It has been several years since I have been on a plane, but I remember the flight attendants always saying how in an emergency, we need to put our oxygen masks on first before helping anyone else. This is similar advice to what I was given during my spiritual formation. We were told to take care of yourself so you can take care of others. Practicing you this month, means we have to remember to put our masks on first. Today, I thought I would share a few practical ways to take care of ourselves in our daily lives.
1. Unplug from the energy zappers.
We all have people in our lives who are energy zappers. They are the ones who make you feel increasingly tired the longer you are around them. When you start to feel emotionally, mentally, and/or physically drained, excuse yourself, and find a quiet place to be and let your energy level rebuild. This is not to say those individuals are bad people, just that they zap your energy and your ability to be present for yourself, and thus for others. Unplug, put your mask on and breathe.
2. Be like Superman
We all have things which zap us and things which energize us. Be clear on what those are. One of my former clients had a brother she loved dearly, but being around him zapped her energy because he always wanted to tell her all the things wrong in his life. She came to realize that what energized her was being outdoors and walking. She wanted to be present for her brother but did not want to be drained. To keep her balanced and centered, she invited him to go for a walk with her whenever he wanted to have one of those talks. She came back feeling energized and balanced and he felt loved because she had been present for him. We all have our capes we put on to protect ourselves. Some put a white light of protection around themselves. I used to anoint myself with White Angelica before being around a certain individual. I have another individual with whom, I take a moment to breathe and remember that what she says is about her, not me, and remind myself to not take what is said personally. Each technique, in its own way, places a perimeter of safety around you.
3. Live with love, not fear
One of the most liberating things I have been learning to do is to live with love and not fear. It has enabled me to fully present with others without the fear of taking on their energies and feelings. By loving them, I can empathize with them, be fully present, remember what it is like to be in that situation without becoming or fearing becoming them. This doesn’t mean that every situation I travel through is easy and comforting. However, through the love I have for myself and others, I am able to journey through a situation with someone, re-center, and feel blessed for the journey and the opportunity to grow and evolve in my own journey.
When I remember to take the time to meditate each day, I am able to stay balanced, focused, and centered, journeying to a deeper place within where Spirit resides. It is in that state of silence, which I am free to explore the silence and experience the mystery. The more I am able to practice this daily discipline, the more I am able to remember to put my mask on first, wear my cape, and live with love, not fear.
One of the gifts of these practices is that I also encounter those who I might consider being a pain. However, as Dr. Mark Rosen, has taught me these people are blessings and I should thank them for being a pain. The more opportunities I have to work through the buttons others push in me, the fewer opportunities there are for others to zap my energy or push my buttons. As Iyanla Vansant once suggested, we should give thanks for those who push our buttons. These individuals help us to grow and evolve in our journey, develop a deeper compassion for humanity. This month, let’s practice being the best human spiritual beings we can be.