Put on Your Own Oxygen Mask First: Take Time for YOU

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  • In today’s busy world, the first thing that we seem to neglect is ourselves. There’s only so much time in the day and most times, taking care of exterior responsibilities are more important that taking care of our inner selves. The biggest, untapped opportunity is just waiting for us to pause, connect and listen.

    Hands UpraisedMother Teresa  took 4 hours EACH and EVERY morning to reconnect before she took a step into the world. Pope John Paul took 3/1-2 hours of quiet time each morning. Yet we bounce out of bed, hop in the shower and we’re ready to tackle the world- unarmed, disconnected and ill-equipped.

    The secret is to put your own oxygen mask on first before you try to help someone else. Just as in flying, you can’t help someone else if you’re not ready yourself. If you don’t take care of YOU first, you’ll have less to share with the world. Taking time for you isn’t selfish- it’s the best thing you can do for yourself and for others.

    My time in the morning is MY time for a reason, and it’s not a selfish one. MY time for me is when I’m open and available to that greater, unlimited part of myself. It’s when I believe that all things are possible- because nothing stands in my way. It’s when I reaffirm the greatness inside and know that I am a magnificent creation with the power to do, be or create anything.

    It’s like I’m plugging in to an energy source that is bigger and far beyond what I can do on my own. By connecting to greater part of me first, it’s like I have an invisible team marching forward in my day, lining things up for me in advance. I don’t know how it works- I just know that it does.

    So instead of thinking that you’re being selfish in taking time for you, do it. Do it now. If you haven’t taken quiet time today to just sit and listen to your inner world, go do it. It’s Monday morning and your “to do” list for the week is huge. But nothing, NOTHING is more important than you are. Nothing is too big of a task to solve if you first take the time to tap into your own magnificence.

    Whether it’s meditation, prayer, reading something inspirational or going for a walk in Nature- Go put your own oxygen mask on first and then step forward to help others. I think you’ll find things lining up for you with such grace and ease- in a way that you couldn’t have planned if you’d tried. It seems backwards that by spending time for ourselves we’ll actually have MORE time later, but that’s just how it works. Both Mother Teresa and Pope John Paul did it for a reason, and it certainly wasn’t because they were selfish or lazy.

    Welcome to the best Monday you’ve ever known and to a productive week overflowing with possibility. The choice is yours. I invite you to go connect now.

    Gail Lynne Goodwin

    Gail Lynne Goodwin is the founder of InspireMeToday.com, bringing the best inspiration to the world. InspireMeToday.com provides free inspiration, each day from a new Inspirational Luminary, to a global community of folks from over 150 countries. Gail has interviewed many well-known names including Sir Richard Branson, Guy Laliberte, Seth Godin, Tony Hseih, Gary Vaynerchuk, Michael Gerber, Marci Shimoff, Jack Canfield and hundreds more. According to Mashable, Gail was one of 2009's Top 25 Most Inspirational People on Twitter. Prior to InspireMeToday.com, Gail spent several years as manager for her recording artist daughter, Carly. As a result of the success of their co-penned song, "Baby Come Back Home", Gail accompanied her daughter to bases in the US and to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba where Carly performed for our troops. Gail and Carly created the 'World's Longest Letter' of love and support and delivered the 18-mile long scroll on a month-long tour of Iraq and the Persian Gulf in 2006. Gail is excited to present her latest course, Love in 21 Days, a step-by-step guide to finding love online. Love in 21 Days is founded on a logical process that has been tested - and proven! - by not only Gail, but also by students around the world who too have found love. Gail is a published author and a regular writer for the Huffington Post. She offers mentoring and mastermind services to clients worldwide from her home in Whitefish, Montana. Follow Gail on Twitter or Google+.

    View all posts by Gail Lynne Goodwin.

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    8 replies
    1. Paramjit
      Paramjit says:

      This absolutely hits the nail on the head. Most people forget to take care of themselves and as a result are not able to be around for others. The “wearing your own oxygen mask first” is a very apt analogy. I also use the analogy of the “4 levels of love” to relate to people. These 4 levels go as follows; Level 1 – I love me for my sake. Level 2 – I love you my sake. Level 3 – I love you for your sake. Level 4 – I love me for your sake.

      Most people live at the Level 3 of love and do not realize that there is a higher form at Level 4 which ties back to your analogy of the oxygen mask. if you would like to read further about the 4 levels of love, look it up at http://correct-weight-loss.net/2009/04/21/at-which-level-of-love-are-you-operating-it-could-impact-your-weight-loss-efforts/

      Reply
    2. Beki Sciacca
      Beki Sciacca says:

      Thanks for this great reminder! In my work with parents of challenging children, it’s critical to really GET IT that “ya can’t give what ya aint got.” And there are times (like recently) when my own parenting, business, and social lives get so busy that I neglect my own daily practices that keep me connected, grounded, and whole. Your post reminds me to make a commitment to myself (and hence to those whom I serve) to return to those things that I know serve ME well: meditation, EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques), Focusing, and walking.
      Again, thanks again for this timely reminder.
      Peace!

      Reply
      • Gail
        Gail says:

        Dear Beki,

        You are most welcome and thanks for your comments. I think we all fall into the “I’m too busy” trap. What’s important is how quickly we start to remember the importance of taking time for ourselves once again.

        Hugs,
        Gail

        Reply
    3. Paramjit
      Paramjit says:

      Dear Beki,

      You are spot on with your comment. We become so busy with life that we forget how to live. We forget that we need to sharpen the saw from time to time. This is a timely reminder. Nice to see articles like this that jolt your from time to time.

      Reply
    4. Marta Davidovich Ockuly
      Marta Davidovich Ockuly says:

      This is such a timely and important message. Starting each day mindfully, centered in peace and purposefully setting intentions which support our joys, passions and happiest dreams set the scene for true success. Who we were born to be depends on staying in touch with out sacred center and expressing our creative nature in the way which brings us the most joy. Bless you for all the ways you send out positive inspiration into the world!

      Reply

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