Mitchel M.D. Podcast

PY25 How One Thought Can Save a Life

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PY 25: Thinking It So


Launching into summer & I hope you are pushing forward with your goals.

I like to review my weekly, monthly and yearly goals on a weekly basis

only takes a few minutes and keeps me grounded


but that’s not what this episode is about.  As I was thinking about what I wanted to share in this episode and an old summer memory popped into my head and also brought a wave of chills


Thoughts are powerful and shape a person’s approach to all things in life.  It’s said that it’s not the actual event, but rather one’s interpretation and thoughts that shape everything.


Could a thought or single memory save your life?  


Growing up I watched all the James Bond movies and began to build my life around that goal.  Plans for life in the military as a pilot with a bevy of impressive skills and talents.  I learned to fly, got my pilot’s license and began advanced training, diligently worked to earn 2 blackbelts, dived into life saving skills as a certified EMT and worked on an ambulance.  


Diving into the water seemed all that remained.  So I did just that.  My close friend Steve and I, suited up and threw on our tanks.  Letting the bravado of youth cloud our judgement, we sunk to 120 feet in the murk and cold of a deep freshwater lake.  After a brief swim and survey, we ascended to finish the dive.


That’s when it all went wrong.

Free flowing regulator.

Malfunction of BCD

Too rapid ascent and rupture of my ear drum and ensuing vertigo


We sunk to the bottom and began again

Locking forearms in the pitch black cold murky water


swimming sideways instead of up due to vertigo and my friends tanks rapidly dropping their air supply

blood coming out of my ear, nose and mouth and a sense of panic and doom setting in


My heart was hammering in my head and gasps of breath and bubbles streaming from my regulator


I paused to reflect on the outcome if I let panic rule the moment.  What tragedy as my friend’s dad waited our return in the boat and my own family’s grief if were were to drown that afternoon


Part of my martial arts training occurred under the watchful eye of a Korean Grand Master.  He related a story of deep meditation and playing dead after his unit was ambushed in the war.  Grandmaster Yun was able to slow his breathing down and pull the body of a fallen comrade on top of himself as the enemy proceeded to bayonette any survivors.


I focused on my own breathing and pictured myself standing in front of him during my black belt test.  He was calm but intimidating none the less.  I’d seen him break stacks of bricks with his head at the age of 70.  After missing a break, he admonished me that speed is not always the solution.  Control your breath is to control your life


I began to slow my effort, push the panic deep into the muck below my fins. I closed my eyes even though the dark prevented seeing anything. inhale for 4 seconds, pause for 4, exhale for 4 and pause.  Everything became clear, my HR slowed, my mind cleared and the panic slid away.  We calmly ascended, hit several thermoclines and began to see some glimmer of light at about 40 ft down.  


Hey guys….how was it down there?  Steve’s dad excitedly shouted!


What I want to leave you with is this


Your thoughts are a powerful force in you life.
Don’t underestimate what you can accomplish by the simple act of thinking it to be so……



Photo Credit: bigstock-South-And-North-Pole-And-All-T-50491877.jpg


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