Hi Mike, glad you are here
On the breathing point, I suggest to take it easy I mean it's not like we go 24/7 counting breath, that would become systematic and rather tough to 'follow through with it.' I suggest rather seeing the four count breath as an exercise that you can apply whenever you see yourself 'taken over' by an experience, meaning when you see you are very much into your own mind and not being 'clear' within you, but going through various experiences that might make you feel anxious, nervous, fearful, sad, too excited or else -
So, the point of practicing breathing is to be able to precisely become more aware of how we breathe, who we are in our physical bodies, how we are experiencing our body based on what we think or perceive - this is the point you can then use as a first stepping stone of self-awareness, which is something that you will then develop as you continue walking your own process - in writing- and in the practical living application, which you'll also understand more in detail throughout your DIP Lite course.
For now, take it easy and see the point of becoming aware of your breath as an ever-present reminder that you have the ability to stop yourself from participating in any experience that you see is not being supportive for you in the moment, and instead take a moment to ground yourself physically, and then be able to decide implementing a new direction, a correction to the experience you're going through in a self-supportive and self-honest manner - all of which will, once again, become clearer as you go.
Thanks for sharing and enjoy sharing here at the forum!