Sometimes I warn my students: Yoga can destroy your life. A few years ago I was working on a PhD, living with my (now ex-) boyfriend in a great apartment, visiting museums, enjoying the best Read
I recently did a 21-day guided meditation, and on day 17, the message was about taking time out for ourselves. The mantra was: “Through rest and play, I open my creative channel.”
Meditation doesn’t come easy for me, but a funny thing happened during this one. I was able to really relax and let my mind go…because I actually do know how to rest. And I know how to play. And most of the time, I feel guilty for it. So to hear it from that point of view made me realize not only is it OK to take care of myself in that way, it’s absolutely necessary.
For most of us, we put a million things before we do anything for ourselves. Kids, jobs, bills, you name it. We all have a to-do list that is endless and totally out of reach.
I don’t have kids, but I have a to-do list, dreams I need to be dreaming harder, yoga classes I should be going to more often. I’ve been really tough on myself most of my life — I’ve even been told my regimen is totally “rigid” by a professional.
During my meditation I realized that not only have I lost a lot of that total obsessive-compulsive rigidity, but I’ve actually learned to allow myself to “rest and play.”
So I suppose my guilt for enjoying life a little these days and realizing the things I thought I was supposed to have at this point in my life (husband, kids, a house…) may or may not be in my future, I still deserve one thing: JOY.
I can’t feel guilty for being able to feel joy. Life is way too short for that.
I’m not going to get mad at myself anymore for not being rigid. I might not have all the things my friends have — my list is probably a bit shorter. But I’m ok with that, and I’m going to stop beating myself up for resting and playing.
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