Do you know the word equanimity? If so, is it something you practice in your daily round?
Equanimity is a noun that means “fairness of judgment, evenness of mental disposition, or emotional balance.” Personally, I like to think of it as the highbrow version of the word calmness with a splash of Zen.
Simply put, it is our pause button on over-reacting and jumping to conclusions about things.
“The ancient circuitry of the brain is continually driving you to react one way or another – and equanimity is your circuit-breaker … Equanimity is neither apathy nor indifference; you are warmly engaged with the world but not troubled by it,” says Rick Hanson, author of the book Buddha’s Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love, and Wisdom.
This is definitely one of those simple, but not easy, tactics.
If you are game, listen to this 3-minute guided mediation to a get a feel for practicing equanimity. (I am reading from Chapter 7 of Hanson’s book, and this is something I often introduce in coaching workshops.)
A Taste of Equanimity:
So, what did you think? Are you willing to give it a try? Test it out and let me know your results. Like many wonderful tools in the box, it’s the remembering to use it that’s half the battle.
Try it the next time your boss throws you a curve ball, your colleague flakes out on you, or your spouse does that thing (again) that drives you nuts. Give it a go while waiting for the subway, waiting for the rain to stop, or waiting for your ship to come in.
Remember, you are aiming for the mind of no preferences…whether pleasant, unpleasant, or neutral.