Does life ever feel as though you’re sitting on a giant swing? Flying through the air to hit a peak, rushing back toward the earth just to rise up into another peak? Does it ever feel like this giant swing represents all of the emotional ups and downs you experience? If you have had these moments, then learning about equanimity might be of interest as it is all about keeping one’s cool as things heat up, particularly under stress.
We are in the time of the Spring Equinox, a time when nature is calling us out of the dark winter and into lighter days. It encourages us to find balance in all aspects of our daily lives. Instead of feeling as though we are helplessly strapped into the seat of the swing, it is through awareness and choice that we realize that we can get off…particularly if the reason why we’re holding on no longer serves us.
Part of the swinging to and fro is staying attached to the smaller dramas that play out in our day-to-day happenings. We cling to the details and begin to lose sight of the bigger picture. We may find our nerves shot, our tempers flaring and our patience dwindling. So instead of feeling powerless, we have been given some tools to become empowered. One way to finding a cool head in times of uncertainty is by practicing loving-kindness (May I/You be safe, happy, healthy, find peace and live with ease); practicing compassion (offering loving-kindness when we see suffering in ourselves and others); and sharing in the joy of all that is good for other people. It is said that equanimity stems from the qualities of loving-kindness, compassion, and sympathetic joy, and when we practice being kind, compassionate and joyful, equanimity becomes more available to us. People who are calm, cool and collected most likely aren’t simply born that way; they practice becoming that way.
Equanimity is the quality of knowing we have a choice of how to be in our daily lives. It’s having the insight, intention, and awareness in those moments when we’re riding that swinging pendulum and are then able to make a choice…keep holding on or ultimately let go. When we do let go, it doesn’t mean that the pendulum has stopped swinging; rather, that we are able to take a deep breath and step away from it, especially if it no longer serves us and our higher good. We see the swing moving but we choose the middle path of equanimity instead.
Everyone has the choice and the power to find a peaceful way. Know that you can’t control anybody but yourself…so go ahead, start by taking a deep breath and let go.
Jayne Robertson, C-IAYT, E-RYT 500, is owner and instructor at Desert Yoga Therapy in Rancho Mirage. For more information, visit www.desertyogatherapy.com or call (760) 456.5160. Email firstname.lastname@example.org