Santosha (contentment): But the real meaning of santosha involves accepting whatever happens, with a clear mind and a clean heart. God has a plan for you; that is the message. Be happy with what you have, rather than being unhappy about what you don’t have. In the Yoga Sutra, there is this commentary: “Contentment counts for more than all sixteen heavens together.” Don’t complain about things that go wrong; accept what happened, learning from it instead. (From

In front of me today is anger: my fury at a woman who said exactly the wrong thing to me about my child.

In front of me today is a realistic picture of Annie: a smart girl who has trouble learning letters.

In front of me today is santosha. My yoga teacher recommended this word as a mantra without knowing the state of my mind. This word, this concept, is a perfect fit.

In fact, part of me knew this before I asked for mantra suggestions. I am doing this crazy five-day-a-week 5:30am boot camp right now. I was there this morning, exercising when I didn’t want to be. My friend Jen was beside me for most of the hour. I told her about the supposed professional cognitive therapist yesterday who asked me if I was going to transfer Annie to another school because she has so many needs. This was the very first sentence out of this woman’s mouth, before she had ever met me or my daughter in person. Yes, the woman backed up and admitted she had never met Annie, and she had no idea if the test in front of her accurately portrayed my child.

But today I am tired of all the people saying thoughts to me that just aren’t helpful. I am so glad I am far enough along in this process that I was able to correct this woman. No, the test is not an accurate picture of my child. It’s a test, and the one we are talking about was administered by someone who clearly did not know how to best work with my child. And since said test occurred, smart Annie has learned so many things and grown in numerous ways. How dare someone talk to me this way?

So, santosha. Back to boot camp. Jen asked, “How can you feel better about this?”

I told her, “I guess I just have to feel the yucky feelings and then I’ll feel better.”

Yes, I have to sit and process exactly why I feel like crap, and exactly why what this woman said is not appropriate. I get to sit in the muck, feel the feelings, and then let those feelings go.

More importantly, processing how I feel means I get to move on to step 2. I will call a list of private testing and tutoring places, because it seems the public school system may not know how to best deal with my child. Or maybe the public schools don’t know how to deal with parents. Too bad unprofessionalism is a deal breaker for me. If you can’t talk to me appropriately or figure out what my daughter needs in a professional manner, you are certainly not going to work with my child.

Santosha. In front of me is a sunny day. I have time to write my thoughts out, volunteer in Annie’s classroom, and go have my hair cut.

Santosha. I am OK with my fury and sitting quietly with it until I un-knot and let it go. Maybe it sounds like I am complaining about what happened yesterday. Not really. I am letting what happened be a guide, so I can figure out the best path for Annie, and the best path for me. We are a team, and I know her needs better than anyone else under the sun.

Santosha. Breathe.

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