Archives for posts with tag: survival

For the regular reader of this blog, it is very clear that the concept of the “bucket list” is very important to me. Developing a list of things I want to do before I “kick the bucket” has become one of the most worthwhile projects that I’ve undertaken. I’ve learned so much about myself, how far I can push myself, and how far I’m WILLING to test my limits. Bucket lists, especially those that are public (like this blog), are a great way for one to share their dreams. But not only this. Sharing one’s dreams is to openly acknowledge that you possess the confidence  necessary to act upon your words. You open yourself up to potential judgement. You make your failures public. Attempting to make dreams a reality and share them with the world is perhaps the highest form of courage.

Candy Chang made this possible for many people in New Orleans.

“Installation artist and urban planner, Candy Chang recently inspired New Orleans locals to declare their hopes and dreams on a wall in their community for her new project, Before I Die. This interactive street art uses an abandoned house as a blackboard and encouraged passersby to write down the one thing they want to do before they kick the bucket with the chalk provided.

It’s also about turning a neglected space into a constructive one where we can learn the hopes and aspirations of the people around us.

To the artist’s amazement, the entire wall was filled before the end of the first day.”

Check out more photos of Candy Chang’s New Orleans installation at the Kidrobot blog!

– Daniel

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The basic difference between an ordinary man and a warrior is that a warrior takes everything as a challenge while an ordinary man takes everything either as a blessing or a curse.”  – Carlos Casteneda

Combat have always fascinated me. I don’t mean the act of harming someone or something, but the act of persevering. Standing tall against adversity and winning. Being steadfastness despite difficulty. I simply just love a challenge. But sometimes these things can get the better of us, especially when we test our limits. Meditation or times of quite self-reflection have always helped me cope with stress and difficult times. Tactical breathing is just another tool that I’ve learned!

“As practiced by modern police and military, it allows you to rapidly regain control of you body during critical situations. Body functions, such as heart rate, body temperature, breathing, blinking, and digesting are controlled by the autonomic nervous system (ANS). In most situations, you are unaware of the workings of the ANS because it functions in an involuntary, reflexive manner. There are two responses you do have control over – breathing and blinking. We can use breathing as a bridge back from mindless panicked “fight or fight” to put ourselves in an optimal condition to fight.”

Here’s how to “breathe tactically”:

  • Breathe in through your nose to the count of 4.
  • Hold your breath to the count of 4.
  • Breathe out through your lips to the count of 4.
  • Hold your breath to the count of 4.
  • Repeat until you feel your body and mind relax.

I was at first quite skeptical. I found myself wondering, “would this actually work?”. After using this technique for about two weeks – training at the gym, sitting in my office, before my shift at work (in the middle or before any potentially stressful scenarios) – and have only encountered positive results. If you aren’t sold or find yourself hesitant, especially because of the “tactical” (implied for military and law enforcement) label, simply view it as controlled breathing!

Breathe – manage your distress, clear your mind, and be happy.

For more on controlled/tactical breathing, check out this fantastic article: Tactical Breathing Can Stop Stress on the Spot

– Daniel