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  • Writer's picturePiotr

Swimming Lesson

I write the following words in 'Pages' on my Mac.

Eight other applications are still open "just in case".

I just realized that I need to change the spacing to make it easier to read.

“Give it some space. Let it breathe," someone advised me on my writing once.

I took it to heart. To me it became a universal recipe for life and for general relations with others. Better to stop, give it space, get some air, and let others do the same.

I check Facebook: one laugh emoji and some notification that I am completely uninterested in.

Suddenly I don't know what I was going to...

Oh, I know!



I don't remember the last time I was able to focus on something for a stretch of time. There is always a pop-up window to click on, some type of side track. A side track from the side track. The rabbit hole of distractions.

Reading books, even those printed on the good old tree pulp, is not as easy as it used to be. Links to click on are missing, and if I disagree with the ideas in the book, I always suffer from the lack of the comment section.

"Never read the comments!" - a warning I hear quite often.

But as a seeker of the secrets of human nature, I must admit that I find this one difficult to follow. Nothing exposes the true human nature like an anonymous forum for pure naked instincts. The comment section is the true mirror for humanity!

I look at the timer in the top right corner of my screen.

It's not even 10 AM yet!

It seems I've been sitting here a lot longer. I am happy with this sudden bonus of free time, although I know that nothing is for free and in the end nobody wins the race against time.

20 minutes is usually the longest interval of time when I can concentrate on one project. After that, I have to take a break. Take a little run, a walk, or just stretch the old tendons.

Break it is!


There was supposed to be a break, but I just came up with a recipe for focus and concentration. I must write it down or I will forget. Here it goes:

“Perhaps a good recipe for achieving focus is to accept and study our mind under pressure of distractions? Perhaps resistance to that pressure just adds another layer of tension?"

Does this mean that bad habits can be cured by applying excess? Forcing teenagers to smoke a whole pack of cigarettes comes to mind… Are we to try to overdose on our stimuli, or should we just become neutral observers of our state of mind under their influence?

It all sounds a bit Buddhist, even though acceptance and neutral self observation has become a common doctrine-free treatment strategy in cognitive behavioral therapy.

Perhaps this means that meditation practitioners really do know what they are talking about.

I suppose it's a bit like swimming.

Floating on the surface of water is the natural function of our bodies. Newborn babies do it instinctively but as we get older we often lose this natural harmony with elements and ourselves. Fear kicks in. Fear is the most common cause of drowning among those who say they cannot swim.

I still remember when I officially "learned" how to swim. It was the very moment when I surrendered myself to the element. It was when instead of waving my limbs in frenzy, I relaxed lying on the surface and just breathing.

Give it some space.

Let it breathe.

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