You are most powerful and joyous when you are in a state of equanimity.
Equanimity is a state of stability, mental calmness, and composure.. It is in this state that we feel our best, and bring forth our highest.
Are these not the two very things we all constantly strive for? To feel as good as we can, and express our best selves? This begins with equanimity.
The Murky Lake
The analogy I enjoy coming back to is that of the murky lake. A murky lake is clouded by the debris that floats within in. In this state, the water is hazy and unclear.
But what happens when we give this body of water time in stillness? What happens if this water is equanimous?
In this state the dust and debris in the water begins to settle, and gradually the water is clear and vibrant again.
You are akin to the water, and the debris akin to all that internally distrubs you; i.e. the negative self-talk and those uneasy emotions. When you you react, when you struggle and fight with your experience – when you stir your water – your internal environment will be hazy as the murky lake.
And when you’re hazy, you don’t think as clearly, and you don’t glow as brightly.
In a state of equanimity, we are more in tune with ourselves and intuition. As all the mental/emotional noise and distortions settle, we are able to clearly perceive the highest timeline before us. With this, decision making comes naturally.
Inner conflict, uncertainty, agitation, rash behaviour .. none of these experiences are the result of your circumstances. Rather, it is your capacity to maintain mental stability through a situation that determines how you will feel and act in a situation. It is how equanimous you are able to be in the Now moment, that dictates how good you will feel, and how effectively you will act.
Here are 3 strategies for maintaing your most powerful state of being; equanimity.
3 Strategies for Equanimity
1) Delay your reactions
Reactions are often instinctive and uncontrolled. In the circumstances in which you have reacted out of alignment with the highest you, it all happens before you’ve taken a moment to be with how you’re feeling prior to acting. Not uncommon is it that we react, and then shortly after find ourselves wishing we didn’t react in the way we did.
The practicing of delaying your reactions can be really powerful for giving yourself the time and space to make a better decision. By making it a habit to stop before you react, what you will often find is that after a few short moments in that period of delay, you’re able to assume the equanimous state in which you will more naturally act in alignment with your highest self.
When feelings of agitation or disturbance are triggered, try to catch it and remind yourself that you what you’re feeling is a transient experience, and that it would do you well to delay your reaction. The more you practice taking this moment before you respond to a stressful situation or challenging person, the better you will become at maintaining equanimity and making the better decision.
2) Prioritize how you feel
We feel the way we do because some part of us wants to feel that way – even when that feeling is anger or sadness. As difficult as it may be to accept in the midst of these experiences, do try to remember this the next time you are feeling a disruptive emotion.
You wouldn’t feel the way you felt, unless some part of you thought that it served you to feel this way. In fact, if we are feeling these types of emotions, they are
serving us. The shadow side of emotions are experiences that offer us lessons and growth
. When we are feeling anything less than joy, this is an opportunity to ask ourselves, “what is this experiencing revealing in me
But of course, we should always want to feel as good as we can. And so, the aim should be to accept and understand these experiences, to then move through it to a higher vibration
This is done by prioritizing how we feel.
Often, our shift into an disturbed emotional state, especially one of anger, is a choice we are making for one of two reasons: 1) we are victimizing ourselves or 2) we want to show the person that is “making us” angry, that we’re angry “at” them.
In both of these situations, we are prioritizing something above how we feel. We’re either deciding that feeling like a victim is more important than feeling good (know that you aren’t a victim until you believe yourself to be), or we’re deciding that expressing anger toward someone is more important than you being at peace.
At the end of the day, it’s up to you to make what is always the best decision to make; prioritizing how you feel. Our state of consciousness and being is all we’ve really got, and thus nothing could be more important than feeling good, and being at peace
. The moment you decide that you want this above anything else, the moment you prioritize how you feel, is the moment you will find yourself in a state of equanimity.
With meditation, you are setting aside time to focus on the intention of being in a state of mindfulness/presence, and mental calmness. Like most things, the more time you spend doing something, or being in a particular state, the more naturally you will find yourself in that state. The same goes for being in a state of equanimity.
Being in a state of equanimity is one and the same with being in a state of presence. When we are present, we are accepting of and objective towards our experience. In being accepting and objective in the Now, we avoid being pulled by the stressful thoughts of the past, and anxious thoughts of the future. In this state, we recognize that all is good and well in this moment.
It is when we get caught in our internal loops and distracted from the here and now, that we get pulled out of being in the pleasant state that is marked by calmness, clarity, and composure. And so by practicing being present, more and more we make equanimity the “default”.
Now, meditation is a great practice to cultivate the habit of being equanimous, but it’s important to mention that the intention should be to bring the state that is cultivated during meditation, into your day to day life. It always is, and can only ever be about how we feel in this Now moment.
So, as you sit in your meditation, practice being here. As you go about your day, practice being here. And the more time you spend remembering to be here, the more time you will spend in the powerful state of equanimity.
In the fast-paced lives that most of us our living, it can sometimes be challenging to remember to slow things down. What is happening in your external environment and circumstance does need not to affect your internal state.
It is in a state of equanmity that you are most powerful, and most joyous.