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Design Your Breathing, Design Your Life

Design Your Breathing Design Your Life
I've returned to New Zealand after finishing a long trip of several months. During the last four months, I've visited the United States, Korea, Europe, and Japan, meeting readers of I've Decided to Live 120 Years, having an exciting time. In Korea, I toured major cities, meeting thousands of readers and sharing stories about longevity, completion, and the life of the Earth Citizen. Readers I met in European countries I was visiting for the first time, including Belgium and Spain, took me back to my early days, enabling me to return to my beginner's mind. I'm grateful for all the precious connections, experiences, and things I've learned, gifts the "120 book" has given me.

Thinking about the readers I met then, I want to share with you the most important messages of the 120-year-life philosophy I communicated to them, as well as some practical tips for applying those messages in your life.

Choose a long, healthy, happy life 'intentionally'

There are two approaches to living life. One is choosing how you will live and designing your life; the other, just living without a plan. I can say this with confidence: only those who design how they live can be the masters of their lives.

Choosing how long you'll live and just living without making a choice—there's a big difference between these two approaches. Of course, your choice doesn't need to be 120 years like mine was. One hundred years, 80 years… You decide. It's not like we can adjust our life spans as we want just because we made a choice. Even so, I hope you will "intentionally" choose to live a long, healthy, happy, meaningful life. Doing that enables you to design and manage your life.

When you have a goal for how long you'll live, you can think more deeply about what's really important in your life, about its purpose and values. More than anything else, you come to look back on your patterns and habits of living, to examine whether you're managing yourself well enough to live the number of years you've chosen. In this process, you end up creating for yourself crucial, meaningful change.

The importance of choosing how you live and what for, planning and designing your life cannot be overstated. If you don't plan and design your life, you wind up entrusting yourself to your emotions and desires, letting yourself live however your situation dictates.

Please choose how you want to live. And inform your brain exactly what choice you've made. Otherwise, your brain will move as it has always done. In other words, you will end up living as you have lived so far, without changing. Choosing how you will live activates the GPS for life installed in your brain. Our brains have the greatest GPS; the way to activate it is to give it your exact destination, telling it where you want to go. Then your brain will find its own path to your destination, creating paths where none exist.

Develop the power to observe

The key to designing your life and living according to that design is developing "the power to observe." Put another way, the power to observe is the power to realize, the power to be aware. Awareness means that some situation or condition enters the radar network of our consciousness. When our consciousness is aware of a situation, it's able to exert an influence on it. Nothing happens without that awareness. Observing and being aware are the beginning of all change and creation. Having a lot of knowledge doesn't enable you to design and manage your life like you want to. You can do that when you have a sense for observing and being aware of things.

Meditate to develop the power to observe and be aware. Meditation, put simply, is connecting with yourself. It's feeling your inner energy. Focusing within, you feel what emotions and thoughts are arising inside you, feeling the condition of your body and mind just as they are. Watching yourself honestly, we can say, is the heart of meditation. There are many kinds of meditation, but breathing meditation is one of those anyone can do easily.

Design your breathing

You're probably breathing right now. Right? You've got a big problem on your hands if you're not. We actually breathe automatically, without even being aware of it. So we don't normally think too much about breathing.

You will now practice being "conscious" of your breathing. Sit comfortably in a chair or on the floor. Straighten your lower back and close your eyes. Feeling your breath, slowly inhale while counting, one, two, three, four, five. Next, again, slowly exhale while counting, one, two, three, four, five. Repeating this for three minutes, observe what happens in your body and mind. It's enough to just feel what happens, without trying to change it.

You'll probably feel whether your breathing is regular or irregular, sensing your body temperature and points of discomfort. Saliva will collect in your mouth when you're well relaxed. You also have certain passing thoughts touch your mind or feel certain emotions. Feeling these things just as they are is observing and recognizing. While you are doing that, your body will have relaxed, your mind grown more peaceful.

You have been aware of your breathing, controlling it. By sending your brain and body a signal, indicating that you would inhale while counting to five and exhale while counting to five, you have designed your own breathing. By breathing consciously, you have mastered your respiration. Breath is life. Controlling your breathing in this way, you have realized that you can design your energy, your life force. You come to understand, my body is not me but mine, my emotions are not me but mine, my life is not me but mine.

Keep increasing the time you spend breathing consciously in this way. If you develop a sense for observing through breathing, you will be able to distinguish the voices coming from your emotions and desires from the voice coming from your soul. You can create changes for yourself, changes that bring you true joy and satisfaction, when you listen to the voice of your soul.

If you have genuinely chosen to live to a certain age, you will have been aware of many things about yourself when you control your breathing as you do breathing meditation. You will have observed not only what you should fix and change, but also how beautiful and precious your life is, and what great passion and love are there inside you.

I want you to accept with joy and gratitude what you have observed and become aware of. And I want you to act on those realizations. If you do, then, no doubt, you will take a step closer to the life you want.

Listen to life cheering you on

Today, after a long time, I walked the 120 steps of Earth Village. The forest here seems to have grown denser and thicker while I was gone. The clear air and refreshing energy the forest gives off completely cleansed my lungs, heart, and brain.

I sit on the Chunhwadae deck at the end of the 120 steps, controlling my breathing. I close my eyes and focus on my breath, my breathing automatically deepening, my mind growing tranquil. I feel my life, coming and going from my body through my breath. I sense the life of the trees and birds around me, the mind of the earth. Feeling the rhythm of life beating around me, its pounding an expression of perfect timing, I speak to my body and brain.

"My brain, my body, I have a favor to ask. I've decided to live 120 years, so please help me do that. Please respect and support my choice, enabling me to say that I have lived without regret, dreaming and striving to realize those dreams."

I hear my body and brain answer me.

"Don't worry. We'll do our best to help you dream new dreams and achieve those dreams. We're always cheering for you."

My breathing keeps growing deeper. At first, I controlled my breathing consciously, but, now, the me who is doing the controlling disappears. My self and my breath merge, becoming completely one. I feel eternal, self-existent life. I sense that life filling the whole world as well as my body. I feel that life loving and cheering for me without any condition at all. Do you also feel the love and support of that life?

Written by Ilchi Lee
A visionary, educator, author, and founder of ChangeYourEnergy.com, Ilchi Lee has spent nearly three decades helping people create better lives for themselves. Lee has created Body & Brain Yoga, Brain Education, and hundreds of other wellness programs and methods. A model for the self-improvement he teaches, Ilchi Lee is continually changing and continually creative. Keep up with Ilchi Lee on his blog at http://www.ilchi.com.
3 Comments Tell us your thoughts
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I enjoyed this message.  Thank you Ilchi Lee for your dedication to helping folks become conscience of their eternal, self-existent life, as well as, the power and benefit of intention...wishing you 120 years of a blessed life.
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Thank you for this beautiful message. I always need a reminder to focus on breathing!
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Thank you SSN for teaching us breathing well. I am happy to share the principles of My body is not me but mine, My life is not me but mine... 
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