Breathe Issue 11

We’ve been puzzling the past few weeks here at Breathe. Puzzling as to how to communicate without words; puzzling how not to compromise the self while still helping others; and puzzling, well, about puzzles.

We’ve discovered that while solutions to many of life’s big questions are rarely straightforward they always require patience. And this is a good thing. It encourages a slower pace, healthy self-awareness and sometimes a reassessment of how the seemingly mundane can be mindful.

Let’s go back to communicating without words. We wondered, for instance, if it would be possible for an English-only speaker to follow a Greek-taught Tai Chi class in Athens. Thankfully, the answer is yes. A teacher may have to give different or exaggerated visual cues for the postures but the language of movement is shared and brings with it effective non-verbal communication as well as opportunities to make new friends and to gain exciting insights into different cultures.

A closer look at exactly how much should be done – or how much ground should be given – to accommodate others’ wishes is equally as revealing. Helping friends, family and colleagues is laudable, but if exhaustion, frustration and self-doubt are regular visitors in the middle of the night, the time might have come to stop worrying about pleasing others lest they decide they don’t like you (they won’t) and to allow your unique self to shine. After all, true friends cherish you for who you are, not what you can do for them, and that demands no compromise.

All this debating led the Breathe team to retreat into the wonderfully mindful world of puzzles. From mathematical riddles to word teasers they provide respite from the everyday, keep the mind ticking over and have the potential to deliver big highs on the personal achievement front. We invite you to join the fun in our special puzzle section.