You’re motivated. You can’t sleep. You want to wake up and just go, go, go. You’re better. At work, at home, at the gym. It spreads. It’s contagious. You have energy. So. Much. Energy. Where does it come from?

Either way, it’s there. It needs go somewhere. You need more. Something else. Anything else. Another project. A new sport. A better job. Go, go, go!

But then, somewhere, something shifts. Where is it? Where is the spark? You wake up and…what? Why? How can this be? I don’t want to get up. No. Nooo. Just let me sleep. Come on. Just one extra hour.

But now, you can’t. Now, you haveto get up. You have work to do. The gym is important. Your second project is slow. And a part of the first just broke. It needs fixing. Ugh. It’s too much. When are you supposed to do all of this?

A friend calls. She’s in town. Let’s get dinner? Another needs help. Hey, can you read my resumé? Slowly, anxiety creeps in. Everything is just another item on your to-do list. The list is long. Endless. It just spools off in your head. Over and over. Why does it never stop?

You can’t sleep. Your heart is pounding. You’ve had way too much coffee. You try anyway. Eight hours. Just this once. Pleaaase. You wake up after five. Argh. No time, no time. Gotta go. Gotta fix all of this.

Stop.

What happened? How did you go from “I can take on the world” to “I’m overwhelmed, alone, and no one understands me?” How did it fly by so fast?

Nothing. Nothing really happened.

But then, somewhere, something shifts. Where is it? Where is the spark? You wake up and…what? Why? How can this be? I don’t want to get up. No. Nooo. Just let me sleep. Come on. Just one extra hour.
But even an amateur can learn. Practice the physical response, and the mind will follow. Breathing is a pattern as human beings. It is also our first chance to disrupt a pattern, escape anxiety’s grasp, to start with a clean slate and make a change.

More breathing, more living. Every problem has a solution. It’s never the same, but it always lies behind a single, deep breath.

Sometimes, it’s taking action. Sometimes, it’s acceptance. Sometimes, it’s thinking or waiting or courage or patience. But it’s always a solution we must take time to even see. A solution that needs room, that requires us to breathe.

Perseverance. That’s what it is. Perseverance, one cycle at a time.

Breathe.