Calm is just a breath away

Patience Phillips
5 min readSep 8, 2020


We have a “Butterfly effect” on every single person physically and emotionally around us. How we feel and how we make them feel.

Image Courtesey : Unsplash, by Yoann Boyer

Am just another commoner looking for awake-arise-moments !! In my quest for betterment i had listened to many motivational or science driven lectures.

And i found what i was looking for in Dr.Andrew Huberman’s lectures.

First why do we listen to these lectures ?

Either as i told in my case for betterment, or overcoming a feeling like anxiety or reach maximum potential, anything as the individual needs.

To understand and go about making the changes, we need to dissect as to how our “processor” works.

In his (Dr. Huberman) words our nervous system is capable sensing/doing 5 things. (Interview with Tom Bilyeu)

What comprises of Thinking ?

Below is the sequence kind of events happening with us all waking time of ours

  1. Sensations — see, hear, talk, touch and smell
  2. Perception — conclusions we arrive out of it, like hearing a loud noise making us alert, a hot pan makes us stay away
  3. Feelings — When connections are made between what we sensed and perceived, they can be happy, sad, neutral like an information or learning
  4. Thoughts — These are a level above the feelings, driving us in a what-if mode. If i get good grades then i would get into this college, then eventually a good job and so forth
  5. Actions — This are the conclusive things we carry out, out of the combined force of feelings and our thoughts

These might be right about the way around which all neuro scientists or motivational speakers or even psychologists will explain how our brain works.

What is the specific thing I was looking for was, i know i have to intervene at a stage to change direction, say am frustrated at a situation, I know I am

Where is the break point ?

How these gets mapped on positively or negatively to what we are about to achieve — overall betterment or focus or letting go ?

The sensations part is basic physiology, this level we all share a common reality. Perception is way different between each of us.

Till perception we are not going into a habit or behavior setting mode.

Next comes feelings, all the lecturers would demand us to suppress or not feel or let go of what we are feeling.

Dr.Andrew differs and says feelings are the cues which tell us whether to orient in that direction or not. We cant stop ourselves from feeling sad, happy or say upset. Instead

We can “manage” our feelings and direct our thoughts and actions which would be the concrete ways to achieve how we are trying to change

How to shift lanes ?

Also the next set of things that would be widely discussed in these forums or interviews would be phrases like triggers, cues and reward systems, taming our subconscious mind, while we are awake or asleep to achieve what we want to and the like.

All these will hold good only when we are aware, like when its happening to a 3rd person, going through step 1 to 5. But when it happens to us, we are not aware, we are doing them in a automated manner then we wont have the space+time capability to address triggers, cues and taming them.

Breathing technique — to get back to normal from an excited state and enable us to think even for a split second, not letting us go down the spiral and pivot us as below

Use the feeling — the “why” part. If we are feeling guilt, we missed doing something, if anger, we are not able to reach someone else’s mind.

We should not be suppressing these feelings, we will get a disconnect with our own self. We know how we are feeling, that much is sure. Call it by its name, then we are aware of it and then do breath, and then thoughts and actions will tame themselves

Borrowed Time — With Breathing(learn the technique from his videos, as given below) and they we actually get a split second time now to rephrase the feeling part and arrive at the filtered feelings as i call them. That will thwart many unwanted situations we would have been ending up.

After refinement the thoughts and actions will be more goal oriented. For instance, anger would now change to — “a better choice of words in communicating the underlying specific needs”.

Step into a new path — These changes are not going to happen just like that in a blink, we start once and we will keep going, till we clear of all our slippery feelings.

My Connection

His lectures align with the way i have sought knowledge from scriptures like BhagavadGeetha and Upanishads.

These great books teach us the same, we are human, flawed, seeking betterment, but we are ultimately defined by what we DO eventually, not how we feel or perceive.

The books are not just moral codes we can read and start practicing just like that, they definitely need a detailed commentary of a scholar, a dedicated practice of years. I read and listened to them, still the “How to Do” part was unclear to me.

These scriptures say we will sense, perceive, feel otherwise we are either sages or in-animates. So these scripts direct us to make use of these sensation, perception and feelings to DO whats needed/correct/right and let aside the rest of it as a machinery in achieving the deed.

The amazing thing i found is the way Dr. Huberman explains/teaches is parallel to what these books say. The only difference is he is teaching the just couple of techniques to make it happen, which is textbook to me now, sincerely.

These are my favorites — His path, breathing technique, career advice.

These methods really work, as I saw them when I put them in practice.

His talks are hosted on his lab Hubermanlab page on Instagram and other videos on YouTube.

Doing them repeatedly is in itself a joy I realized, i really felt “exactly is the calm my scriptures talk about” the actual transformation will be felt mostly by people around us and reciprocated. I saw a spike in the positive energy in my circle of people, with me as the axis of the change, isn’t it proof enough ?



Patience Phillips

An artist , writer, web developer, who cares to share and clap at deep insights, humor, lateral thoughts and passionate pursuits.