Stop now.

Please stop whatever you’re doing right now.

Put everything down. Yes, everything, right now as you read this. Really.

Take a seat. A deep breath. Allow it out with a long, slow exhale.

Let your shoulders drop, as far as they’ll go. Allow them to feel the weight of gravity. Your lower jaw too. Feel the way the floor supports your feet. Now the way the chair supports your body.

Don’t rush. Stay with this long enough to experience what’s happening.

Are you starting to remember that you have a body? That you’re not just a head filled with thoughts and plans to rush from one engagement to the next?

Take a moment to notice the sensations that are there. The grip or looseness of your fingers, the warmth or coolness of your hands, the feel of your arms. Your toes, feet, ankles, legs. Your abdomen, chest, shoulders, neck. Your face.

Stay a moment longer, please. Turn to the sensation of your breath as it enters and leaves your body. The coolness of the inhale and the warmth of the exhale. The gentle way your ribs move to allow for all of this. Listen quietly for a moment for the beating of your heart. Allow yourself to marvel for a moment that any of this is possible.

When was the last time you stopped like this?

When did you last allow yourself to remember, beyond all your tasks, your commitments and your endless busyness, that you’re a living, breathing human being? When did you last stop long enough to experience the feeling of being alive?

And if it’s been a long time, at what cost?