NewYears IED

Thursday, March 29, 2012

How an Army of One can be Useful to us All

You remember the old "An Army of One" tag line a couple of years back. I remember it was the tag line that came after "Be all that you can be".

The reason I remember is because while I was in the recruiters office filling out paperwork the second recruiter in the room answered the phone with a resounding "be all you can be....pause....excuse me.....Army of One, how can I help you."

Anyway, the whole Army of One idea makes sense in that a team working harmoniously together as a single unit is strong and resilient.

Think back to that first time you marched to a cadence.

Marching was cool but calling cadence brought everyone alive!

The first cadence I ever marched to was "Old King Cole"

" old king cole was a merry old soul and a merry old soul was he, uh huh"

"he called for his pipe, he called for his bowl and he called for his Pvts three, uh huh"

"beer, beer, beer, said the Pvt, merry men are we, but none so fair as you can compare to the airborne infantry, uh huh!"

We were three weeks into basic on our way back from an obstacle course when drill Sergeant Y, made the call. I was tired beyond belief but once we all started sounding off as one, I felt that surge. Nothing like it.

How long you think Joe has been marching to that toon? (what's your favorite cadence?)

While I'm smiling thinking back on basic, I know where this post is headed.....

The nights after Iraq when sleep would never come were the loneliest times.

White nights.

Like a company marching out of sync, my body would be tired, my brain would be wired and my mind would be fighting it all trying to figure out why the fuck I could manage a combat tour but not a civilian life.

I felt disconnected. I didn't have any battle buddies to turn to, or sense of purpose to guide me. I was out of rhythm with my own self and felt completely and utterly powerless to do anything about it.

I was surprised and ashamed. I was also clueless. Post traumatic stress wasn't something I was familiar with.

Plus when we were out of sync in the Army someone would just scream at us and things got better. Well, what do you do when you are screaming at yourself?

What is the very first thing you do after hearing the final syllable of the command.....


Step off with your left foot, HOOAH?

Every time.

That single step sets everything else up. That one step harmonizes and unifies you with every other member of your company.

That one step even harmonizes the cadence.

After last weeks post, what do you think is the first "step" you would take to harmonize you own body if you found yourself in a white night?

Your breath.

Your central nervous system harmonizes itself in relation to your breathing. You may be out of the military and not have anyone to get on you when you are out of sync but after reading Armor Down you for damn sure will know that you are not powerless to do anything about it.

We all stepped off as one, now step one is breath.

Don't let the white night distract you.

Breath in 2,3,4

Breath out 2,3,4

Your breathing is the key. Your infinite resource for harmonizing your body.

I now consciously use my breath to optimize every aspect of my life.

No matter what, it is always available to me.

I may not know those of you who read this blog, but I do know one thing for certain about each and every one of you. The first thing you did when you came into this world was, inhale. The last thing you do before you leave it will be, exhale.

We all have access to the exact same resource.

In essence, we are one.

The Third Stanza in the Art of Peace is: All things, material and spiritual originate from one source and are related as if they are one family. The past, present, and future are all contained in the life force. The universe emerged and developed from one source and we evolved through the optimal process of unification and harmonization.

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