Take Care of Yourself

“I translate theology into English.”

Somewhere in a conversation, that thought occurred to me. I do that with technology, too.

Sometimes, though, we need to go beyond theology. We read about the great thinkers of the faith. Or the great leaders. We sometimes stop with what they wrote, or with saints, with the weird things they did.

I get annoyed. We don’t teach leaders how to take care of themselves. We don’t teach Jesus followers how to take care of themselves, either. Many of the leaders left traces of their lifestyles that would teach as much as their words.

Caregivers know, or soon learn, that they must take care of themselves and keep themselves healthy and balanced if they are going to be able to help others. “Put your oxygen mask on first before helping others,” the flight attendant intones at the beginning of every flight.

Part of the message of Keven L. Meyer’s book, The Simple Leader, advises us to use the principles of Lean and Zen to take care of ourselves, too.

  • Simplify our environment–get rid of clutter around us and organize what’s left
  • Simplify our minds–get rid of the clutter there, too; learn to be aware of the present–where we are, people and things around us, sights/sounds, conversations, focus on what you’re doing
  • Simplify our nutrition–use Lean principles of reducing waste by eating healthy foods, not preparing or trying to eat too much–that is waste and we remove waste
  • Focus–on where you are right this moment
  • Focus–on one task at a time
  • Focus–on the other person in a conversation
  • Awareness–of what we eat, eating slowly with awareness of flavor and texture, eating foods that are good to our bodies and minds
  • Awareness–of the other person, what are they thinking and feeling (not my response)
  • Awareness–of our purpose and the type of person we want to be, and where we are right now relative to those

All of these impact the type of leader we will be–and the type of person we’ll become. Go and take care of yourself, too.

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