Photo credit: Yvette Jain

The magic of impermanence: The beauty of the day is disrupted by nightfall. The beauty of the night is disrupted by sunrise. Neither day nor night would be as beautiful as they are without the other.

At this time last year I felt depleted from lack of sleep, injuries, dealing with tantrums, and other misfortunes; I felt I gave and gave my attention and energy without taking anything back for myself, except perhaps for a limited schedule of teaching, writing & working out.

Circumstances did not change much over time; however, yoga and meditation allowed me to see what I couldn’t see before – that all I need to do to change my life was to change my perspective.

It’s exactly one year later, and though I still feel physically depleted from a lack of sleep and an injury-prone body, I am able to renew my energy emotionally.

By choosing my words more wisely and by re-writing the story from a different perspective, I can take action from an empowered, humble, and grateful way of of being.

According to The Refined Woman Kat Harris, list your circumstances, with 3 different beginnings: 

  • “I have to” (reactive)
  • “I choose to” (proactive)
  • “I have the privilege to” (equanimous)

Through this powerful tool, we can find love in any circumstance. We can also figure out what’s a priority for us.

I used to get upset about the boys waking me up at night – sometimes 2 to 3 times a night. Most days I would get no more than 4 hrs of sleep, and I’d wake up a mombie zombie. This has been going on for about 4.5 years now.

Then one night, I realized that this is it. This is life. This precious time might be the last time they come to me to cuddle. I need them just as much as they need me, even in the wee hours of the morning. And whatever, my body has gotten used to the lack of sleep and the amount of coffee I drink.

  • I changed “I have to get up to put them back to sleep in their own bed” to
  • “I choose to do my duty without being cranky pants” and finally,
  • “I have the privilege of having a beautiful home furnished with more than one bed”

I used to get annoyed when they would wrap their arms around my neck and swing on it like monkeys. I had to do physical therapy just to undo the tension they created! Sometimes, the two of them, from across the room, would run to me and tackle me down to the floor, with the combined force of about 80 lbs of pure boy.

All they want is to show their love and wrestle. They want to play, have fun, and spend quality time together – precious time that will never happen again, not in the same way.

  • I changed, “I have to teach them not to knock me over” to
  • “I choose to handle this with grace and understanding” and finally,
  • “I have the privilege to show my kids just how much I love them by doing things they love to do”

I would get annoyed about the whining, crying, and tantrums of two toddlers. And I can do so, showing less frustration, less reaction than I used to. I will find ways to calm myself down or endure the demands of my little “bosses”.

  • I changed, “I have to discipline these guys” to
  • “I choose to walk away until they calm themselves” and finally,
  • “I have the privilege to teach… isn’t that the job I chose?”

After all, temporary discomfort is a small price to pay for their love. The way they run to me at pickup, with enthusiasm and joy, followed by a big hug and kiss. The way the little one crawls up to me on the bed and pins me down to give me a big kiss good night, “I love you, mommy.” The way the big one asks me to hold his hand and “never let go until the sun comes up”.

The sweet, innocent, unconditional love is real. And these moments will pass, too.

In a few years, they will be teenagers and likely won’t want to talk to me nor cuddle. They will probably rebel against me or ignore me at best. They will likely not want to hold hands nor give kisses; they will probably want me to stay out of sight for fear of embarrassment. I have no idea what I will do then, but I will probably have to practice equanimity to deal with puberty – a very tamasic (dark, ignorant, and lazy) phase of life. I will cross that bridge when it comes. And I will have to trust that their love for me is there, even when they don’t show it as much – just as my parents did for me and just as my grandparents did for them.

“How beautiful is it to live in a world where nothing lasts forever. We must learn to fall in love with the love inside us, only then every moment living will be worth dying for.” – R.M. Drake

This post is in collaboration with The Refined Collective Series. Be sure and check out all the ladies in this wonderful group—#therefinedcollective