There is a really wise lesson imparted on us every time we fly on an airplane.  Every single time we get on a plane, we are run through all of the emergency situations that could possibly occur on our trip (which we would rather not think about while strapped in a confined space about to launch into the clouds!)  And then all of the safety features of the aircraft are pointed out and demonstrated with a smile.

image courtesy of coward_lion/

In the midst of it all is some sage advice – not just for parents, but really anybody travelling through life – about taking care of ourselves in order to be available to help others.

Can you recall the advice?  “Should the cabin pressure drop, oxygen masks will be released.  If you are travelling with small children, please put the mask on yourself first and then help your children.”

Selfish?  Uh uh.  You’re no good to anybody if you’re dead.  Basically.

I say why wait for a drop in cabin pressure, or some other heart-stopping catastrophe?  Get your daily dose of oxygen or whatever it is that YOU need to stay healthy, sane, happy and able to help others.

What is that for YOU?  What do YOU need a little bit of every day or on some other regular basis to stay in top form?  Exercise?  Water?  Nutritious meals?  Prayer?  Meditation?  Yoga?  Sports?  Sewing?  Reading?  Dancing?  Laughing?

And how do you make sure you get it?  First look at what’s blocking you.  For many people, it’s time.  Among all their other responsibilities, there is simply no time for their soul-fuel.  Uh oh.  That’s like the cabin pressure dropping in an airplane and someone unbuckling their seat belt and running up and down the aisles to put everyone else’s mask on…

In Tuesday Tasks, I suggest taking a good look at the way your time is spent over a 24 hour period – during the week and on a typical weekend.  Really look at all 1440 minutes of the day and take note of where they are dispersed.  This task is revealing for many of us who spend time engaging in activities that are not as meaningful as the amount of time we give them.  And often, these are activities that we don’t realize we are investing in as much as we are…but 15 minutes here and there do add up.

When I did this task I found that much of my reading time ended up as T.V. time.  By cutting out shows I gained a few hours a week!

In loving myself this week I am going to bring this knowledge to the forefront: I need daily quiet time, be it 15 minutes just breathing in the dark or 30 minutes with a good book.  With my oxygen mask strapped securely on my face, I’ll be in much better form for everything and everyone else in my world.

Let us know what your soul-fuel is – and how are you getting what you need?


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