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Breathing Through My Feet: Gaining Mastery of the Impossible

Breathing Through My Feet
Breathing Through My Feet

While reading this story, think of what your “IT” is. Think of what you really want that you don’t have. Whatever “IT” is for you – a happy marriage, a better body, a career you’d rather have or a dream you wish you hadn’t given up on. This story is about how I am “finding IT” again and how I am reclaiming the “IT” I struggled so hard to find only to have it taken from me. The search is ongoing – for each of us as individuals, as communities, as nations and as a planet. And of course there is and should be more than one “IT” we must be striving for at any given moment.

My story is personal …the one I know the best. I believe there are “lessons” but they won’t be told classroom style and it will be up to you to understand them in your own context and how they might apply to your “IT.” The goal of this book is to share insights born of loss and grief, of optimism and passion, of hard work and determination, and of positive thinking and making our own “luck”.

“IT” is what you love. “IT” is what you are passionate about. “IT” is what you know would be best for you. “IT” is what you are already capable of having once you stop thinking about what is broken and lost in your life and begin working with everything you have that still works that you should be thankful for.

At some point we have to decide what we want, who we want to be and whether or not we will do the necessary things, large or small, that move us in the direction of our “IT”. The difference between choosing your path with proactive participation and giving up on yourself are as dramatic as death and life, as night and day. I recently found myself on the right road only after I asked myself the toughest question, “So…what’s it going to be Billy?”

After 25 years of being a dedicated and passionate professional right-handed acoustic guitarist, my “IT” was lost to symptoms that went undiagnosed for three horrible years that left my outer life in ruin and my inner-state shattered. When the Associated Press interviewed world-reknowned guitarist Leo Kottke and asked him what he thought of my attempt to relearn my complex and physically demanding guitar music left-handed, his only response quoted in the article was, “Well, that would be like having to learn to breathe through your feet.”