Secure your oxygen mask first…RESPECT

Secure your oxygen mask first.”

The flight attendant reminded me as I held my one-year old on my lap preparing for take-off. I had heard the announcement many times p.D. (Pre-Desiree), but with my daughter physically on my lap, I wondered, what if I had to…could I? Ahh yes, the telltale sign of a willPower test…

What if you had to? Could you?”

In the event of an emergency, the only way you’d secure your oxygen mask first is if you believed it was both necessary and important. When you feel disrespected, there’s a good chance you are not securing your own mask first…

Respect. We think we have to demand it, command it, and continuously earn it, but real respect (read: self-respect) requires nothing of the sort. We give our power away when we rely on others…for their judgement, their validation, their permission. Respect must come from a place of wholeness for it to be deeply-rooted. Once rooted, we simply breathe into it and watch it expand.

When you feel respectful, a reverence or a deference follows. It is not forced or obligatory. It’s heartfelt and sincere. Reverence for beauty, sacrifice, purity, quality, thoughtfulness. Deference for expertise, knowledge, and experience. We become curious, interested, observant, and we embrace learning (again). We see value all around us and, in that awareness, we heighten the value of everything around us — our interactions, our connections, and our experiences.

But, like many things, respect is an inside job. In our exercise of the week, we seek to improve our hamstring flexibility. Flexible strength is needed to perform exercise well…intensely…and healthily. It is also needed just to move through life well and feel good inside our bodies. Out of the three strengths — muscular, endurance, and flexibility, flexible strength is the only one we lose without daily maintenance. And, as we build the other types of strength, we often contribute to the loss of flexibility through muscular tension and endurance posture (e.g. cycling). So, attention to your hamstrings is one way to breathe respect back into self.

How deeply rooted is your self-respect? Examine the five signs listed below and try the associated willPower exercise. As you breathe into your own oxygen mask (respect), notice how you feel more oxygen (respect) available to breathe into other places, spaces, and souls.

The Five Signs of Respect

wp_summit_101. Contentment -> Tree. Where you are is perfect. Trust the unfolding. Exhale. Detach. Believe in abundance. Practice balance. Use your arms to get rid of what you don’t need, gather what you do, and let it manifest.

2. Caring for your body -> Triangle with rotation. Detoxify from the inside out. Triangle…mind, body, spirit.

3. Happiness -> Push pull. Lift your head all the way up. Release adrenaline. Self-express through your throat chakra. And let this heart opener counteract the cell phone hunch.  The heart or anahata chakra translates from Sanskrit as “unstruck”. Unstruck meaning your heart before it was hurt by anything or anybody.

wp_summit_114. Self-confidence -> Hip hinge. Hinge forward with confidence. Strong, centered, and balanced. Arms out to the side for balance. Leg higher with confidence. Arms forward reaching for more.

5. Forgiveness -> Sweep. Forgive yourself. Forgive others. Release your spine. Reach way back and release the past. With a strong exhale, get rid of stale energy, negative thought patterns, and resentment.

Respect the silent and burning desire that’s within you—don’t scoff at it…When you trust in your inner vision, you’re trusting the same wisdom that created you.” ~Wayne Dyer

Do you want to explore RESPECT further? Click here for quotes, mantras and our willPower dedicated weekly exercise.


Freedom wordsFrom last week’s question, What do you need freedom from?, here’s how we weighed in. (Note: larger font indicates popular response; and mine’s the last one…grrr guilt!) The winner of Seven Steps to willPower will be notified directly. Thank you all for sharing.

This week, I want to know, where did you learn respect? Next week, I’ll share my story of respect…in Osaka with coin-operated showers. Until then, Dream Big. Desire More.

Sarah Ingmanson

Sarah Ingmanson

Sarah is a studio owner, fitness instructor and competitor. She is a former investment banker and equity research analyst with her MBA from the Wharton School and her MA in International Affairs from the Lauder Institute of the University of Pennsylvania. Sarah is fluent in Japanese and consults with Japanese companies on corporate governance, finance, and investor relations. Sarah's interest in Japan stemmed from her first tour with Disney On Ice as a professional figure skater. For more info on Sarah and her studio, visit