The classroom was extremely quiet with only the sounds of pencils scribbling on paper. Each student was regurgitating the materials they had studied or were making things up for lack of study. It was second year Spanish and each of us was trying to remember our conjugations and vocabulary. As the clock pressed forward, the test became more difficult and there was a palpable stress in the air. All of a sudden from two chairs behind me came the words “Tension Break!” shouted at the top of Matt’s lungs. There was a short burst of giggles as people jumped in their chairs startled. The teacher looked up from what he was doing as the quiet returned to the class. Something was different now. The test hadn’t changed but the stress was suddenly less. The forced moment taken to breathe from the startle of the announced tension break was all that was needed to calm nerves and re-focus on the task at hand.
I have found myself in tense business meetings in the past and the urge to yell “Tension Break” has popped up in my head unheeded but I take it as a reminder to breathe. In life we can face what seems to be unsurmountable stress and trials. It can feel like weights are on our chest. It is at these times we need to call our own tension breaks and stop for a moment to inhale and exhale, repeat – don’t hold your breath – breathe. The simple act of intentional breathing can help us deal with the tensions and trials in life.
Sometimes we will need more than a breath to re-center us – we made need a getaway or a break. Even if it is a walk around the block or a weekend away, make the time and take it. You will come back better than when you left.
Remember to breathe.
This blog allows you to experience the raw, gut wrenching drama of human conflict through accounting in each of its three stages: preparing to do battle, the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat.