Maybe it's the noise that has you stressed out...

Oye Mi Canto by Anna Alvarado
There is an intimate connection between the sounds we hear and living healthy. This morning, as I lay in bed for the first half hour of my day listening to birds sing their songs outside my window, I realized how blessed I am that I get to hear birds sing and not gunshots, or hollering and screaming as sadly many people around this city, and other parts of this nation and the world do.

That there are so many birds here in a metropolis of eight million people is always a wonder to me. For a minute I thought that maybe the number of birds have multiplied  but it's more like I've become aware of their beautiful songs. It seems that I am no longer "suppressing" sound, which is what Ted speaker and sound expert Julian Treasure says most of have done. It's a protection mechanism from all the horrible sounds that we have to endure as we go about our daily grind.

Treasure, in his wonderful talk on The 4 Ways Sounds Affects Us,  (see jump for the video) says that because most of the sounds we experience are accidental noises -- fire, cop, or ambulance alarms, construction equipment, trains, buses, cars, etc.--to protect ourselves, we pretend that they don't exist. As a result we experience all these horrid noises unconsciously. To put it another way, it's like we hear and we don't hear. But whether or not we are aware of the noise that surrounds us, it is affecting our behaviour,  emotional, cognitive and physiologically state nonetheless.

Noises can kick start our fight or flight response, ie raising the cortisol or stress levels (not good) or  sooth our emotional state and even lower our breathing. We can fall in love, or disgust, really, we can. Sounds can heal or harm. In fact, when birds sing, according to Treasure, it signals to the brain that things are safe. It's when they stop signing that we need to worry. Makes sense to me!

Check Treasure's talk and become aware of the four ways in which sounds affect you. And start curating what you let in those pretty little ears.

When anyone lives their purpose, I believe the world is a better place.

Are you there yet? Is your everyday life infused with passion and purpose. You know it when you live it. It's that kind of energy that makes you feel that all is right with the world because you get to work doing what you love. And you get to share your talent, skills, and beautiful energy with a smile, too!

Are you in the search still? Do you feel that your capabilities, heart and training can be used in a different manner? Do you feel like you are wasting your time? Wherever you are in your journey is irrelevant. What matters is that you are open and awake to living more connected.

This free online workshop taught by one of our great luminaries, Dr Jean Houston, sounds amazing, especially if you are feeling a little stuck. I heard about it and I am spreading the good word.

"3 Keys to Discovering Your True Purpose" is a global gathering online that promises to help participants tap into their individual genius. What's not to love right?

Dr. Jean Houston, who's hailed as a national treasure and considered one of the greatest spiritual teachers of our time, will lead the gathering. She believes that we need an activated body, mind and spirit armed with vision, creativity, resilience so that we can transcend our ordinary human capabilities. What's more, Dr. Houston says that these kinds of skills are not taught in schools, recognized by our institutions or reported in the news. (Having worked in many newsrooms in my career, though I've never taken her class, I can almost confirm that it's true.)  I am  ready to hear what the woman who has taught Bill Clinton, Deepak Chopra, Wayne Dyer, Marianne Williamson and many more, has to say. You?

Bravery sometimes means getting laughed at...

My 9 yr. old son got an extreme Mohawk a few months ago. It was a super adventurous cut and I was a bit nervous for him. But since I'd given him freedom to express himself with the haircut of his choice, I was very supportive. He loved the cut and in the end, I was happy that he chose such a unique way of expressing himself.

I didn't think much of the haircut until we went to school. As soon as he walked in to the yard, everyone started commenting. One of his buddies turned to me and asked, "Why did you do that to your son?" Horrors. His mom quickly admonished him in Thai, then I explained that it was a haircut my son wanted and it was a perfect one. He chose it. Then out of the corner of my eye I saw a group of boys pointing at my son and laughing. My heart sank.

While I prepared my young boy to make a bold and individual choice, cultivating his self expression, I didn't prepare him for the push back that happens when you make choices that are unique.

This is the thing...

When you are authentically you in a culture that promotes sameness you risk getting ridiculed, criticized and even excoriated. (In some cultures, sadly, even killed.) This fear is real and being disconnected from friends or being laughed at and even bullied keeps many of us from living our lives authentically and doing many things, including most importantly, being who we are. We risk reaching our full potential when we get the same haircut everyone else does, you know what I mean? We risk reaching our greatest selves when we hide our authentic selves. Also the world misses out on your unique expression.

