Midnight Insights

Twin boys in stripey shirts cyoot!

Midnight musings are always pretty interesting. Last night’s was particularly so. I was caring for our 3 week old twin grandsons (so their parents could get some sleep). Round about midnight they both decided to be awake. After a little bit of fussing (on all of our parts) the 3 of us settled calmly into the rocking chair. I was thinking how good it would be if they went to sleep and realized quickly that I wasn’t in charge of them going to sleep – their little bodies were. The only thing I was in charge of was creating the best environment possible for sleep to happen.

So I checked my mental list:

  • fed
  • changed diapers
  • wrapped warmly
  • lights low
  • calmed myself
  • enjoy the moment of rocking two sweet little beings at midnight.

Yep, everything was in place. It came to me later that this was a perfect example of putting attention on what I did have control or charge of and take it off of what I don’t.

Important life lesson here (I said to myself).

When my brain gets slippery I sometimes lose perspective on what’s in my control and what’s not. Slippery turns to tight and that doesn’t feel very good. Fortunately, it only takes a moment to remember. Tight brain loosens, deep breath loosens everything else and curiosity reenters the picture as in “what DO I have charge of and what can I do about it?”. This is just a wee bit important for creating happy and harmonious relationships with just about anyone. Well, a lot more than wee! It really helped the babies go back to sleep when they were ready. Maybe we can say that putting our attention on what we do have control over, allows what we don’t have control over to be free. That may not always be to our liking, but it will always have us use our energy in the best way at the time.

Sweet dreams babies. Thanks for the lesson.

About the author

Suzanne Kilkus

Suzanne Kilkus is a Soto Zen meditation practitioner and teacher and has practiced as a therapist and counselor for over three decades. She is dedicated to assisting people in expanding their capacity for giving and receiving love, and for recognizing and expressing their basic goodness in everyday life. Her path to live with wholehearted compassion and care is an invitation to everyone. She is a teacher with Open Door Zen Community in Madison, WI.

One Response to Midnight Insights

  • Michelle Rutta

    First—CONGRATS on being a grandma..two more times!  Secondly, always great advice Suzanne.  I’ll remember your words especially when I’m up in the middle of the night comforting one of our little miracles.  Thanks for your words online.  I read them, and reflect on them often.