#1697 The Mouthpiece

That Went Down the Drain

How we breathe is a lot more important than most of us think.

We talk about this in Optimal Breathing 101. (Check out that class and our Notes on The Oxygen Advantage by Patrick McKeown, and a bunch of other notes you can find in the app—just look for the category “Breathing.”)

Note: I’ve done a LOT of things to optimize my life. Training my breath is right up there as one of THE most powerful practices I’ve ever discovered to go next next level in cultivating grounded, calm confidence and a sustainable sense of energized tranquility.


What’s LESS obvious is the importance of your jaw structure and alignment to MAKE SURE you can and are breathing optimally.


My Wifey who finds all these little (and big!) things as a result of putting two of her top virtues into action: Curiosity and Love of Learning. (Love you, Babes! 🙌!!)


Long story a little shorter…

To address the issues we clearly had, my friend Patrick McKeown recommended a progressive dentist in Southern California we saw before seeing another guy in Texas.

Their focus?

Basically: Making sure your jaw is structured properly so your breathing passages are set up right.

The way they do that is by crafting a little mouthpiece thing to wear.

All that to arrive at the point of Today’s +1.

Alexandra and I have these little mouthpiece things. And so do the kids.

In fact, Alexandra just got back from a 90-min trip to San Antonio to see our dentist (thanks, Dr. Hurme!) to get new mouthpieces for her and Eleanor and Emerson.

(Note to self: Schedule your next visit, Hero!)

That was literally 5 days ago.


Eleanor looks (and sounds) ridiculously cute when she has her mouthpiece things in.

Last night, we were getting ready for bed and she’s rinsing hers off using the water from the bathtub.


She dropped it RIGHT DOWN THE DRAIN.

Unfortunately, just a couple days before, Emerson accidentally broke the little plug thing that usually stops things from falling down the drain.

He’s Mr. Fix It in the house—considerably better than me or Alexandra at such things. And… He’s also Mr. Break Things so… 😂 🤷


This mouthpiece we JUST got (which cost x hundred dollars PLUS that long trip to San Antonio! 😳) went STRAIGHT DOWN THE DRAIN.

Never to be seen again.




Mommy rarely gets frustrated. I’m usually the one who takes care of that. 😉


She JUST spent ALL DAY driving back and forth to San Antonio to get it and, although she’s only moderately frustrated, she’s taking a little longer than normal to pull it together.

I’m about to lose it and channel my dad (which is never a good thing in such circumstances!) so I step out of the bathroom to take a 30-second break while I finish brushing my teeth.

Then I think of the recent books on Stoicism I just read and decide NOW is a good time to step in between a stimulus and a suboptimal response and choose a better one.

I made a quick trip to my mental armamentarium-tool shed and came out with the perfect weapon-tool.

I’d remind myself that, as annoying as I could let this little incident be, it could have been A LOT WORSE.

I looked at the bathtub and imagined it filled with water and my ineffably sweet and cute and precious daughter DROWNED in the water.

A single moment of reflecting on THAT was enough to WAKE ME UP to the fact that THIS little oops didn’t matter.

Then I looked at Eleanor who was in that state of “Oh, no!” while looking at us to see how we’d respond.

I decided I didn’t want to forge self-loathing shame in her little consciousness (I prefer to help forge antifragile confidence in my little heroes in training🫡!) as I picked her up, squeezed her tight and told her we all make mistakes and that it’s all good.

Then I joked that I WAS a little bummed because…

She was ALMOST the first perfect person to NEVER make a mistake. 😉 🤓

We laughed.

Then we laid down on the bed and played airplane with her flying on my feet as we counted how many times I’ve made a mistake (it’s now in the millions!) and how many times she’s made a mistake (way more than her hands and feet!) and why mistakes are an important part of life and all that.


THAT is Today’s +1.

Got a problem?

Let’s put it in perspective.

As bad as it is, and I am not trying to minimize your challenges (and I am *certainly* not suggesting that my mundane example even approximates yours)…

Know this…

It could be a LOT WORSE.

Today’s the day to practice our philosophy.

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