I didn't warn my boy about school yard judging and how to handle it. But the lessons that I learned from my 9 yr. old were profound.

"Even after all this time, the sun never says to the earth, you owe me. 
Look at what happens with a love like that, it lights up the whole sky." Hafiz

When I think about a love like that it makes me happy, hopeful and connected.

Happy Memorial Day Weekend.

"If you realize you have enough, you are truly rich," Tao

Have you heard of the 80-20 rule? The rule is that we only use 20 percent of what we own. Yes, that closet bursting with all kinds of gorgeous clothes, shoes and handbags, well, if you're like most people, none of that gets used. Whether it's out of habit, preferences, sheer disorganization or attachment, we only end up using the same 20% of our stuff over and over again. Clothes, jewelry, makeup, perfumes, body lotions!

To me it makes perfect sense. Human beings are efficient machines and once we learn how to do something our beautiful efficient brains, to conserve energy, go on autopilot. In other words, we create habits. Imagine if you had to learn how to parallel park each time you parked? Drag. So efficient brains are good, and we go for the usual stuff and not dig out the rest of the stuff...

And yes let's talk about all that stuff that you own that you don't use. It may be the reason why sometimes you feel a little overwhelmed, stressed or tired. You are carrying excess weight. This excess may not on your body, but it is carried by your heart and house and causes stress. Do as the Tao's suggest: take the excess 80% that you don't use and give it away. It's the magnanimous concept of the Tao that cautions us to stop pouring when our glass is full!

The lightness you will experience when you take inventory of what you don't use and give it away is remarkable. 

For the past month, I've been going through my 80% and have been in a giving mode. I have to admit, there were some things that I refuse to part with and had to have a honest conversation with self. Self won and I gave away. Purses. Shoes. Dresses. Sweaters. Jeans. Curtains. I feel lighter than ever before. It's like a juice cleanse of my home.And, there is a lot more I have to give...I want to give. I need to give.

I read about an inspiring man, a guy name Dave, who is living on 100 things or less in an effort to start a movement against the dangerous excessive American consumerism that is having a devastating effect on our health and planet. Obesity. Stress. Diabetes. Heart conditions. Cancer. Global warming.

Living light is food for the soul and gives our planet a much needed break.

"How you do anything is how you do everything," Olivia Anselmo

Choosing your own greatness begins with intent. Wayne Dyer believes that you are the sum total of all of your choices up to today. He says if you see things you don't like or aren't working or have you stuck, when you look at them, as opposed to regretting the choices you've made and beating yourself up, an alternative and more productive way is to ask yourself,  "Can I grow, Can I evolve?" It all starts with the way you approach a situation. Or to put it another way, it's all about attitude baby.

So when Olivia Anselmo, one of my favorite people in the world and Bikram Yoga master instructor, yes, the beauty pictured to the left, said how you do anything is how you do everything, during a particularly difficult posture during class last night her words deeply resonated with me. While she was referring to our intent and how we were entering a posture, standing head to knee where one has to balance on one leg and put your head to your knee, this amazing teacher was also asking us to check ourselves and how we do things beyond the yoga mat. The question gets at the core of how we live our lives.

Are you rushing through a pose could be reframed to be, are you rushing through your day so that you hardly remember what you did last night? Are you judgmental about your posture can be rephrased to be, are you judging yourself or others harshly? Are you moving with singular determination and a positive attitude or are you haphazardly moving without awareness and having a bitchy attitude? Again, each of the questions that we ask ourselves on the mat can be applied to anything and everything we do. And it gets to a deeper and more urgent question we should all be asking ourselves: what kind of energy are we bringing into anything and everything we do?

Create a life you love...

"How wrong is it for a woman to expect the man to build the world she wants, rather than to create it herself."  Anais Nin

A note on abundance...

Abundance has come to be defined as strictly referring to material wealth and affluence lately. But the essence of this beautiful word is about much more. It is beyond the material world.

Having an abundant heart or experiencing abundant joy is something else altogether. I've always adored the word and it's implications.

Overflowing. Lush. Ample. Bountiful

The energy that the word carries always seemed magical and pregnant with possibilities. It is an energy that I have discovered serves me well to cultivate.

