath at a time. That’s the only thing both you and I can control. This moment. Not what has yet to come, not what has happened yesterday… this very moment.

What is scary is that we could spend our whole lives never actually being in the moment. Constantly thinking about what’s next when everything we have ever dreamed of or worked towards is right in front of us right now.

Some might argue and I would agree that social media has played a role in this but we still have control over it. We decide how much we consume and therefore that excuse is not valid. If it’s affecting us that bad, it’s our choice and our responsibility to put down the phone, breath, look around at the environment we’re in, the people we’re surrounded by and live a little.  

And so moving forward as my brain once again likes to jack up to 54,432 miles an hour (no real reason I picked this number, pulled it straight out of my you know what) I will continue to do my best at bringing back the reins and reminding myself… Bobbbaaaay, just one breathe at a time. You’ve got your whole life ahead of you to accomplish these huge goals. Don’t stretch yourself too thin. Go with the flow and as our Bob Marley once said... “don’t worry about a thing, ‘cause every little thing gonna be alright!”

One breathe at a time ladies & gentlemen, that’s all we need to worry about.

See ya!