Put Your Oxygen Mask on First

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“The best place to find a helping hand is at the end of your own arm.”

~Swedish Proverb


When you fly on a commercial airplane, the flight attendant instructs you in the case of a sudden loss of cabin air pressure to put your oxygen mask on first before helping others.  Why is this an important rule for ensuring survival?  Because if you run out of oxygen, you can not help anyone else with their oxygen mask.

We can apply the oxygen mask metaphor to everyday life. On the physical dimension we can become overwhelmed, tired, bored, or frustrated by our day to day world. There are many demands and expectations to which we surrender ourselves and sometimes we lose sight of who we are. We distance ourselves from taking care of our mind, body and soul.

On a metaphysical level, we live in times where there are major shifts underway as ascension is happening and we find ourselves living or having the majority of our experiences in the third dimension as fifth dimension characteristics reveal themselves. This can cause agitation, a feeling of loss or confusion and even physical symptoms. In this state we may feel that things are not as they appear and we may find ourselves trying to hold on to what has been, but know we need to let go. This can put many in a state of gasping for air.

But we can not contribute our gifts, talents, compassion or creativity, love or intelligence—in short our destiny to the world—if we are gasping for air ourselves. It is difficult if not impossible to help others if we do not first help ourselves. We need to first experience helping ourselves and taking care of ourselves. We can only know how to help others when we have had the experiences of helping ourselves. nite-wolf

Our ability to help others and the world around us—our helping power—is a reflection of our knowledge, attitude and talent or skill. In order to help others, we need to invest in increasing our helping power and impact. And this starts with taking care of yourself on the dimensions of mind, body and soul.

I realize that for many this may seem selfish. But this reaction is rooted in the lower vibrations of judgement or expectation of the third dimension. If we think about the oxygen mask metaphor, if we do not put on our masks first we will be deprived of oxygen, become unconscious and not be able to contribute to help others or to make that difference. There can be detrimental consequences.

If we allow ourselves to understand ourselves, to reflect, gain clarity, to practice gratitude, to rest and to be well both physically and mentally, we will have the ability to truly help others. If you allow yourself to have experiences that foster your knowledge, talents and attitude and to improve your overall well-being, you improve your ability to help others.

Also, we need to be cognizant of the difference between empathy (to care about others and understand their feelings) and sympathy (actually helping others). This may sound counter-intuitive, but if you are seeking to make change you need to first focus on evolving yourself. Only when you are equipped to help by nurturing yourself will you find your contributions more meaningful and fulfilling. With this, I encourage all to put on your oxygen masks first.

‘Re-finding’ Your Way

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In the twists and turns of life, sometimes we feel we either are right on course for where we think we need to be or we may feel like something is missing, or even that we have maybe lost our way. Hopefully you feel like you are ‘right where you need to be’, but if you feel otherwise, don’t despair because you are not alone and you can get back on track.

The strangest part about feeling this way is that it can be hard to pin down exactly why you do. Some people may even say they feel ‘depressed’ or just feel out of sorts. I know when I was younger, I found myself often in a state of melancholy and never really knew why. I had a loving family and people that cared about me, was healthy and athletic, played sports, had a lot of friends, I wasn’t poor, etc., and so I really had no real reason to feel this way.

I only mention this about myself because I can relate when someone tells me they feel out of sorts and they can’t explain it, I was like this for years. But I would shift, sometimes happy and filled with wonder, and sometimes the opposite. I didn’t know where I was going in life although I had a lot going for me. The smallest thing could seemingly change my mood, and ultimately my course, almost like a leaf at the mercy of the wind.

Sometimes it hits me as an adult, being much older now almost like it did way back then. But if I look at the big picture, take a deep breath and a step back, I see that I was happy coming into this world, as a child the world was full of wonder and limitless possibilities. We can recapture this in our current state, but only if we consciously choose so. It has to be a daily decision to do it. And if we do, it will be the same and at the same time not the same, (the feeling that is) because we are always changing, evolving, and growing as human beings. seasonal-duallity-tree

But the feeling is what counts. So how do we arrive back at the feeling of knowing we are on the right path or Way? Re-finding your Way is always a rediscovery of yourself and who you think you are. It’s natural to lose yourself, life can become seemingly so complicated and there are just too many variables sometimes to avoid this from happening. So recognizing this, is the first step in getting back on track.

An important thing to remember also is that you can simplify the basics that you need to and that there were things you have experienced in the past that you felt gave you purpose, that motivated you to move with energy and excitement. We can reclaim or revisit these ‘things’, whatever they may be to help us get back on course. We can try some new activities or hobbies we’ve been putting off as well to help start to shift and see things differently.

Sometimes maybe we need to just take a break. I have found that for me personally, taking a hiatus from something you are so used to doing can help tremendously and gives me fresh perspective. Remember, you are not obligated to do anything. You are only obligated to yourself, and sometimes being a little selfish is OK. I am not saying neglect those around you that need you, just that if you are not the ‘you’, you need to be, those around you will suffer as well. So take some time for yourself if need be.

Ultimately the key to re-finding your way to where you feel ok with everything, is finding balance. The only real balance we can have control over is what we do with our bodies, how we think and our reaction to things. Letting go of controlling outcomes, and other peoples opinions and actions is a must. Some other practical things we can do daily is to go inside and out.

By inside and out, I mean doing some type of daily internal practice (meditation, affirmations, personal mantra, self-hypnosis, breathing exercises/chi kung, etc.) and some type of physical activity (calisthenics, weight training, jogging/walking, hiking, yoga, martial arts, etc.). By going ‘inside’ and ‘out’ we not only rejuvenate ourselves, but help ourselves to focus our energy and be in the moment. When we can do this, the universe naturally starts putting us back on track.


