Smbrs what's the very first thing you were taught to check for during triage?
The absence of breath will kill you faster than anything else.
We were taught this stuff in class, but I truly learned it in the field.
The fact that we were taught to use breathing to be better at taking lives, as well as saving them, never held any great significance to me.
Heck, I never once thought about it until I started writing this blog.
Maybe it's just because it's so simple that I overlooked it......
As my Grandfather, a First Sergeant in WWII would say, "nobody knows".
Anyway, the "simple stuff" no longer escapes me and as I re-examine my military experience I always am reminded of the fact that in the class room I was tired and bored, but in the field I was HOOAH. Plain and Simple.
I remember the different points during land nav. I remember being happier outside in the woods.
I understand better now why that is. Reread last week's post to get a refresher, but in the woods there is constant change and growth in all its forms.
Even stagnant water is changing as mosquitos nest and thrive in the muck.
Dress right dress in the barracks, but in the field change is king.
I have outdoor places all around DC. These are the places I used to go when stuff was especially fracked up, but I now go as a way to just enjoy myself.
As my prominence in this field has grown more and more, people are asking me how to begin transitioning out of the muck and stagnation and into fecundity.
For the Marines, Infantry and Tankers fecundity means.......just kidding.....I had to look it up too and I have a friggen Masters Degree......
Fecundity means capable of creating new growth, new life, new ideas.
Fecundity and HOOAH are one in the same.
Again, most of the people I talk to one-on-one describe a feeling of stagnation, of being stuck.
My advice to everyone has been to begin to recognize the significance of your breath in an outdoor setting.
It's a bit harder with civilians because most have no idea how significant their breath is, or the many understandings of HOOAH--so, I relay the significance of the breath during shooting and triage and I think that makes them feel good to know that we Smbrs use the breath too.
My guidance to anyone out there who is stuck in their head, especially those who are starting to have a hard time sleeping: Take some time to go out in the woods, or the mountains, or a river, doesn't matter......just away from the dress right dress and practice: Breathing Technique Alpha.
BTA is the foundation of all other techniques. Here is how it works:
Stand or sit. Align the three points, your throat, your chest and your pelvis, as best you can.
Once you have done that, take as long and slow a breath as you can.
If the breath is long, smooth and satisfying, good, repeat.
If you feel tight or caught up, begin the process of opening the three points.
The way you do that is begin by closing you eyes.
Align best you can and as you inhale start to relax your jaw.
This will help relax your top point.
Then, exhale the tension.
Next, the middle point:
As you breathe in, let your shoulder blades relax down your back while letting your chest rise slightly.
Exhale the tension.
The third point is your pelvis.
Inhale and slightly tuck your tail bone under you.
Not much, just slightly enough to balance your pelvic floor.
Exhale the tension.
Repeat the process nine times
Why nine times?
Consciously relaxing each point nine times is about four minutes worth of work which is the minimum amount of time you need to create the relaxation response in your body.
I'll go into R&R later, but just know that it is the opposite side of the fight or flight coin otherwise known as our central nervous system.
Stay relaxed by watching your breath the same way you were taught to watch it during BRM.
Then, just friggin enjoy yourself, HOOAH.
When your mind is quiet there is so much to see.
You might just experience the HOOAH you need to move on to your next objective.
The ninth stanza of the Art of Peace is: