Equanimity – one of my favorite words and a state I have aspired to for some time; one beautiful word that captures the condition of mental calmness, balance, composure and evenness of temper, especially in a difficult situation. Equanimity’s synonyms read like the effects of a life in silent retreat – composure, calm, level-headedness, self-possession, cool-headedness, presence of mind, serenity, tranquility and imperturbability (one of my favorites)!
I lost mine recently – my equanimity that is. Sadly, unlike one’s virginity which can be lost only once, equanimity can be lost many times in one lifetime!! I am laughing as I write this although I know deep down that this is no laughing matter. Lately it seems that time and time again equanimity has flown out the window as I stood by sadly watching.
Achieving and retaining equanimity in one’s lifetime can take some doing. It requires an understanding of the things, people and circumstances that throw one off balance. The list of circumstances that has shattered my equanimity recently is quite long: too many disappointments, too many disagreements, too many decisions to make, too many things to do and too many commitments to keep! Just typing this list of “TOO MANYS” has sent a ripple of tension and anxiety through my body.
It wouldn’t be so bad except that I made achieving and preserving equanimity one of my life goals. After all, on a serious note one can hardly pursue a path to spiritual enlightenment without achieving equanimity, serenity and tranquility. But time and time again in the last few months I have found myself frazzled beyond belief wondering how I might restore calm and balance in my life.
Have you ever gone through a period in your life during which you feel the same; when it seems that no matter how much you plan ahead and try to get your head above water circumstance and other people turn your world upside down leaving you perturbed and anything but level-headed? The response to my last blog post “Overextended and Overwhelmed” suggests that I am not alone longing for equanimity to be restored in my life. I heard from quite a few readers who like me are working to reclaim their calm and composure. And I was bolstered by the sage advice offered by other readers who had already found the way back to equanimity.
So while I remain somewhat challenged in my own capacity to offer advice on restoring equanimity, my readers remind us all that we are not alone. We are all on this bumpy road called life, with all its ups and downs and proverbial hills and valleys. While on the journey don’t forget to turn to others during challenging times, and allow them to offer you solace and comfort. Doing so is a first step to returning to the calm, serenity and tranquility – the equanimity – that you long for. . . Good Luck! Joanne