Define Your Self

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At a recent conference I was at, a speaker spoke about how he did not want his daughter to be defined as a consumer, and for her not to think of herself as a consumer. “She is a creator, not a consumer,” he said.

This struck me, initially thinking how we unconsciously accept labels imposed upon us by today’s institutions and paradigms, by our family and friends and even ourselves. Then I thought that we are all indeed creators so why do we let others define us, and more so why do we use the defined or existing categories of identity to define ourselves. Maybe because it’s easier, more comfortable or familiar, but when we do this we lose our ability to create who we are.

Ask yourself this question. “Who are you?”

By human nature and by ingrained habit, we might respond with our job title or “what we do for a living,” our heritage or culture, our sex, our relationship status, our astrological sign, our religion, where we live or where we “came from” as in the history of where we were born, grew up and where we now live. If we contemplate the question more, we might respond with our hobbies or values and beliefs.

For some, we may not define ourselves alone. We may define ourselves attached to someone else or something else.  We all have many identities and they are all contextual. How you portray or even define yourself in person with an intimate circle of friends or family, vs in a work environment or on social media will be different. Our various identities are significant, varied and multi-faceted—even multi-dimensional. They reflect us from our endless myriad of experiences.  sunrise-autumn

The challenge comes in when we unconsciously (and consciously) identify ourselves by definitions that are external to us, and by the generality of these definitions. Mother, wife, student, senior citizen, entrepreneur, retired, employed, end user, consumer, etc.  Our identity is more than the generalized identify of the groups we are part of, what we do or what stage of our life we are in. Our identity is more than the duality of emotions or characteristics we experience today.

However, many get drawn and stuck in self-definition or identity that is not created by them. They tie their identities to false expectations, assumptions, desires created by capitalism, institutional paradigms of degrees, test scores, performance reviews, investments, social media likes and followers, etc. They unwittingly misplace their identity in the hands of others—not questioning, and worse filling a self-fulfilling prophecy created by external forces and others.

When we do this we limit ourselves and struggle with simply being us.  We can fall into the trap of wanting and purchasing things we do not need or even like. We strive to meet goals that are not truly ours. We doubt ourselves when we compare ourselves to others or do not “live up” to the expectations of others. We let a score or a rating determine our future. We let a characteristic that someone gave us in some season of our life dictate our behaviors and close our minds.

As creators, we have the ability to create and define ourselves—and what is even more amazing is that the creation and definition of yourself can (and will) change. Everyday you have the ability to create you. So I ask, why bog this down with labels and definitions that others have bestowed upon you? Define your self.

Respect for You

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“If we can respect the divine within us, if we can treat it with dignity, then we can respect others around us.”

~ Vishwas Chavan


I have often touched upon self-appreciation and self-love as we explored the constant state of change and the mind, body and soul connection. This in the context of appreciating, loving and accepting you for who you are and all that you are. Self love is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself and is fundamental to living well. Self love is a state of appreciation for oneself that grows from experiences and actions that support our physical, emotional and spiritual growth.

Going hand-in-hand with self-love is self-respect. When we think of respect we often do so not in the context of ourselves but more so in the context of who is respecting (or disrespecting) us and who we respect.  Overall, respect can be defined as a sense of personal value that you attach to someone or someone may attach to you. Self-respect is the personal value you attach to you.

Just like self-love, self-respect grows by our actions or experiences that mature and hopefully evolve us. When we think, speak and act in ways that expand self-respect in us, we have compassion for ourselves and move to a state where we nurture our mind, body and soul. More so, we understand our core values and beliefs and do not compromise them.

Respecting yourself is a major piece in loving who you are. Each of us are magical beings and deserve to be respected and loved because we are unique. A common definition of respect as a verb is “to show regard or consideration for.” In thinking about self-respect, ask yourself if you are showing regard and consideration for yourself and those around you with your thoughts, words and actions. light-house

Self-respect is something you should automatically give yourself—regardless of what image you see in the mirror or the thoughts running through your head. You need to know and believe that you deserve the respect given to you and show respect for yourself through your actions.

The longest relationship you will ever have in your life is the relationship you have with yourself.  It is up to you to develop and nurture the strength and connection you have with yourself through self-respect and self-love. Only you can define your value. It is not, and never will be, found or defined by someone or something else.

Without first learning how to appreciate and respect ourselves, we will never be able to appreciate and respect the other people and things in our lives. Without self-respect, self-love and investing to find peace with ourselves and cultivating a deep understanding of ourselves, we can fall into the trap of being in a continuous cycle of trying to find acceptance, validation and respect from outside.

The more you respect yourself, the more you will be able to love yourself. As you can imagine, there are many things in life that can distract you from or hinder self-respect. There can be outside influences that interfere with treating yourself honorably. These include the low-vibration energies of comparing yourself to others, envy, fear, judgement and others that are often fueled by life events and situations.

But these life events and situations are simply experiences and you own how you choose to react. If you build a strong foundation of self-love and self-respect you will not react out of fear, envy, judgement, etc. You will be grounded in the value of you and your beliefs.

In short, if you do not respect yourself then you will not take care of yourself, and you will choose to let people treat you badly. With self-respect, you recognize and know your worth and others cannot negatively influence your opinion of yourself. As we have heard many times in many ways, you must love and respect yourself before anyone else can or will.