Check Your To Do List at the Door

I’m on my back, legs resting against the wall, my entire body held in repose by bolsters, cushions, blankets and pillows. My eyes are covered with a compress.  Small sand bags weigh my shoulders down and back toward the floor (a nice change from the rounding effect of the keyboard, the steering wheel and the kitchen sink). I breathe deeply through my belly, noticing where my body holds tension, like my left glute, the cheek clenched so tight you’d think it had a hundred dollar bill balled in its fist. 

Flip me over into supported frog, and my glute lets go but it sends a little packet of tension to a muscle deep in my left shoulder blade. All I can do is focus on the spot and breathe into it, that is, in between moments when my mind is running down its checklist. I need to call the credit card company; I need to tell Barb about the yoga schedule; how am I going to convince the dog to poop outside when it is raining and not in the family room?  I shush the thoughts away for a moment and conger a brick fireplace in my mind, three logs ablaze, long licks of orange flame rising in the air, the heat like a wall I can press myself against. My feet are freezing, and since I can’t reach down and warm them with my hands, I play with images in my mind instead. Is the movie-maker in my brain powerful enough to warm my feet? Not today, perhaps because my chattering, skittish mind keeps blowing out the flame, thoughts appearing, blowing their hot air and scattering again.

It is 2 pm on a week-day, a time when I ought be in front of my computer screen, drafting a clause or researching a legal issue. My day isn’t even half-over, though, if you count the carpool shift tonight to a cheerleading gym in another city. I usually run errands, then sit in the parent viewing area at the gym with my laptop and an open file, keeping half-an-eye on the practice. We arrive home about 10:30 – presuming there is no freezing rain – and then I usually tidy the kitchen, sweep the floor and fall into bed, more often than not falling asleep with a novel on my chest and the bedside lamp still on.

So, putting my to do list on hold at 2 pm? Taking an hour to rest and let someone else take care of me? Stopping to listen and take care of my body for sixty minutes instead of tuning it out and then wondering why I have a headache, a back ache and a heart ache later on? Taken in context, it seems ridiculous, doesn’t it? I mean, would I expect my car to run without regular maintenance? No. So why do I expect myself to run on and on and on like the Energizer bunny?

A rested, relaxed mom is a less likely to be snappy; a stretched and breathed wife is less liable to react badly to the dirty dishes, the trail of crumbs and the pile of laundry left behind by her hapless spouse: so checking my to do list at the door for an hour? Yes, a thousand times yes! Namaste! I see the divine in you. The question is, do I see and honour it in myself?

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