Editorial: The Air You Breathe

By Rudá Iandê

Have you ever experienced scuba diving? The silence inside the water is absolute. This silence is not the absence of sounds, but something much deeper that comes from the body. The presence of the ocean enfolding the diver is overwhelming. The weight and pressure of the water brings together body and mind. There’s a sense of awareness that comes from the cell of the body, a kind of reverence for entering another realm. The magic of diving doesn’t only come from the ocean. It also comes from how we interact with it.

I wonder if fish, octopuses, and other sea creatures feel the ocean the same way we do. They were born in the water, and it has been their environment for their whole lives. They have completely adapted to it. They’re probably so used to the water that they don’t even see or perceive it anymore. They must have the same kind of relationship with the water that we have with the air.

What if a fish could wear a special scuba mask that allowed it to breathe outside the water? How would it experience our atmosphere? What’s so natural for us may feel absolutely overwhelming for a creature of the sea.

For us, born as we were in this atmosphere, the situation is different. We’ve always been enveloped by air. It’s ingrained in our lives that we don’t pay attention to it. It became more than invisible to us. It became imperceptible.

The air we breathe is our primal source of life and yet we don’t pay any attention to it. We’re completely immersed in an abundant atmosphere of life and energy. We use it automatically, to stay alive, but we don’t know how to appreciate it, how to enjoy it. Nor do we know how to channel its power inside of us.

The most precious treasures we have are hidden just in front of our eyes, and the air we breathe is the first of them. But our species is too busy to pay attention to that. We have big dreams to achieve. We think we’ll find our happiness through money and success. We’ve bought the capitalist illusion, forgetting that the most precious things we can get are already available, and they are not for sale.

It’s part of our nature to not value what we already have. Each of our dreams become uninteresting shortly after achieved. We always want more. We tend to give much more importance to what we don’t have – the things we want to achieve – than to what is at our disposal.

If we’re capable of despising things we strived for years to achieve, what can we say about our relationship with the air that was given to us from our first moment outside the womb. We just take it for granted and forget about it. Unless when we don’t have it at our disposal…

It’s been one year since the WHO officially declared we are living in a pandemic. In one year, it took the breath and life of around 2.6 million people. It’s a big number. Yet it’s less than half of the 8.8 million who died because of air pollution in the same period. We’re making great efforts to stop the pandemic, but our forests are still burning to give space for more crops, and our cars and industries keep consuming fossil fuel. Our carbon emissions reach new records every year, all in the name of “economic growth.”

If we don’t stop, take a breath, and reevaluate our lifestyle, we risk doing irreversible damage to our most precious and essential asset: our air. In exchange for what? Nice clothes? Fancy cars? Family trips to Disney?

Before it’s too late, we want to invite you to journey with us and explore some fresh perspectives on the air you breathe. Each breath you take brings you a new portion of life. You can sleepwalk completely disconnected from it, or you can bring awareness and purpose to your breath. You can breathe with power. You can breathe with gratitude. You can let this air in your lungs empower your heart, mind, and spirit. And you can use this power to give back to life. All the energy you need is right there, at a distance of only one breath. Are you going to take hold of it?

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Picture of Rudá Iandê

Rudá Iandê

Rudá Iandé

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