There were 17 minutes left on my oven timer. Dinner would be ready soon. It was another busy weekend, and there were a thousand more things I wanted to do before I finally went to bed. I handed the baby to my husband and asked for just 17 minutes—to get some writing done. He obliged. So I walked upstairs, closed the door, and opened my laptop. I stared at a blank Word document. My mind was fuzzy. My legs ached.
I glanced down and noticed my yoga mat was still unrolled in the middle of the floor. I didn't put it away after my practice the day before. It looked so inviting.
"I couldn't!" I thought to myself. "That would be wrong! What if they come upstairs and catch me in the act?!"
I stared at my screen for another moment, and I remembered the words I've so frequently told students, friends, and anyone else who looked like they desperately needed a break: "If you don't take care of yourself, you won't have the energy to take care of anyone or anything else."
I am SO very wise!
So I gave myself permission to let go. I shut my laptop—my work would have to wait. I stood up, walked over to my mat, and laid down on my back, palms facing up. I let my feet flop open like a book. I breathed. I led myself through a guided relaxation where I start with my toes and work my way up to the top of my head, relaxing everything in between. I melted into the floor.
In no time at all, I heard the kitchen timer buzz. I wiggled my fingers and my toes before slowly rolling onto my right side. I had fed my spirit, and now it was time to feed my body. I slowly walked downstairs where my husband was busily putting dishes out onto the table. "Did you get anything done?" he asked.
"Oh yes," I said with a smile. "It was the most productive 17 minutes I've had all day." And I didn't feel guilty at all, because it was true.