If You Don’t Breathe, Pray

It was a full flight that day. Not a space available, in fact, they were giving people incentives to wait for the next flight.

The coffee was pretty good, I made my final phone calls and stood in line to board the plane.

Bags stowed, everyone sitting, they started the flight instructions video. It was really funny, they had added all kinds of animation, humor and even animals to the video.

After that flight attendant’s comic video went viral, I guess all the airlines are having a go at comedy! It did the job and kept our attention.

The woman beside me took out a small prayer book as the plane lined up for take-off.  She swayed back and forth, her lips moving fast, eyes closed, hands clenched.

Finally we were in the air.

I kept thinking about that video and the woman sitting beside me.  I was trying to figure out the connection – I felt emotional and I didn’t know why.

The statement from the video had stuck in my head. ‘Secure your oxygen mask before helping others’.

It made practical sense. And it was a clear instruction for life and for my business. I need to keep well, balanced and happy.  If I’m not, how can I help others?

I thought of the moments over the last week that were the opposite. Pressured about the impending trip, I had been working long hours, not sleeping enough and eating badly. It had taken a toll – I’d felt stressed, I was short tempered and impatient.

If I can’t take care of myself, how am I supposed to take care of my family and serve my clients. I can’t help them with their oxygen intake unless I’m breathing deeply.

In that moment I vowed to breathe deeper, ease back and be better to me. We need to nurture and care for ourselves or else we become totally useless to others.

We need to create the structures and systems that will ensure our oxygen mask is securely fastened, so that we can stay strong and have the ability to reach out.

We need to take self care to a whole new level. I’ve always hated the term self-care, it seemed so indulgent. It’s only in more recent years that I’ve realized it is the key to survival and healthy living, both physically and emotionally.

And the woman, praying fervently as the plane took off?

Well, she reminded me of myself, or at least the part of myself that I dislike and am rarely willing to admit. The part of me that gives in to fear, the blind, desperate call for help.

But as I thought this through, I realized, no, she’s also the mirror of a very different part of me.

The part that recognizes that we are never in control and that’s a good thing.

That there is a greater power that can protect and provide for us.

That it’s good to ask for help and to place faith in all that is.

The part of me that surrenders to love and let’s go of fear in the face of a fierce belief that all is well.

So take care of you. Breathe deep and take in the oxygen of your life and business that will make you strong in body and soul. Breathe deep into the perfect moment that is and reach out to others.

What’s one thing you can do this week to take care of you?  Share it here.

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2 comments on “If You Don’t Breathe, Pray

  1. I take daily walks to keep myself relaxed and relatively fit. (smile). My favorite way to take care of myself is to read for pleasure. With nice weather, I can do that outside more often. Yay !

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