40 Days Transformation and Change of Heart
Day 17: Equanimity
I was awoken today with the stomach flu which is always a horrible reminder to me of Equanimity. Cause I will usually lie in bed and try to be in charge of the storm ragging in me demanding it be calm! It is a struggle that I never win.
There is a famous quote by the theologian Reinhold Niebuhr that says,
"GOD, GIVE US THE GRACE TO ACCEPT WITH SERENITY THE THINGS THAT CANNOT BE CHANGED, COURAGE TO CHANGE THE THINGS WHICH SHOULD BE CHANGED, AND THE WISDOM TO DISTINGUISH THE ONE FROM THE OTHER."
I want to be transformed and changed enough to have the ability to accept the things I cannot change, and be humble enough to admit that my willpower and ego are ultimately powerless over most of the realities in my life.
There are innumerable things we cannot change- The weather, the traffic, the flu and the behavior of others (even our children).
It is so easy to get reactive when we feel like we aren't in control. We can get caught up in a storm of the struggle, stress, reactivity, blame and then react. Our reactions come in many forms some being- anger, cravings, numbing, self medicating and distractions.
Equanimity is the art of meeting life as it meets you- calmly, without drama or fuss. I like thinking of it as standing still in the eye of the storm.
The lighthouse isn't taking charge of the storm it is simply "Staying Still."
We think we can change things by taking charge, by "grabbing the bull by the horns." But if you think about it, grabbing a bull by the horns would be a crazy thing to do. We change by finding Equanimity and learning to relax right in the middle of conflict-filled moments.
Can you see yourself as the same person who maintains composure on a sinking ship, which allows you to help save the lives of others aboard? In truth, our Equanimity is full of courage and can save lives.
To me the Greatest Example of Equanimity is Jesus Christ. In His Life and Death He maintained His equanimity and submissiveness. He did the will of His Father in ALL things. This is where we will find our strength to stand still and be immovable in the storms and waves that crash against us. And
come what may, we can face life with hope and equanimity, knowing that we will succeed in the end because we have God’s promise to us individually, by name, and we know He cannot lie.
"And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall." Helaman 5:12
"These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." John 16:22
A restful pose usually at the end of the class. laying on your back, eyes closed, legs and arms extended and palms open to the sky. This is the Meditation part of yoga it is a powerful tool for noticing and letting go of our habitual responses. I see so many students in my class fidget and sometimes leave the room during this part of the class. Savasana is the practice of developing Equanimity by staying present, staying conscious, and most of all, just staying.