A Quieter Now

I sit down at my desk to write this story. I turn on my laptop, gather my notes, and open Word. Just as my fingers start to tap the keyboard — ding — an email arrives. I can answer that one tomorrow.
Ding. Another one. That I can’t ignore. And that reminds me, I told them I’d help them with that other thing today. It’ll just take a second.
Chime. A text from my husband asking if I can run home at lunch today to let the dog out. We’re also out of bread, and I need to remember to run by the grocery store. Let me write that down. Where did I put my pen?
Ring. “Did you send those files to the client yet?” Let me do that right now. Is this one the most recent version, or is that one? I’ll have to check.
The day progresses, and the to-do list builds. The gas pedal is mashed to the floor, and a leisurely cruise turns into a race down the Autobahn. My mind jumps between thoughts and tasks, each fighting to get to the front of the line. I keep telling myself that it will be easier to approach this writing assignment with a clear plate and head.
Soon, it’s 3:30 p.m., and my Word document is still sitting open with nothing more than a headline, a few half-formed thoughts, and a blinking cursor.
I close my eyes, take a deep breath, and try to recall Shari Motro’s first-year seminar: Sex, Mindfulness, and the Law. Every Tuesday, 16 students — as well as faculty, staff, and students from around campus — gather in the Law School Commons. The room is buzzing with pre-class chatter as we stand around a circle of chairs. Motro walks in, quietly removes her shoes, and takes a seat. Without a word, the activity of the room dissipates, and everyone makes his or her way to a seat on a chair, a couch, or a cushion on the floor.
“This is the time when we say goodbye to our phones,” she says. “We’ll come back to them in a little while.”
And then, we sit.

This feature appeared in the winter 2015 issue of University of Richmond Magazine, the University's alumni magazine. As a yoga teacher, I was especially excited by the chance to dig into a subject I personally care about. How great is that?