Empowering yourself in the Buddhist tradition

Sally Busby, empowerment coach in the Buddhist Tradition.

(Sally Busby is an empowerment coach who also gives workshops and is a Toastmaster trained motivational speaker as well as a spiritual counselor. What follows are her takes on overcoming feelings of being overwhelmed and practice, which makes perfect.)


“Do the thing you fear to do and the death of fear is certain” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Put your oxygen mask on first

Many people come to me because they’re overwhelmed.  Others don’t realize they’ve come because they’re overwhelmed but they discover that through the coaching process.

It’s very challenging not to get overwhelmed in these busy times.

What can we do to help ourselves when we feel overwhelmed?

Generally speaking, we need to look after ourselves first.

I always use the great analogy of being on an airplane. Remember the safety measures? What are we told to do if we’re sitting with a child for example?

We’re told specifically to put our own mask on first before putting the mask on the child. That goes against instinct, or some programming anyway.

Looking after ourselves before others first seems to go against instinct, too. How did that happen?Think about it. What good are we to anybody if we’ve run ourselves into the ground?

A happy, balanced life is what we all deserve. What can you do for yourself today that will help you help others? It could be a walk, a swim, a work-out, a bath.

Or delegating …  by asking somebody to get you dinner. Asking somebody to take on a responsibility that you don’t really need to do.

It requires consciousness. We believe we’re being ‘selfish’ if we’re carving out time for ourselves.  Not so. On the contrary, if we don’t make time for yourself, we are affecting everyone around us.

All work and no play equals major stress which impacts everything and everyone in our lives negatively. That’s not how I choose to live my life. I don’t know about you….?

Remember: It’s such a great visual, Put YOUR oxygen mask on first!

“Practice makes perfect”


I don’t know the origins of that well-known phrase, but I’d like to add … and practice fulfills your dreams.

I’ve just re-joined Toastmasters – the great public speaking learning forum – so I’m making and listening to lots of speeches currently.

In preparing for a competition speech, I’ve been reminded of how many times I have to practice a speech. I have to do so for weeks in advance if possible (ugh!). But certainly for the week before a speech I’ll be practicing pretty consistently.

Not everybody needs to do that and, who knows, maybe I’ll get to that point when I don’t need to that (Eureka!). My way has worked so far for me. That amount of preparation gives me confidence that I don’t have to give the exact speech, I’m able to extemporize.

I never would have thought I could do something like that. As a teenager, I’d throw up for a week before a piano competition.

I am reminded that practice makes perfect was certainly true in Michael Jackson’s case. For his Moonwalk debut on TV in the 1980’s, which catapulted him to fame — even Fred Astaire called him after seeing the show, told Michael he was a better dancer than he was.

Michael practiced and practiced and practiced those movements in front of the mirror ad nauseum ad infinitum. Michael Jackson always practiced for anything apparently, but he took his dedication to perfect the Moonwalk dance to another level. He was the walking definition of a perfectionist. And it paid off.

In the 1980’s, MJ was probably the most successful global performer who appealed to all audiences. Got to see his show in London one time. It was like a polished Vegas act. Incredible.

My point? You can do anything you want to do. Overcome anything. You just have to practice. That applies to everything.