selfiSH: concerned excessively or exclusively with oneself : seeking or concentrating on one’s own advantage, pleasure, or well-being without regard for others. Sounds bad right? Who in the world wants to be perceived as self seeking, without regard for others? It goes against everything we are taught growing up; which is to put others first. However, the airline rule to put the oxygen mask on yourself first is with good reason. What good are you to others if you’re not breathing?
Parents naturally put their children and loved ones first. We worry if we take time for ourselves that somehow we are doing less for our family. The truth is if you are not taking care of yourself, there is nothing left to give your children, spouse, or anyone else.
You know what it feels like when you’re not practicing good self care; tired, frustrated, and grumpy with a generally pessimistic perspective on life. No longer mindful, you disengage, physically present but mentally absent, the sky darkens, and you check out with burn out. You’re still breathing but barely.
Yet, when doing the things that make you feel great; energy is high, optimism abounds, you’re present, engaged, and checked in. Not just breathing, but happily giving oxygen to loved ones, accomplishing more with less stress.
This is an argument for being selfish. Take some time each day to practice good self care. Feed yourself with what makes you feel good. Exercise, meditation, reading, and rest nourish your mind, body and soul.
One way to feed yourself is through a listening practice. Take 15-30 minutes in the morning or evening to listen using The Listening Program®, acoustically-modified music which relaxes the body and focuses the mind. Those of you who already know what it means to “listen” in this context understand the value of the daily listening practice.
Whatever works for you just do it, be selfish; take the time to breathe life into yourself. The results will be evident.