And so it was a very intriguing experience this weekend when I was cruising a table filled with beautiful jewelry created to celebrate Hindu Gods and Goddesses taking in the beauty of the pieces when a woman asked me, "what are you looking for, protection, inspiration or creativity?" Each of the pieces serve as amulets and symbolize a specific energy and so the question was very significant. It was not so much about the jewelry itself, but more of the energy that I want around me. Without hesitation I said, "Everything, I want it all."

That is how a gorgeous amulet of Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth, prosperity, both spiritual and material, of fortune, is now part of my life.  This exquisite goddess is often imagined sitting on a lotus flower and is the embodiment of beauty. Her abundant energy is a reminder of my abundance, the vastness that resides inside and outside me of me to create, inspire, love, heal, laugh...

Abundance, it turns out, is not just something I am lucky to have discovered. It's all around.  The question is, can you see it? Can you feel it? Will you be able to experience it? We can only tap into it if we take away the glasses of deficiency which many of us were made to wear because of our deficient experiences. Poverty, of the spirit and material world, robs many of the chance to see life as big, bountiful and pregnant with possibilities and yes, abundant.

Discover the many ways your life is abundant and enjoy.

"Live more easily.
Don't be in such haste,
This world is ours. But our life is no ongoing party.
You are young and full of talent, but even silk ends up in rags. 
Therefore, I advise you, live slowly,
Everyday is a new day."   from Cesaria Evora's beautiful song, "Live Everyday"

My juicing journey was epic: 10 things I learned from my juice cleanse

You think you know yourself very well until you decide to embark on a juice cleanse.

Two weeks ago I juiced for five days. I survived. Please hold the applause. I'm no hero. A person can survive without water for 40 days, my 5 days of "eating" liquid meals was nothing compared to the month and 10 days that some people I know have completed. Besides, my juices were delivered fresh direct to my home.

Millions of people have been on these liquid kicks for years. It's a trending topic on Twitter these days. Even Salma Hayek launched a juice line. It's fair to say, juicing is the new black.

But juicing is of course not new. Abstaining from solid food and fasting on water is as old as dirt and it's part of almost every culture and religion around the world. People looking for a spiritual connection have always known that it takes sacrificing an essential to get to a place of essence. Jesus fasted, so did Buddha and Muhammad. Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., Dick Gregory and Mother Theresa fasted too! My mother and her church brothers and sisters fasted too. I am in no way trying to equate my fasting feat to theirs for I do understand that all these sage men and women mentioned beforehand have fasted for more altruistic reasons than I, but still my juicing journey was epic!

The cleanse challenged and stretched me in various ways and provided insight into me that I was and I am still digesting. Pun intended.

Here are the 10 things I learned from my juicing journey:

Eating is an emotional act:
Oprah has said it and so has Dr Oz and countless other self help gurus. Eating is a deeply emotional act. And after juicing, I totally get it. I did not realize how much I obsessed over food. And how much time I devoted to thinking about food. What to eat? When to eat? Where to eat? What I was thinking or doing while eating was never something I really thought about. I ate not just when I was hungry, but when I was bored, reading or watching TV. I ate to fill another gap that was not necessarily physical hunger. I ate without fully being present to the sacred act of nourishment. And I discovered that I ate without fully tasting and I mean tasting in the truest definition of the word. Juicing made me pay attention to food, even if it was in liquid form. I became hyper aware of how I ate and I watched how others ate (mostly mindlessly too!)  And, I really began tasting and enjoying all the ingredients in the juices. Prior to juicing, it was mindless eating, an emotion-less an even disconnected act only because I was not aware. This juicing thing put me in a hyper alert state of mind about food and my body. Each individual will understand himself or herself in a different way during the cleanse, and after. But for me, it was a direct connection to my emotional state.

Also not chewing can potentially get you in a foul mood. I discovered that but during the fourth day when I took care of two 9 yr old boys who were being boys. My patience was depleted, but then I asked my little son if I was being too sensitive to the running and screaming he said, no mom. My friend is crazy hyper. (Phew!)

I am stronger than I thought I was
You can psych yourself for defeat or success depending on your mind and thought patterns. And when it came to forgoing food, I was calling defeat before I drank my first juice. But, I am stronger than saying I can't. And I did. And I am better for it. I felt / feel like a champ for completing the 5 days. Go me!

