“Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, But by the moments that take our breath away.”

“Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, But by the moments that take our breath away.”

Hillary Cooper

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Good morning peeps, meditation done.

Quote for the day:

?Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take,

But by the moments that take our breath away.?

Hillary Cooper

This is one of my favourite quotes, I love it for a variety of reasons.

I believe it symbolises the quality of the life each of us lives as individuals.

For starters we only have a certain amount of breaths in our lives the same way a car has only a certain amount of miles in it?s lifetime expectancy.

How many breaths do you think we have in a lifetime?

Scientists estimate that a human takes 600 Million Breaths in a lifetime.

So it makes sense to learn to maximize the efficiency of every single breath.

Controlling the tempo of our breathing helps control the state of the mind in times of stress, where the body?s natural ?fight or flight? response, quickens up our rate of breathing and causes panic and stress in both our body and mind. When we are scared or in a state of stress our shoulders tighten, causing even more tension and our heart beat races.

If we can maintain an even, steady breathe, this slows the heart rate, relaxes the body, calms the mind and supplies the brain with enough oxygen to make wise decisions.

That is why I begin my day with 10 minutes of breathing and meditation every single day.

Secondly and just as importantly I believe what we live for and strive for in life are the moments that take our breath away.

This is what defines us.

Holding your new born child for the first time.

That little gasp in your throat, the feeling in your stomach, the skip of your heart beat when you kiss and touch the hand of someone you truly love.

Most of the moments in my own life that have taken my breath away are to do with performing and sport.

Performing at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden in Sir Treveor Nunn?s version of ?Porgy and Bess? doing as many split or fame jumps as I could until the music stopped.

I would be looking out off the raised stage and could see the audience staring back at me open mouthed in the shadows. The crescendo produced by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the last note sustained by the awesome Porgy and Bess ensemble, the conductor Sir Simon Rattle looking up at you as he frantically waved his baton, the sound of Charles Augins the choreographer and my mentor?s voice inside my head going,

?jump boy jump.?

I would be buzzing, it never got any better than that, I literally thought I could fly, the years of building up my thigh muscles to be able to explode into action, the hours of stretching and going over that routine again and again when your body had nothing left to give, everything would come out as I was jumping, I would be grinning and screaming out in joy at the same time, I would just jump and jump until the music stopped.

?Porgy and Bess? was the first time I experienced that feeling, that buzz that truly takes your breath away and I was hooked on it, performing on stage at the big events, the big crowds, the biggest stars, I just could not get enough of it and I lived every moment of my life to the full, preparing my body and mind for those moments.

I felt blessed to have a career that gave me so many of those opportunities, The World Music Awards in Monte Carlo with Whitney, Prince, Stevie Wonder and Many awards.

The MTV Awards and all the other live events that give you a buzz that is never quite the same when you do recorded programs.

The first night of a West End Show, ?Carmen Jones? at the Old Vic, ?The Eartha Kitt Show? at The Shaftesbury, the buzz of being on stage in front of an audience at that moment is unbelievable, the standing ovations give you goose bumps and do literally take your breath away.

There is only one time in my career when I nearly suffered stage fright. I was performing at Wembley Stadium with Cliff Richard, it was the first time I had performed at Wembley Stadium which growing up as a huge football fan meant it had always been a dream of mine to play at Wembley, although never in my wildest dreams as a child would I have imagined dancing on stage at Wembley Stadium and definitely not with Sir Cliff Richards as I was never a fan of his music.

For a concert the capacity was 72,000. The other dancers had asked me

?Have you looked out the front of stage??

I said,

?No why??

They said,

?You should do it?s quite intimidating?

I cockily replied,

?Don?t worry I will be fine?

I left it and then about 10?15 mins before we were due to go on, I thought oh maybe I will have a little peep to see what it was like. I walked backstage and moved forward to behind the speakers that were covered by gauze and looked out at the crowd.

The mass of people literally took my breath away and my legs went wobbly at the knees. It really did shock me the effect looking out had had on me, I went backstage and tried to carry on warming up and go through the routine, but I could not remember the steps I kept blanking.

I was panicking the performance was getting closer and closer, what was I going to do?

Even as the gauze started lifting I still couldn?t remember the routine, it was a terrifying feeling.

Then the music started and I was fine and my body just automatically did all the steps.

I was very lucky if I had not had that little peep, I would have frozen and it would have taken a bit of time to refocus.

It was an important lesson to learn and emphasises the importance of preparing, breathing and focusing the mind and the body thoroughly for a performance, whether it is dance, sport or any other activity.

When I stopped dancing and became a choreographer, I used to strive to create those moments that would take the audience?s breath away.

After a show when having a few drinks with the dancer?s to celebrate we would say about something that particularly stood out that was ?a moment.?

Nowadays I spend my life trying to create moments for other people, by passing on the knowledge and experiences I have picked up along the way over the years.

My biggest buzz is seeing the faces of young kids and dancers when I have given them an opportunity to have their moment.

How about you?

Are you getting enough ?moments? in your life?

Make sure you are living your life in the right way to create the moments that take your breath away, otherwise life is not worth living.

Have a thrilling and thoughtful Thursday peeps

Breathe, Believe and Achieve

Be Happy, Healthy and Wise

Keep on Winning, Smiling and Living the Dream


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Steve Agyei

Founder of Beyond Lifestyle Secrets

Author of Celebrity Training Secrets


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