Put On Your Oxygen Mask First

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“I feel overwhelmed, anxious, distracted,” I explained.

“We are creative beings,” said the woman. “We can create our state of being. We can choose who and how we’re going to be . . . at least as something that is possible for ourselves.”

I felt her words sink into my soul’s dark nooks, resonating with their truth.

Only this was before.

Before the world changed.

And now the world is off-kilter. Things will never be the same.

She continued, “Look at what’s missing in your way of being. Think of what you can be . . . ”

I considered the possibility of not being overwhelmed or anxious. Hmmm. I thought about what I wanted to be.





Of course, like Dorothy, it had been there all along.

In any moment, in this exact moment, no matter my circumstances, I could be . . . peaceful, . . . I could be different.

I opened up to the possibilities. I that I was all those things.

And I was.

. . .

Then Friday came.

Her words still resonated within my spirit.

You and I do get to choose even in the worst of evil circumstances.

How are we going to be right now with a horrible school shooting just days ago?





We can hold onto the possibility of being courageous.

Even if we hold it in our shaking, cupped hands.

Because it’s who we are that affects our kids the most. We must take care of ourselves. Put on your oxygen mask, my friends. Breathe in deeply.

Let’s hold for ourselves the possibilities of who we want to be. In crisis. In sorrow. In trauma.

And by thinking who we are, being our best selves, we give everything to our kids.

Right now when you are reading this. The past is gone. The present is not here. Be here with me. Breathe slowly.

Say this with me:

I choose to be bold.

I choose to be loving.

I choose to be calm.

Even if I am very sad.

I am able to . . .

think and respond thoughtfully,

take care of my soul’s needs,

choose who I am today,

show love to myself and others, and

ask for help when I need it.

For most of us who have kept all but the very minimum of information from our children, it is we who are most affected, not our kids.

You matter just as much as your kids. Take care of yourself, too.

Keep the oxygen mask on. Don’t forget to breathe.

I love you, you are not alone,


P.S. Hang out with me on Facebook for discussion and resources.

Photo credit: seyed mostafa zamani / Foter / CC BY

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  1. oh this is lovely Melissa. Thank you for loving thoughts, they are so needed, and so wise. xo

  2. This is so beautiful Melissa…thank you. I’ve been feeling so overwhelmed and sad about this…having a hard time focusing on work and promoting my company when it all seems so trivial. I appreciate your post so much…you are right…it’s about choosing how we react and feel. Thank you….hugs!

  3. This is a wonderful perspective. And you are exactly right. Children, no matter what they know of this incident, will take cues from their parents in learning how to deal with and respond to this tragedy, or any other. Thank you for this.

  4. Wow, this is so great and timely, Melissa. I really needed to read this this morning, Melissa. Thank you. powerful stuff.