The Breath Clock

The Breath ClockBiologists have a pretty good handle on the purpose and function of the breath. On the in breath, we take oxygen on board and on the out breath, we expel toxic carbon dioxide. If our lungs are clogged, our airways are blocked or our air supply removed, it doesn’t bode well for us. Breathing is essential to life.

The breath though has some other more subtle, yet vital roles which are not generally recognised.

1. Powering Inspiration

Most people speak on the out breath (apart from some Icelandic people and some flautists I discovered).

Try and speak on an in breath to find out what I mean.

Our language, as always, gives somewhat obvious clues as to what is really going on. When we speak we voice our ’aspirations’. The in breath is of course the ’in-spiration’ phase of the whole re-spiration process. It is this ’in-breathing’ process that fires up our imagination and brings in ideas.

So if you find yourself stuck for inspiration, just close your eyes, breathe slowly and rhythmically for a couple of minutes. If you then pay attention to the still point between the in and out breath, the solution to your problem will just pop in ’out of nowhere’.

This works equally well if you go out for a walk (with your eyes open though).

2. Aiding creativity

Our neurons don’t store any oxygen so we need our breath just to think. As our brain uses 20-25% of our body’s energy, this is why it shuts down when we faint to protect our other vital organs.

So if you are starting a creative task, here’s a quick and simple way to give yourself an extra boost.

Close your right nostril with your right index finger and breathe in and out of your left nostril five times. You can do this at whatever speed feels right for you. This has the effect of oxygenating the right brain. Then use your left index finger to close your left nostril and oxygenate your left hemisphere by breathing through your right nostril five times. Repeat as necessary.

3. Controlling our Perception of Time

Time is not as fixed as is normally thought. It is both malleable and stretchable and affected by the speed of our consciousness.

By changing the speed of our breath, we can alter the perceived passage of time. It’s as simple as this. The faster we breathe, the faster time seems to pass. Slow your breath down and time elongates.

Watch this short video from my Slowing Down to Speed Up program to find out more …

So it is just possible by controlling the speed of our breath, we can not only live longer but get more done in the time we do have on this special planet.


Related Links

Slowing Down to Speed Up
Living Timefully

Making Time

There are two really common reasons why authors and bloggers get writer’s block.

The first is a lack of inner confidence about their writing ability.

The second is a belief that they simply don’t have the time to write.

These first types of blocks caused by lack of confidence can be caused by an innocent criticism of something written earlier – like an essay that got a black mark at school perhaps.

The solution is to identify the old gestalts and replace them with new patterns that are much more useful. Note though that this doesn’t mean deleting bad memories though as these are useful source material for a writer.

Incidentally, these first type of blocks are something I deal with in more detail in my book Blocks …

To deal with the second type of block, perceived lack of time, there are many excellent books on how to improve your time management. One I specifically recommend for authors is Time Management for Dummies by Clare (no relation) Evans.

Books like this are brilliant at pointing out where you can claw back time by better managing your day. Additionally, I would like to propose a more lateral and fundamental approach to time management – and that’s to change the perceived speed of time itself.

Now this might seem far fetched, or in the realms of Doctor Who or Back to the Future, but scientists are coming to the conclusion that our reality – our space and time – are linked to our consciousness. In fact, it’s more accurate to say that it’s our very consciousness that actually creates our reality. So all you need to do to change time is to make a change in your consciousness.

I am sure you have heard about athletes who have been “in the zone” – a sort of timeless place – or perhaps you have had a light bulb moment where in less than a second, you get a flash of inspiration – a whole picture for a new idea. If you were able to MRI scan your brain at this moment, you would see both the right and left hemispheres light up in synchronism. For that split second you were Whole Brain (or even Whole Mind) Thinking. A brain scan would show that your brain was generating alpha and probably even theta waves.

Now you can access this state while meditating. When I mention this to authors, their first reaction is that they don’t have time to meditate. I know it sounds counter-intuitive but I can testify that 20-30 minutes meditation before a writing session will deliver not only the time back by a factor of 3 or 4 but also much better quality writing.

“But I can’t make my mind go quiet,” is normally the next protest swiftly followed by, “I’d like to meditate but I don’t have time to learn how.”

Well, if you hear yourself saying this, help is now at hand. You don’t need necessarily to enter an ashram.

This visualisation will help you experience the meditative state in just 11 minutes …

iPad or no Flash? Listen here

After you’ve listened to it a few times, you will even find it easier to enter the meditative state while you are in what is normally thought of as the waking state.

For a writer, this become significant as time seems to stretch out so that in a single hour you write what would normally take a whole morning or afternoon.

The benefits to your productivity are therefore immense and you will be amazed at your output in all areas of your life. People who have used machines even get comments of how well they look.


I can highly recommend reading Steven Taylor’s excellent book called Making Time – it explains in great detail on how this all works and how you can start to control time to your advantage.

More details on Making Time here …

For more details on my book Blocks and the accompanying visualisations – see here