Equanimity is a noble pursuit. The dictionary on my computer says that equanimity is mental calmness, composure, and evenness of temper, especially in a difficult situation. How do we align ourselves when things get tough? In a nutshell, this is my contemplation.
We are always going to face challenges. Some of them are big life events, others are fairly mundane. They can range from big things like serious illness to small things like being cut off in traffic. Oddly enough, it is the small things that often pull me out of alignment with myself. Yet these small things can be easy resolve. When we wrestle with some bigger, life-changing things, we need more time to find our alignment. Big changes throw us out of alignment with who we truly want to be.
In my own current state of upheaval, I am learning to cultivate more equanimity by being patient, loving, and content. My goal is to be content within the discontent.
I am focused on this difficut goal because equanimity as a virtue is a noble pursuit and vital aim of yoga. It is a foundational element to the beliefs of Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism and Hinduism. No matter what system of philosophy or religion resonates with you, equanimity is a common thread we can all pull on.
Patanjali speaks about the virtue of equanimity in Yoga Sutra 1.33: By cultivating attitudes of friendliness toward happiness, compassion toward suffering, delight toward virtue, and equanimity toward vice, thoughts become purified, the mind will become more calm and in that silence you will connect with your true self.
Finding equanimity is a big reason why I came to yoga in the first place. When I feel out of alignment with myself, I know I really need to draw on the tools of my yoga practice. But (and this is a huge one for a lot of us), it is when we are out of alignment that we are less likely to turn to our yoga practice for help.
By yoking ourselves to ourselves – doing and being yoga – and coming into alignment with who we really want to be, we create equanimity. By cultivating the virtue of equanimity, we also yoke ourselves to ourselves and align with our highest self. Equanimity and alignment!
Feeling out of alignment? Want to cultivate more equanimity? Come to your mat. Move. Breathe. Meditate. You will feel better. You will feel more like yourself. I know I do!
Wishing equanimity to all,