LEARN TO BREATHE
“To inhale is to live while to exhale is to die. No one knows which of these two one will do next, therefore one must live prepared in God.”
To inhale is to live while to exhale is to die. No one knows which of these two one will do next, therefore one must live prepared in God. This statement crept into my thoughts a while ago while I was preparing for this issue of the magazine. I can’t tell per se, if I got it from somewhere or if they came to me as fresh words, but in any case I loved them instantly because it sounded poetic to me. I realized how deep the statement was the moment I stopped to pay attention. At first it sounded like just a poetic phrase that speaks of natural death or the absence of life or the end of life as we know it. But I think it’s a little bit simpler than that. Not complex at all. And yeah, life and death are pretty deep.
In a very simple form, it appears to me that often times we are so caught up with lots of activities that we forget how to breathe. I am not saying this like you will hear someone say to breathe when in some form of emotional stress. I literally mean we forget how good fresh air, sea breeze, forest air smells or feels like on the skin. It is very therapeutic and healing. And this is not just about some ancient Afrikan or Asian theory, it’s scientifically proven and I will share a few words from someone we interviewed some time ago.
City life is good for whatever it is good for, with all its hustle and bustle to achieve set goals and stuff. But it also comes with its setbacks. Ranging from too much noise, air pollution from machines, too much unnatural light which creates so much electrical energy around, a vast atmosphere of conflicting electromagnetic waves coming from so many communication devices and the many other emotional conflicts that arise from competition to achieve and the pain of wanting to conform to what one sees. In fact, city life makes you measure yourself by the everyday standards of others.
It has its bit of goodness if well managed, in that it creates competition for innovation and excellence, but only if the competition is healthy. But overall, there is no wisdom in measuring oneself with others. You are simply you and they are simply themselves. Then to also put into consideration the spiritual denseness that rules over such atmospheres of mixed energies in the cities, you don’t want to go there. It’s a complex situation. Its just a mix of many things really and in these days and times, no one really needs many things.
Well for me, I don’t think I need many things. And the reason is simple. The life of simplicity devoid of clutter, helps put what is real and eternal in constant perspective. For at the end of the day, only what is eternal is really eternal. Simple. Personally, moving from Nairobi to the coast of Kenya was not a challenge at all. In fact, I have wanted that and just for the fact that the nature essence of the sea breeze is just nice. It helps with clear thinking, meditations, creativity and lots more. Each time I walk the beaches, I see lots of white people doing various sports or walks around along the beaches and some blacks too. But I keep thinking these guys don’t just leave their countries to come to Afrika just to come spend their money on tourism. I don’t think so. I personally believe they come for the health benefits of clean and therapeutic natural atmospheres. They have lots of mega cities with mega complexities and unnaturalness, and one way to get out of such complex realities is to come to Africa to BREATHE. And mind you, such atmospheres found in Afrika’s nature help with innovative and creative thinking. That’s it. It’s like coming here to Afrika to tap into clean natural creative energy and when they go back home, they create new things that we Afrikans pay money to get from them. So you see my gist. Nature essence births creativity and innovations.
Afrikans must use every beautiful thing God gave them. And it begins with knowing how much goodness this continent has and how much just taking time to breathe helps to connect to this goodness. Now let me share with you an extract from an article (Interview) we did with Mr .B at Entim Sidai Wellness Sanctuary, Karen.
As Mr. B explains, ‘Our biggest reason for coming here is that these trees you see here, they are proper forest; we have 480 species of trees. That is huge. And what happens is that all these trees together they protect themselves also from diseases like we do. These trees produce a compound called phytoncides. Each different from the other and together they combine also so they create a collective dawa [medicine] for raising immunity so that each tree can now defend itself from diseases. If those phytoncides raise immunity of the trees, the question is, does it affect human beings? Yes. Research conducted by Japanese doing what they are calling environmental medicine found lo and behold these phytoncides also raise immunity of human beings and in addition, treat many other conditions. They prescribe forest visits like, visit a forest and be there for two hours every alternate day.’
According to research we did online, Phyton means plant and cide means to exterminate. So these compounds are produced by plants to help them protect themselves from harmful insects and germs. They are found in forests and vegetables and fruits as well. Forest bathing has been found to lower stress, control blood sugar, improve concentration, reduce pain and improve immunity.
Mr. B added that, ‘Our bodies have lost that characteristic of breathing deeply because the body is defending itself from toxic air when you’re in town. So, when we get a place which is super-oxygenated, you can renew your cells by breathing a double intake of oxygen. Many cells die because they are not oxygenated but when you come here and you have time to be in a forest, don’t be in a hurry.’
So you see the essence of nature essence and presence? It’s amazing knowing that Afrika is home to such healing spaces, forests, beaches, farmlands etc and we as Africans must learn to BREATHE in their healing powers. Life is quite simple if we decide to live simply. Big cities and their fanciness don’t make much sense. So get out there and breathe. You can add fresh coconut juice to the fun.
Have a beautiful, healthy breathing time.