You can reset your nutritional button:
Juicing cleanses your palate. Delicious, organic and filled with green antioxidant veggies that I would never have eating prior to the juicing, (now I do and with gusto.) these juices did the job of 10 amazing cleaning ladies on me. Juicing changes your cravings because each of these juices is prepared not just to nourish but to detoxify your bod. Now, I can taste the sugar in the apple, banana, watermelon, mangoes I eat.  I can savor the bitter, tanginess of spinach, kale, bokchoi and really enjoy it. It was as if my palate was wiped clean with a squeegee and my taste buds set free. They are now better able to take in what I put in my mouth. (See below for the nutritional juice information.) And I gave up coffee, something that I've been drinking since I was weaned off momma's milk.

I have a more intimate connection to my body:
Since my body was not wasting the energy on breaking down foods, especially the refined sugars, gluten, and meats that take up so much energy to digest, the liquids were readily being absorbed. All the other energy left over was now available for me. For my mind. For my body. Goodbye lethargy, hello vitality. It was an amazing feeling of lightness that I felt, especially on day four.  I think I levitated!

Vegetables are really, really delicious
And they are our best friends. Your body will thank you when you give the digestive system a break and forgo meats, dairy and processed junk that is offered as food in boxes and cartons. A year ago, I would have never ever known that bit about veggies. But thanks to the palate restart, I can appreciate the fresh, clean, pure taste of nature's own. And weirdly, I now crave veggies, especially the greens. They agree with us. And we agree with them. Curiously, I can even taste the earth and sunshine in some veggies and fruits, especially the locally grown delicacies.

My energy level is record high
I am up at the crack of dawn, and that is a very new thing for me. Prior to the cleanse, I was not a morning person. During the cleanse I was up ready to seize the day. The energy continues. Rested and ready for a day's honest work after an 10 hour day I am up with the sun! And coupled with the fact that I have continued a vegetarian / gluten free diet, it's remarkable that I am so energetic and ready for the day. Meat takes 12 hours to be fully digested and processed foods, forget about it, a lifetime. All this makes us lethargic, not to mention the hormones in all the industrialized meat we eat in the US leaves our bodies not in the greatest shape. Grains, such as quinoa and amaranth and plants, if organic, are really the secret weapon for energy and vitality. And so are the green juices.

I feel smarter, clearer, more alert
See above. But again, I experienced the lightness of my being more clearly. On day four, when I walked in the streets of my neighborhood, it was as if my eyes were wiped clean with Windex and the colors were brighter and more radiant. It was a euphoria that was subdued and very intimate. I suppose this is what the mystics and holy men and women experience during their fasts. Glorious. I think I levitated!

Skin is clearer
My skin is radiant. I have a glow, like I got a facial or a peel or something. And I did get a new exfoliant that was recommended by my amazing yoga teacher Corinne Idzal to help my skin along, get it: Katefoliate. Amazing!

Weight loss
I lost and kept pounds off.  About 10 lbs. But honestly, I don't know the exact number I never weigh myself. I'm of the school of thought that having a scale is masochism. Instead, I use my clothes to tell me where I am at, where I want to be. My jeans from a decade ago fit loose!

Our body is a waste disposal
This is the honest truth and whether juicing or not, its happening. Except when juicing its on for real. But when you are juicing you get a fuzzy, hairy tongue feeling because your toxins are coming out of everywhere, and especially, your tongue. The more guck, the better and its a great sign that your body is releasing all that no longer serves you. Make sure you have a tongue scraper handy to scrape away the sludge several times a day. Gross but great. Swear. And regarding our biggest organ, our skin, like dogs and cats, human beings shed millions of dead skin cells a day. Dry brushing from head to toe, except the sensitive areas (face, breasts) during the cleanse and several times a week there after. It is an amazing away to help your body rid itself of all the dead skin. My skin is now cashmere soft all over. (See skin above)

My heart is open
It is an awesome feeling when you nourish your body with foods that agree with it. Juicing can kick start and something remarkable happens. It's almost as if your heart expands too. And because I am happier, healthier, my brain and heart are too.

It benefits everyone, not just you 
When you take care of yourself the world benefits because you are offering a better you to everyone you meet. While doing this fast, I also exercised. And still do. It is a winning combination. True union only happens when you feed the body, brain and soul right.

