Being Your Authentic Self

What is Equanimity?
A dictionary will say: equa·nim·i·ty  noun \ˌē-kwə-ˈni-mə-tē, ˌe-kwə-\ : calm emotions when dealing with problems or pressure

But perhaps we can describe equanimity as the ability to compassionately accept where we are and be okay with that – even if we are still crying, shaking or overwhelmed with pain. We become able to say “Yes, this is what I’m feeling.”equanimity

This is not what most of us are taught. We are more likely to hear- “if I do this I will be punished” or “don’t be such a baby!”  or “What’s wrong with you?”  Equanimity is “Oh well, I was overwhelmed with…”  Equanimity_webWith equanimity we’re not living from the point of how much guilt our emotions cause in us, but how we show up in life and navigate all the unpleasant things that happen.

“I know who I am and I am authentic in my being.” If we are questioning and denying the legitimacy of our experiences we are denying the expression of our true self.  It is our experiences that makes us uniquely who we are, that and our ability to decide how we will respond to those experiences.  Animals respond to life by seeking to survive.  They have all the same emotions we do, but they can’t decide to laugh instead of cry or share a blessing instead of biting someone.

Pain, anger, and grief are a natural part of life therefore all beings experience mental/emotional/ physical pain sometimes. Feeling what we feel does not make us spiritual cripples, it allows us to practice compassion.

A Buddhist StoryGolden buddha hands

There once was a woman who lost her son. She was very sad. She went door to door seeking healers of all sorts. We cannot help you they said, “He’s dead.”
“He should not be dead” she cried!
Finally the woman came upon the Buddha and weeping told her sad story begging for the return of her son. The Buddha agreed to help her, “All you have to do,” he said, “is bring me a grain of rice from a household that has escaped the curse of grief.” With great hope, she went through the village, door by door, and through the neighboring villages, only to hear story upon story of suffering and loss. Finally she returned to the Buddha, no less in pain, but far wiser, more compassionate, and willing to accept her human lot. Life holds pain. There is suffering and it is caused by “This should not happen.”

This woman became enlightened by understanding these facts.  When we are flattened by the things life can do to us- let’s remember that there is suffering- we are not going to get a spiritual ticket stamped “Saved from Life”.  But remembering to realign ourselves to the Higher Power and enter the state of equanimity might be enough.  Try it and see!

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Great Spirit,
May I find joy in each moment.
May I find humor in my difficulties and laughter at my mistakes.
Often, Great Spirit, I am striving, trying, seeking, learning,
grasping, working to be good, to be loving, to be kind, to be successful, to be abundant.  Life is exhausting for me when I fall
into those places where I don’t really believe
you can, or will help me.

Teach me to have faith, Great Spirit.
Help me to know that you are there for me.
Help me to stop striving and let you take care of me,
the way you do the birds of the air and the lilies of the field.
I accept your abundant, loving care in my life now.


 

Life is a Journey

Humans seem very attached to struggling and striving.  We strive to be perfect, and struggle to succeed.  When we’re not struggling or striving for a goal we quickly become bored.  But there is no one in control of our existence- but ourselves!

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Many times it seems that others actions and word or certain difficult circumstances control us, or we feel we have been pushed out of Spirit Truth by the uncooperative attitudes of the people around us.  It’s easy to feel powerless and victimized.  We are surrounded by stories of abuse, pain, and hatred.  Sometimes  these things happen to us, or to someone we know.

In times of great stress, pain, sorrow, or anger we can empower ourselves by validating and accepting what we feel.  These feelings are not wrong and the feeling themselves don’t mean there is something wrong with us.  It means we are feeling- sad, stressed, hurt, or angry.  Assigning a judgment to our feelings- or the feelings of others- means we believe there is a right way to feel and a wrong way to feel.  All humans, at some time, will experience anger, fear, pain, and grief.  Just as all of us will experience love, joy, peace, and enlightenment sometimes.

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So when we are finished being angry, frustrated, worried, sad, and depressed- it’s perfectly possible to move into more pleasant emotions.  But this doesn’t happen easily if we are unwilling to practice compassion for the self that is suffering.  We want to give away compassion and healing to others in pain what if we practice giving that same forgiveness and support to ourselves when we are suffering?

The reason we keep falling into suffering is that we expect our outer world to mirror back to us Great Spirit’s Truths of love, joy, and peace.  But what the world mirrors back to us is our own frustration, challenges and depression.  So what if-  what if we allowed ourselves to laugh more often?  What if we appreciated the small joys of each day?  What if we see life with the eyes of compassionate understanding?  What if we make other people more important then ourselves- once in a while?  What if this was your last day on earth?

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Great Spirit, I step into Your light and Your song.
I surrender into peace.
I am held and filled with joy.
I open my heart
And reach out to embrace my brothers and sisters.
May our dreams shine forth
like a rainbow’s of promise.

May the winds of time blow me into the arms of Wisdom.
May the days and nights of my earthly life
blend into an eternal experience of Your grace.
May the swiftly flowing years
of my existence bring me
to the practice of loving compassion.
May the turning of the seasons teach me
to be patient and wait for the changes
that will bring me joy.

love