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Part 124 - Self

Put your mask on first.

· yoga,mind,body,consistency,joy

Time of useful consciousness. What does it mean? In terms of yoga and spiritual growth, I have a notion it could relate to the amount of time one spends in awareness. Maybe it relates to time noticing. Maybe it relates to time in meditation - an altered state of consciousness - a higher level of consciousness. Maybe it just means time awake and aware.

I used to feel guilty about taking time for yoga.

It's indulgent, I'd think to myself.

"I'm just too busy," well meaning friends would say when explaining to me that their job simply had to come first.

"You're being selfish," not so well meaning friends [soon to be ex-friends] would say when I struck out well before anyone else was awake to take in a yoga class. They were implying that I should (if I really cared about my clients, the project, the work) use every waking hour to work - like they do.

Put your mask on first.

The airlines get it, you gotta take care of you first. Then, and only then, are you able to help others. Time of useful consciousness (TUC) at 40,000 can be as little as twelve seconds.

Count to twelve now. One one thousand. Two one thousand. ...

TUC in terms of aviation is the the amount of time one can expect to perform "... flying duties efficiently." That's for trained pilots, with hours of practice in emergency procedures. We passengers tend to freak out and go into hyperventilation mode pretty quickly. TUC for the untrained is likely much less. So, yeah. You got twelve seconds to put your mask on. Pass out first and your child or friend will not be getting any help from your lifeless, passed-out, out-of-useful-consciousness body. It's simple, you must take care of yourself first.

I'll put the stick down and step away from the flying-as-life-metaphor horse, but you get the point. The metaphor is spot on. Take care of you. Then you can take care of others.

Every major religion has a form of the golden rule. My favorite is one that - in my opinion - in terms of grammatical structure gets it spot on correct. In the Gospel of Mark Jesus is quoted as saying, "Love your neighbor as yourself." This commandment - along with the requirement to love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength - is, according to Jesus of Nazareth, of the utmost importance. "There is no other commandment greater than these," Jesus said.

Hinduism, Jainism, Judaism, Taoism, Islam, Buddhism, they all have a version of the golden rule. They all require people to treat others like they would like to be treated. But the commandment about which Jesus says, "There is no commandment greater than these," has a unique structure.

Notice the premise of the statement, "... as yourself." The emphasis seems to be on the idea that you love yourself first. Jesus is basically saying, "Put your mask on first."

So here's where I'm at with this. I'm going to take the time to take care of me. I'm going to do so without apology. I'm going to do it so that I can better help others. I'm going to do it so that I can say, when the time comes, "How can I be of service?" 

I'm going to do it so that - hopefully - I can improve my time of useful consciousness.