"You start by writing to live. You end by writing so as not to die." Carlos Fuentes

Author, essayist and all around conveyor of Mexican angst and beauty Carlos Fuentes died today at 83, but the elegant writer and essayist leaves behind a treasure trove of remarkable literature.

A simple shift in perspective can give you an entirely new way of understanding something familiar... or like Proust wrote:

"The voyage of discovery is not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes." 

Hiking as a metaphor for life...

You know that old saying, life is a journey not a destination, enjoy it? Well, those powerful words were something that I'd heard but never fully experienced until last fall during my first hike. I trekked up a mountain along the majestic California Central coastline. Alone. A first time experience and part of a long weekend getaway where I treated myself to being with me. It's what I call having scared moments with self and one of my Ten Commandments for Life that I write about in my book. I traveled to Cali on business and decided to spent  a few extra days in meditation and self care celebrating an upcoming birthday. These holy moments that I champion-- on a daily basis --  can happen anywhere on not just in exotic locations or far away from home. It's more about being still and really feeling being alive, and this of course, happens where ever you are. Yes, you reading this post!  These moments are vital because in the business of living our lives, we forget to live, breathe and be. Other things take over. And it's important to take a moment each day to sit still, recharge, revitalize and reenergize the soul. I savor moments like these and jealously carve them into my schedule because I matter. These holy moments are more compelling when experienced in the midst of nature-- a park, a river, an ocean, under the great day or night sky. When you can go outside do, you will also be able to be connected to your inside...

This particular trail was for intermediate walkers and it was mostly up a mountain for two miles. I remember that for the first few minutes of the walk, I was charmed by the newness of my experience. My surroundings, the lush flora, moss covered Sycamore trees, wildflowers of all colors, birds of all sizes, color, and song and other creatures were the background soundtrack because after the first few minutes of my climb I began obsessing about getting to the top. I'd been told that the payoff was large -- an extraordinary view of the magnificent Pacific coastline. I remember I bumped into two hikers making their way down and I asked each of them, desperately, "how long till I get to the top? It depends, each responded, one hour, 20 minutes, it's all up to your pace."

Then it hit me, I had missed all the beauty that surrounded me in the first half hour of the walk because I was stubbornly focused on the end result. Aha moments happen in unexpected moments. Mine was smack in the middle of this early morning trek.

I remember thinking that if I only focused on reaching the summit, I was going to miss all the teeming beauty that engulfed me during my journey. And how sad that would be, for me. At that moment, my pace slowed down and all my senses were awakened. I began to see smell, see, feel and hear more clearly the extraordinary beauty the region offered. I heard some leaves shuffling and turned to catch a small doe having breakfast. She looked at me briefly and I swear her eyes twinkled, then she went back to eating. My presence did not threaten her. I was not threatened by hers. Then a few birds with deep blue feathers and dark rooster-like crests flew by and perched themselves on nearby branches. They just chilled out there. The Sycamore trees, with their lush graceful branches, swayed softly in the early morning breeze. I smelled the earth which was warm and wet from the night rains. The sun played hide and seek as I walked up slowly. I took everything in.

It was in the midst of this experience that I was fully able to understand the power of being present, the power of the sage words about life being a journey, and the ancients saying, enjoy it, what's the hurry? Soon enough, without even noticing, I reached the top, and just as I'd been promised, it was a glorious view of the blue Pacific. What I discovered though was that the view of the summit, as glorious and remarkable as it was, was no less gorgeous than each step that brought me there.

I took with me the lesson of the experience: savor each step of my life with clarity and presence. Soon enough I will get to whatever destination I am heading and my journey will be enriched because of it. So will yours...

"He who conquers others is strong. He who conquers himself is mighty," Lao Tzu

I love this Tao saying because it suggests a truth about our own power, a power that we can lose sight of if we focus too much on the external. Controlling others is a lose-lose proposition. Controlling the self, well, it's win-win. Not easy by any means but for sure a win-win.

The idea is to turn your gaze inward and discover stillness, flow, creativity and beauty. Break habits that no longer serve you. Create new ones that help you reach your greatest potential.

Yea, we can turn our focus on conquering others and the world outside of us, but in the end, we all return to the self, a self that is majestic, wondrous and yes, mighty. And waiting...

