I always knew the sauna was just down in the basement. I would make countless promises to myself that I would go there so I could meditate while loosening my muscles, have a personal spa day, then it became an opportunity for me to slim down and lose some stubborn water weight. Whatever the reasons, the excuses for not going were endless and the motivation that much slimmer.
Then I finally made the effort and entered the personal abode. “Fifteen minutes,” I told myself, “That should be easy enough.” Cranked up the heat, took off my shoes, put the timer on for 15-minutes and got inside the sauna.
It felt like interminable minutes. At first, I laid down on my back and put a towel under by head. Put my feet up, then put my feet down. Felt my feet overheating, then my back. I changed position and decided to sit instead.
“The wood is so warm!” I thought soon after and grabbed the towel to put underneath my butt and legs. I crossed my legs in a yoga position, with my palms facing up, closed my eyes and pondered to myself “Now quiet your mind.”
Then came a stampede of to-do-lists, self-narration, self-consciousness, self-analyzing… I began to feel my cheeks flush with anxiety. “It is probably too hot and I should not be staying in the sauna this long,” I told myself. I nervously tried to hold on and talk myself into staying a few more minutes —at least until the timer went off. I began to feel the heat prickling my face —or was it my imagination—and took it as a sign to get out.
I opened the door and gasped for air. I took a sip from my water bottle and turned to the mirrors to see if I was pale. “Remember why you are here,” I could hear in my thoughts, “You are here for you. Don’t quit on yourself.” I quickly walked back into the sauna. I crossed my legs once more into a yoga pose, closed my eyes and let go…Then I overheard in my thoughts:
“The journey to yourself is the longest and most satisfying journey.”
An acknowledging smile drew upon my face and I began to meditate. A peaceful stillness settled in the room and…. “PING, PING, PING!” the timer goes off. The fifteen minutes were up. I laughed and shook my head. “Such is life!” I told myself.
I was not mad. I was not disappointed. I simply got it.
When I stopped making excuses, when I stopped trying and when I finally let go…
“I’ll see you tomorrow,” I whispered and exited the sauna.