Imagine you are sitting on an airplane, about to take off, and the flight attendant comes on the loud speaker to give the emergency evacuation procedures. He or she gets to the part about oxygen masks and states that you should put on your oxygen mask first before helping a child or anyone next to you. I always had a hard time understanding this, if my child was sitting right next to me I would do anything in my power to assure that my little one was safe.
I am sure many of us feel the same way. In life we want to help others, care for others, and we strive to be the best version of ourselves that we can be. I am sure we all have our selfish traits as well. It is okay; we are all-human and can’t be perfect all of the time. But I think we all need to take time to reflect on what are selfish behaviors (judging people, being greedy with our belongings, advancing in our lives while sabotaging other people’s opportunities) and realize there comes a time when we actually benefit from being SELF-ish.
Most likely if you are reading this you do not exude any of the negative traits I have listed above. I have been working hard over the last few years to only allow positive and supportive people in my inner circle. It’s a SELF-ish feat that I am quite proud of. However, what has become extremely apparent within the last year is that I haven’t taken enough time to really be SELF-ish. My work involves constantly giving to others and motivating them to live a balanced and healthy life, however, somehow I lost the ability to maintain it myself. Being healthy is about your mind, body and spirit and for me, all three of those components were taking a beating.
In the past year have fallen ill more than the normal person should, I have had surgery and medical complications, I’ve partied a little too hard, withdrew from friend at times, felt extreme anxiety which affected my ability to function as I normally would. I have lost sleep, cried a lot, and stressed out my friends and family all because I was putting massive amounts of stress on myself. I would judge my actions and myself if things did not go perfectly.
Even with these lows and the self-sabotaging behaviors I was inflicting onto myself, I have had a lot of amazing experiences within the last year. I attended incredible work conferences, participated in a mentorship program that inspired a shift in my life, I became a god mother, I moved into a beautiful new apartment, I landed my first print ad, I made some amazing new friends, I quit my job, and my new business is already thriving and I haven’t even officially “launched” yet.
All these things, moments, experiences made me feel alive and whole. I was doing something for myself that would enhance my life or career, but the feeling only lasted momentarily because I wasn’t taking enough “me” time to reflect on these things so I can carry the energy with me once the moment passed. I wasn’t participating in enough activities that would inspire and enhance my higher self on a weekly basis to keep me happy.
We will always have ups and downs, that is just life, but I wanted to seek more balance for myself so that way I can really help others. I have a team of people that I now talk to on a weekly basis that are helping me gain balance. It hasn’t been an easy process, and I am sure I will still struggle but I am ready to put on my oxygen first to help others. My spiritual guide told me yesterday that I am right where I am supposed to be. If I start to feel the negative or self-sabotaging thoughts come on, “don’t judge – just feel the moment and trust.”
Take moment to think about your life. Do you feel stressed, irritated, how is your sleep? Are you scheduling enough time in your week to be SELF-ish?
One of the important lessons I have learned in the last month, and that I often preach but had trouble listening to myself, is the importance of starting small with goals. Pick one or two things that you can incorporate into your week that will make you happy or help you relax. It can be as simple as taking a bubble bath, going for a walk with a friend, or reading a cheesy novel. Some people work well with visualizations that remind them to relax and breathe. Play around with what will work for you and see how your life shifts. Make the time, put it in your calendar if you need to.
My calendar & SELF-ish time for July: Take TRX classes 2/week, and dedicate Sunday nights to writing out the 5 things I want to accomplish in that week. And when I have a moment where I start to feel down or anxious, I am going to look at my 212* bracelet and realize I am right where I need to be and I am a least one degree better than I was yesterday.
“At 211 degrees, water is hot. At 212 degrees, it boils. It’s that extra degree that can power a locomotive…or take your life results far beyond your expectations. By taking ownership of this fundamental principle, focusing on a clearly-defined goal, maintaining an unstoppable attitude, committing to take action, and persevering, you’ll see life-altering, positive results. The message of 212° The Extra Degree is clear: It’s your life: You are responsible for your results. It’s time to turn up the heat!”