The other day my husband, James, and I were in the car listening to the Jewel song Hands. In the lyrics, Jewel sings, “If I could tell the world just one thing, it would be that we’re all okay.”
Jewel wrote this song when she was eighteen and homeless. She had no money and was living from paycheck to paycheck. Her boss propositioned her and when she refused, he withheld her paycheck. When she couldn’t afford rent, she was kicked out and lived in her car. She ended up getting sick — too sick to find another job. When her car got stolen, she shoplifted food — carrots and peanut butter. After she realized she lost all faith in herself, she wrote the song as a way to regain her self-confidence. The song became a number 1 smash hit.
Jewel’s lyrics and her rags-to-riches story got me thinking. What would I tell the world?
Instantly, I knew what I would say. It’s the simplest yet most life-changing message I’ve ever learned. The message is about something that we all know about but we fail to use its humble power.
Saints, yogis, and other great souls have taught others about it for thousands of years.
Marathon runners use its power, so too do other athletes and swimmers.
No matter what our belief — Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, nonbeliever or Atheist — we can all understand it.
George Harrison and Steve Jobs gave away free books to promote it.
Taylor Swift, Kylie Minogue, Pink Floyd, and Pearl Jam, and others have sung about it.
Astronauts and deep-sea divers understand its importance.
It’s our constant best friend — it’s with us always, but we often ignore it.
It could lead us to eternal success and world peace if we all practice it together.
If I was stuck on a deserted islander or incapacitated, this is the one thing I would do.
Many fail to recognize its unique beauty until it’s too late.
So, what would I tell the world?
If I could tell the world just one thing, it would be to love each precious breath.
It’s as simple as that. Why?
The Science and Art of Breathing
Without breath, there would be no life, family, friends, beauty, success, identity, and fame. Where would everything we hold dear to us be if we didn’t breath?
Breathing happens naturally — from the moment we are born to the moment we die. We breathe when we work, play, and rest. We breathe without effort when we asleep. We breathe faster in times of stress, sex, and exertion or excitement. And all of this happens with most of us taking each breath for granted.
Breath control is an ancient technique. There’s a science and art to breath control.
By simply watching the breath during every activity and every thought, we can gain calmness, answers to our problems, increased creativity and success, and even enlightenment. Our brains change. The quality of our thoughts change, so too our consciousness and behavioral patterns. We begin to see the world as it is and not as we are.
And above all, loving each breath makes us free.
The key to loving or watching the breath is practice. The results mentioned above won’t happen immediately, not even if you practice for a few minutes, hours, or days. It takes a mental shift and conscious effort to be aware of your breath and to love each precious breath. And then, over time you’ll see subtle yet powerful changes occurring in your life.
So now it’s your turn: If you could tell the world just one thing, what would it be?