Hello dear readers!
I hope your week has been productive and full of energy! Things are hopping around here, and it’s hard to keep all the balls in the air, especially when the sun peeks out and everyone wants to get outside and enjoy the weather! This time of year is always a little crazy, school getting out, summer coming up, plans to make and things to organize… it’s hard to maintain the work that we’ve been doing while at the same time, enjoy life a little!
So the word I have been thinking about lately is “equanimity” – it’s a funny word that you hear a lot in yoga classes but not so much in the regular world. The first definition on Google is, “Mental calmness, composure, and evenness of temper, especially in a difficult situation.” The Wiktionary definition, which I like even more, is “Having an even mind; aequus even; animus mind/soul) is a state of psychological stability and composure which is undisturbed by experience of or exposure to emotions, pain, or other phenomena that may cause others to lose the balance of their mind.”
So the word itself is related to being in a hard or difficult situation, which might be why I like it so much. Equanimity is the mental and emotional equivalent of the physicality of an extreme athlete – something that you can’t actually even define without putting it into a situational context. There’s no such thing as an extreme athlete who is not doing…. well, extremely athletic things. So there is no such thing as a person who has equanimity without being in difficult situations. And like you can build muscle by lifting weights, periodically increasing the weight to keep your muscles in a state of dynamic tension where they can adapt and grow, you can practice equanimity each time a difficult situation presents itself, and you can build up your capacity for ever greater reserves of mental calmness.
Lets practice this and grow in our equanimity!