The Metaphor of the Airplane Oxygen Mask

In Enlightened Living

‘Put on your own mask before helping someone else’.

This is the advice on an airplane safety demonstration, and it’s good advice for the rest of your life. They warn you that if you need to help a child put their mask on, you need to put your own on first, otherwise you could lose consciousness and both of you would be in danger.

I believe this is a metaphor for life.

How often do we put ourselves at the bottom of our own list?

After we’ve paid service to children, partners, work, clients, relatives, friends, homes, errands and all manner of life’s attention grabbers, we don’t have much energy left for ‘me’.

Our health is the most important thing. Without it we can’t pay service to anyone or anything in our lives, especially if we’re unconscious or dead. When you constantly give to ‘life’, it leaves your energy depleted, and without health and vitality your body will shut down. It’s super-enhanced with parenting aswell, as fathers and, particularly, mothers of younger children will give their all to aid the survival of their flock. It’s no good being super-mum if you’ve got no energy to fly.

If you don’t have downtime, rest, relaxation and nutrition your body will stop you in your tracks with an illness, forcing you to stop anyway.

Around two years ago, after a string of chronic illnesses and hospital visits with unknown causes, I decided to change. I realised they were all lifestyle illnesses with stress at their root cause, and I started taking time out of my day to swim, to walk and to prepare and eat healthy meals. It made ALL the difference, I haven’t had any of the illnesses back since. One of the mantras in my other business now is ‘We are our most important clients, without us no work gets done’.

Start putting your own mask on first, it’s not a selfish act.

Blogger. Designer. Speaker. Hopeful Author.
Redefining enlightenment for a modern life. It’s basically a busy world’s guide to inner peace.


  1. Wise words Paul – thanks for the reminder. Love the graphics.

    • Thanks Carmel, great to hear from you and glad you enjoyed the read! Hope all is good with you.

Submit a comment