What to Learn from a 6 Year Old Who Has Autism
There was a terrible storm last week in Georgia. The kind of storm that turns the world wet and black. I drove to my yoga studio to teach class despite my husband saying, “There are tornado warnings, and nobody is coming to yoga tonight.”
I drove the ten miles to my studio with white knuckles the whole way. I have never been more scared in my life. The wind had picked up. My car shook, and the stoplights almost flew away.
The next day, I woke up early, way before the sun. When the sun did come up, I saw the enormous clear blue sky. It was awe-inspiring and unbelievable. One of the most beautiful skies I have ever witnessed to date.
At that moment, it struck me—the contrast of the serene blue landscape versus the black ominous hole that had swallowed up our view last night. Such chaos followed by such peace.
The earth didn’t ask permission to be different the next day; it just was.
I had a feeling by Monday that the weekend would be a challenging one. My oldest son, the one who has Prader-Willi Syndrome and Autism, was not acting himself. I knew from past experience that this meant impending meltdowns and crying for the weekend. As suspected, this came to pass but, thankfully, only on one day and not both.
After the chaos and crying, there was silence.
I immediately thought of our storm. Of the darkness followed by light.
When my oldest son has a meltdown, it usually is a short-lived upset. This past Sunday, he spent more time than usual crying, screaming, and turning his world upside down. After it was all said and done, he was done. He looked at me and said, “I am all done now.”
That was that. He was done. He just moves on, ready to play Legos and get on doing what little boys do. There is no guilt about screaming for hours and upsetting the house. There is no lingering hurt or anger.
There is a beautiful sense of living moment by moment with my son. There is a deep understanding that you can be different whenever you desire to shift. You get to choose.
My son understands this so implicitly, without having ever taken one “spiritual workshop.” He does this from the purest place in his heart. I am all done now. I choose something different.
What a powerful way to live. Special people in this world have so much to teach us. This is a lesson I take very seriously. I have so much to learn from this pint-sized spiritual being.
Choosing something different. Choosing to shift, be different, move on, move forward, or live something new.
You don’t need to ask permission or wait for the okay. You just need to say the words. I’m all done now. I choose something different.
Can you imagine how liberating it would feel? Can you imagine what things would shift in your life if you just spoke it out loud? Can you tell the world that you are all done?
Tell the world that you choose something different, because it is your choice. You get to decide whenever you want.
You are no different than the earth. You don’t need to ask for permission to change your weather.
Rachel Pastiloff is an author, yoga teacher, amateur chef, special needs advocate, and mother living in Atlanta, GA with her husband and two sons. In 2009, Rachel’s oldest son was diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder called Prader-Willi Syndrome, with a diagnosis of autism to follow. The diagnosis was traumatic and forever altered the course of her life. Rachel has made it her mission to educate the world about children who have special needs and their parents and caregivers. For more on Rachel visit her blog or follow her on Facebook and Twitter.