About a year ago I learned about “equanimity”, which is the ability to be grateful for all there is in the present moment while letting postive and negative emotions come and go with neutrality. Equanimity is very difficult for me… which is why it is a very beneficial thing for me to practice.
Equanimity refers to balance, to remaining centered in the middle of whatever is happening. This form of balance comes from some inner strength or stability. The strong presence of inner calm, well-being, confidence, vitality, or integrity can keep us upright, like ballast keeps a ship upright in strong winds (see “Seven Supports for Equanimity,”). As inner strength develops, for example, from the accumulation of mindfulness in the ordinary moments of life, equanimity follows.
Today was one of those days where I woke up and I felt like something was missing. This happens to me every once in a while and it seems like no matter how much I rack my brain, I can’t come up with a good reason as to why I am feeling like this. And then it dawned on me… this was a perfect moment to practice equanimity.
How I do this:
I take a few minutes to reflect. To make sure there isn’t actually something that I am doing wrong. Then I pull out of a piece of paper and write down everything good in my life. The things I am grateful for… the accomplishments I am proud of. The things I am excited about. Once I run out of room on that piece of paper, I feel like an entirely new person. The negative emotions get rerouted into positive emotions instead of leaving me in an empty limbo for several days.
If you’re an Enneagram 4, or simply going through some kind of rough patch, I highly recommend doing more research on the positive affects of equanimity!