Photo by Kosal Ley
All you need is 20 minutes.
My husband has just come home from an insanely busy work day, meetings piled upon meetings.
“Do you like being that busy?” I ask. I’m in awe, really. I always am of his job as a real estate broker. I shudder at the demands of his job. My quiet, introverted nature would wither. But he thrives. He shrugs his shoulders, says he doesn’t mind.
“I wouldn’t like it,” I say from the kitchen as I add the broccoli to the stir fry. “There’s no time to breathe with that kind of schedule.”
“Nah, its not that bad,” he answers as he pulls off his shoes, throws his jacket on the couch. “All you need is 20 minutes to breathe.”
20 minutes?! I think. More like 2 hours. But when I reflect on what he’s said, I realize he’s right. Though I often get upwards of an hour to myself while both boys are in their rooms for naptime (hooray for this phase of motherhood) I can feel my energy recharge just halfway through. Though I may be gifted with 2 hours to myself on some days, those first 20 minutes are what bring me from dead to alive. Lungs empty to full.
I may have felt like I needed 2 hours (or a week) to catch my breath, but this is only because I had been holding it for so long, trying to get by with so little of what is completely and utterly vital. Breath. And that first inhale of air, beautiful air, is all it takes to come back to life.
20 minutes. Surely we can do that, right?
So what helps you catch your breath? I certainly know it is not browsing Facebook or gorging myself with the crackers from the cupboard. These choices suffocate me. Instead, I try to take a moment to tune into my body and heed it’s guidance. Sometimes I dive into the latest book I’m reading, or spend some quiet time with my Bible and prayer. Other times I unroll my yoga mat or turn on some music and practice my calligraphy.
Give us 20 minutes, says our bodies, our minds, our hearts, our souls.
Because we are worth it, you know? We deserve life, and Someone wants us not just to live but to have life to the FULL. We can’t have this without breath.
And I know that one breath will lead to another and another and another until we find ourselves breathing more deeply and more often than we ever have before. And wow, doesn’t it feel wonderful – to breathe?! To feel yourself breathing? To hear yourself breathing? To notice the pump of your heart as it goes thump thump thump right there in your chest. To sense the oxygen expanding your rib cage, creating space, glorious space, as it travels into the tips of your limb. And doesn’t it feel good, to invite life into your entire being?
To no longer run on empty, but move onward in full?
20 minutes. To take a breath. And then another.
We can do this.
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