This I know for real... getting acquainted with me is most marvelous adventure. Like, how exciting is it that there is no one else on this planet that is like me.

Be fearless in your quest. Stay positive.
Happy Friday.

"Genius is eternal patience," Michaelangelo

Patience is an extraordinary virtue and one that I've found to be extremely elusive, not just in my life but all around. In an era of instant gratification, patience, with ourselves and others, is in rare supply. Technology has made us more efficient but also stir crazy. Response times are crazy fast and everyone has come to expect things to happen not just now, but yesterday!

Not too many folks want to put the hard work in. Notice the rise in shortcuts to everything from having a child (the dramatic rise of medically unnecessary C-sections because due dates conflict with vacations) or plastic surgery (why work out, when we can suck it out.) Trust, I am not immune to the era's impatience with patience.

But, lately I've been cultivating patience, this elusive and most wonderful virtue, and I've discovered it's joys. I've bumped the beauty of patience and it rocks. Patience has arrived to visit me in the kitchen as I prepare nutritious meals allowing these dishes to be ready when they are supposed to be ready not when I need them to be ready. (Hence my discarding the microwave three years ago.) Patience has recently shown its gorgeous self at the yoga studio where each day I've seen the slow progression of my practice. (I can almost touch my toes!) Patience has revealed itself in my life as I cultivate meaningful relationships. And I've experienced how patience has worked it's magic in my work as a writer.

I confess, I am in deeply love with patience. Are you?

Michelangelo was onto something when he said of one of his masterpieces, "I saw the angel in the marble and kept carving until I set him free." Yes, the Renaissance artist continued to chip away gently until he set his masterpiece free. No slamming on the marble rushing it to existence. I recently read about the painstaking work of biographer Robert Caro on his almost two decade research to complete his recent bio of Lyndon B. Johnson. Inspiring.

So much of our lives is spent on rushing things and for urbanites the intensity of fast is even greater. And it happens that we have the least patience we ourselves.

If you consider yourself a work of art, and you should, then you will be able to fully appreciate that you are not to be rushed. Meet yourself where ever you are and don't judge. Work patiently and gently to free the masterpiece that is you. Never give up. Never give in. Keep at it. Oh so patiently. And like the philosopher king Bob Marley sang, while you beckon patience into your space, 'don't worry, be happy.'

Don't ignore taking care of the is inspiring and necessary for a full life

A soulful personality is complicated, multifaceted and shaped by both pain and pleasure, success, and failure. Life lived soulfully is not without its moments of darkness and periods of foolishness. Dropping the salvational fantasy frees us up to the possibility of self knowledge and self acceptance which are the foundation of the soul. " from "Care of the Soul" by Thomas Moore

The secret to life is so simple, be grateful...

Be grateful. Find grace...

If you walk around not appreciating what do have, it's a guarantee that you will fail to notice the beauty, blessings and bounty that surrounds you. It really does work.... this idea of being grateful. If you acknowledge even the tiniest of blessings in your everyday, it will awaken abundance of all sorts. Being grateful will allow you to live in a sweet state of everyday grace. And joy.

Try this: write down five things you can be grateful for today...

Me,  I am grateful...

that I can appreciate little weeds as flowers...
for the deep breaths that I take...
that I am healthy... and that I've learned to love veggies...
that my sons are healthy and that they eat their veggies...
that I met a group of amazing women, The Yoga Vaitanas
for the amazing family and friends in my life, even the ones who don't call me or get on my nerves...
of my Nina Simone Pandora station..

I can go on and on. I am deeply grateful, for the good, the bad, stinky and gorgeous. Are you?

Every day, people settle for less than they deserve. They are only partially living or at best living a partial life. Every human being has the potential to greatness. Bo Bennett

You ever ask yourself if you are giving your life your all? If you are honestly living to your fullest potential? If you haven't, then it's a guarantee that you are probably just going through life's basic motions -- eating, sleeping, working, hanging out, then repeating. One day it will happen - you wake up and realize that life just basically ran through you. The sages have said it for centuries: all we have is now. 

There is nothing like living in the now. It takes work. It takes focus. And it does take commitment. But, once there, it is a glorious place to... just be.

Haven't a clue as to how to tap into now: one easy way to tap into now is to notice your breath. Just breathe in, hold it for a few seconds, and out... Practice... practice and practice.

Go ahead, tap into greatness...