Shifting and giving in are not the same thing. (from A Year of Living Your Yoga by Judith Lasater.)
It has been almost one year since Maddie Rose came into my life. It's been a surprisingly great and exciting year, despite some of the challenges that come with adopting a baby. The truth is, I never saw myself as a parent. So, when Jonathan approached me with the idea of bringing a baby into our lives it shook my world, to say the least. How would I ever maintain my identification, my dreams, my goals and desires, my freedom...(you get the picture), while taking on such an important, challenging, and self-less role as being a parent. I was afraid of the threat this notion posed to the life I envisioned for myself and to the person I wanted to be. Anything that threatened my vision, dreams, goals and values didn't have a place in my life. I couldn't see, in this case, how Jonathan's dream and vision for a life with a child could exist alongside mine. Needless to say, I sat with this for a very long time - fought with it is more like it.
In 2008, I got a hold of Judith Lasater's A Year of Living Your Yoga. Judith is a woman, yoga teacher, and parent, whom I admire and respect deeply. In this particular book, made up of quotes and suggestions for bringing your yoga into your everyday life, she had written the above quote. The thought of shifting rather than giving in was so powerfully simple and stayed with me, nagged at me, and ultimately helped guide me toward making this decision to adopt a baby.
Through all my soul searching about what my life would be like with a child and pondering of that quote, I realized the shifting to bring Jonathan's perspective and dreams into my life didn't mean that I was giving in, or not strong enough in my values, convictions, goals and dreams. I'm realizing that strength isn't rigid, but rather, deep strength has a give to it, a flexibility.
For so many years I was rigid with my goals and my vision for my life. I thought that changing my mind meant I was a failure, not committed enough to my goals and dreams; not clear enough in my vision. But, with this practice of shifting, I'm now trying to soften a little. It's helping me to see that life is made up of choices and it's the choices we consciously and thoughtfully make that shape and create the life we want and ultimately live. Shifting course is merely another choice we make, rather than a sign of weakness, failure, or giving in.
As I let my vision morph and become a little more flexible, I'm beginning to tap into a deeper strength - one that has made me see that what I truly value and believe can exist alongside that of Jonathan's; that I can still have my own vision, goals and dreams, but I can hold them a little less rigidly and let them evolve and grow and potentially change into a happy surprise that I could never have imagined or planned for - like Maddie.
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