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GUEST POST: The Hidden Side of Breathing


GUEST POST: The Hidden Side of Breathing

Life isn’t always all fun and roses, all bright colors and beautiful daisies.

This may be a strange way to start a guest post on a blog that celebrates the joy and beauty of life. Don’t worry, I’m not trying to be a downer.

It’s worth pausing for a moment to appreciate the darker, sometimes unpleasant side of life. After all, without these things we would not have the ability to understand the things we are here to celebrate.

Love. Happiness. Beauty. Joy.

The world exists in contrast. Without light, there is no dark, without sadness there is no joy. This is neither good or bad, it just is.

Consider this. Right now, there is a battle waging with trillions of deaths ocurring.

This happens every day. It is happening right now.

In the ocean, single celled phytoplankton called coccolithophores are battling with a virus, and this single celled battle rages on a scale so large that you can see the results of it from space.

Coccolithophore plume from space. Image credit: Jacques Descloitres, MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC

I heard about this on Radio Lab, a podcast that you should listen to if you don’t. Really, go right now and subscribe. I’ll be here when you get back.

The never ending battle of the coccolithophores, and the trillions of them dying every day are critical to the joy and beauty of life.

When a coccolithophore dies, a tiny puff of oxygen is released. A last breath if you will.

One tiny puff of oxygen means nothing, but trillions of tiny puffs of oxygen every day?

That’s the air that we breathe. In fact, every other breath you take is oxygen supplied by the ongoing cycle of the coccolithophore. Life, battle, death, exhale.


Much of our focus in trying to better understand our lives falls to the breath. Through meditation and breath. Through yoga and breath.

To live, we must breathe.

To be with the breath is to be fully present in this moment, to be present with who and what you are, to acknowledge and accept all parts of life.

As we look inward and breathe, we don’t think about where our breath comes from. But of all things, our breath shows how deeply we are connected to everything around us. To life, and to death. To happiness, joy, sadness and pain.

This is not meant to depress. This is a celebration. This is life, and we can’t hide from the parts of life that we find uncomfortable or uncertain.

We can’t not breathe.

Each breath, each moment, is so much more than we realize, worthy of all the joy and celebration you can contain.


Featured Image: Deep Breath by Melanie Weidner

My name is Spyros Heniadis. It’s pronounced Spear-ohs, and it’s Greek, though like many, I’m a mutt. Half Greek, quarter German, a splash of Irish, a pinch of Bohemian, salt and pepper to taste.

I was born in 1975, which makes me 36 years old as of this writing.

I love photography, I love to teach, and I love exploring the idea of self.

I also love my wife, I’ve been married to her for nearly 14 years.


Visit Spyros’s website: The Self Help Photographer
Twitter: @heniadis

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One Comment

  1. I was reminded today of the importance of “breath” while getting a massage. In a time when I should be relaxing, my mind was racing and I even caught myself not breathing calmly like I wanted to be.

    Love the post. Thanks for sharing!

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