balance, peace, calm, patience, composure in the face of life’s storms and challenges.
This is the quality being referred in the verse “Be still and know that I am God.” Many of the old hymns refer to this quality in various ways: “It is well with my soul,” “Surely Goodness and Mercy,” “He Giveth More Grace”.
Easeful living is the last habit we talk about in the Abundant Living course. It is the crown jewel of an aligned and clean lifestyle. It is the thing that it seems most of us are seeking when we chase our “why do I want this” to the root. And no wonder! It is the thing we were ultimately created for: an existence that is rooted and grounded in the deepest truth and so we are able to have inner strength and steadiness no matter what.
We seek and struggle to find this peace. Why? Do any of these sound familiar?
- “It’s a spiritual quest and I’m not into religion.”
- “It isn’t possible for me.”
- “I don’t deserve it.”
- “As long as I live in this situation, it’s not gonna happen.”
- “I don’t have time right now.”
- “Someday I’ll get my life/house organized enough.”
- “Once I get this health problem fixed, it’ll all be OK.”
What could you add?
I hear you! I have told myself several of these and a few others besides. Peace was a divine promise, but it felt like a “someday” promise. My experience day in and day out had glimpses, but nothing like “equanimity.”
What on earth is meant by “equanimity?”
Equanimity has two concepts at its root: the idea of equality, fairness, balance, and the idea of mindedness.
Equality, fairness, balance: This concept has to do with being able to take an objective view of things, a overlook perspective, being able to see with patience and understanding. It’s a certain amount of not taking the things of life personally. Sometimes we call this seeing the big picture, or taking the long view of things.
Mindedness: the heart does not rule the mind, nor does the mind rule the heart. There is integrity between your values, vision, and actions. This involves being rooted and centered from within so you can be stable no matter what is going on.
Sounds good, right? To be strong, stable, calm in a world that is volatile, ambigous, chaotic?
When I started this path, I figured easeful living and equanimity were great goals, but in my life…not a chance.
Life has taught me I was wrong.
Equanimity rests on a few legs. Here’s how the impossible became possible for me.
1. Integrity: One of the first things I do with every round of the Abundant Living course is make a “why” statement. When my actions line up with my goals and my goals line up with my values, I have integrity. As I dig deeper into my values, goals, and actions, I can tweak things so that they align more closely. Integrity with nature and the Divine improve my sense of equanimity.
2. Faith: This concept has nothing to do with religion. It has to do with the confidence you have in your beliefs and practices. Do you get assurance from your faith? This is the picture of a small child holding the hand of an adult with absolute confidence that the adult will take care of him/her. I have a couple of practices that help me develop this confidence and to remain rooted in it even when things are hard. Sitting in silence once or twice a day helps calm the monkey mind that dwells of on the negative. Also, I’ve begun sleeping and waking with natural cycles and in times of day when one is more mindful of the spirit and the bigger things of life.
3. Wisdom: Wisdom has to do with understanding. It is peace-loving, considerate, merciful, kind, impartial, sincere. It sees what is and what can be. It understands that what a person does and who they are may be different. Wisdom can disagree and still be in relationship. When faith is based in wisdom the sum is greater than the parts to help us maintain objectivity, not take things and people personally, and to stay rooted in truth.
4. Sense of well being: Is your being well? Are you comfortable in your own skin? Do you care for your physical temple lovingly and effectively? When your body is cared for, operates well, and is a tidy place for your spirit to reside in, you enjoy peace. When you can treat your body with love and enjoy the sensuality (experience of the senses) of life, you enjoy contentment. There are large and small ways in which I do this, and most of the habits of Abundant Living point toward this. I feed my body good quality food that tastes good and nourishes it, and is appropriate to my unique body. I care for my skin and my other senses. I make time for my body to rest, for my mind to chill.
5. Insight: This refers to an understanding of nature of things, of which one of the primary things is impermanance. We say, “this too shall pass,” and it helps us to let go of that which we can not control in the situation, to gain the perspective employed by wisdom. As insight is added to the other supports, we become resiliant.
6. Freedom: One of the four basic human instincts is to be free. I can’t control everything in my life, but I have choices about many things. As I build the self-care habits into my life and have learned the skills of building my body, mind, and spirit I discover that I don’t have to react. I can choose responses, and I’m not controlled by outside forces and reactive. Freedom comes from objectivity, which I gain as my body is comfortable, my mind is clear and relaxed, and my spirit is open to life.
Equanimity: balance, peace, calm, patience, composure in the face of life’s storms and challenges.
It is possible for you. You were made for this and you can experience it in your life.
Do you believe it?
Do you have practices in your life that build integrity, faith, wisdom, sense of well being, insight, and freedom in your life?
Could you use MORE of that?
Talk to me about what you want in your life (get on my schedule here!). What could you use in your body? What do you want for your mind? How about your emotions and spirit?
Do you really want to experience peace, calm, and overall health? A round of the Abundant Living course, teaching, doing, living habits that support equanimity, is starting soon. Apply today! But, only if you are really dedicated to improving your life. My time and energy are valuable, so I invest in the group and limit the number of seats available each round so I can give you everything you need. IF you really want it. If this is you, you want to thrive, you want abundance of life, apply today. Sign up for a Wellness Strategy Conversation and let’s clarify your goals and desires.
It isn’t enough to talk about peace. One must believe in it. And it isn’t enough to believe in it. One must work at it.
Nobody can bring you peace but yourself.
Pray for me that I may bear in mind that profoundly true maxim: “if thou wish to bring others peace, keep thyself in peace.”