Tag Archives: Equanimity

Somewhere Between Two Shores

Every morning, my meditation starts in storm. New winds beckon my sails; mine is the course to set. In the stillness, my sextant sights.

Sometimes. my ship wrecks but imbalance is impermanent. Like the boomerang, balance will have its return.

The self must settle somewhere two shores.

Make not a bond of love;

let it rather be a moving sea

between the shores of your soul.

(Khalil Gibran)

Sustaining the meditative state is a constant shifting of course, ever mindful of each day’s tides. They are never the same.

Every day, I choose whether to rush inland or to remain offshore, anchor dropped in observation.

Wearying but worth it, this life.

Aim for Even posts offer equanimity a dose at a time. No day or dose is ever the same, even if the aim is. You may read about the origins of Aim for Even here or on this site’s About page.

Let Me Be Gracious

I must buy more T-shirts that give people pause. It’s good for them, I think, and I know it’s good for me. It shakes us up.

This morning, I wore my “Nasty Women Project” shirt, more for a color coordinated look than as a statement. I always enjoy wearing it but as often happens, I forget I am until someone notices.

This morning, it was the pharmacy tech who reminded me. She regularly waits on me and usually calls me by name but not this morning. She just kept staring at my shirt.

“Name?”

“Huber.”

She paused before asking, “Karen?” Her tone was one of disbelief.

I could not help but smile but it was just a small one. “Yes,” was my answer. Admittedly, my tone was a bit sing-song.

The tech may not have been crestfallen but she was puzzled. How dare I not be the ailing old woman that she was so sure I was.

To be fair, she has seen me on some pretty rough days but the only conversation we ever had was my giving her the information required to purchase my prescription.

I presented as a new person to her. Maybe I will replace the one she was so sure she knew. Who knows, maybe someday she will surprise me, too.

Let me be gracious when she does.

Aim for Even posts offer equanimity a dose at a time. No day or dose is ever the same, even if the aim is. You may read about the origins of Aim for Even here or on this site’s About page.

Upside Down and Inside Out

As I attempt to walk on my own again, my country seeks security somewhere, anywhere. Neither of us is sure of how far to go, much less where.

Yet, it is not our uncertainty that is the problem. We are right where we need to be, “unfolding a new myth” (Rumi).

“Life always bursts the boundaries of formulas” Antoine de Saint-Exupéry wrote in Flight to Arras, a novel about the French Resistance in World War II. We know the outcome of that resistance but its success was far from assured.

Yet defeat—death–was preferable to life lived within a formula. Life turns on a dime— it is impermanent–change turns us upside down, inside out. And if we are Aleppo, we are all but obliterated.

“Defeat may prove to have been the only path to resurrection, despite its ugliness.” That is the history of the human spirit, its rising from a story stuck in repeat. We don’t remember our history so we keep writing the same story.

But what if we strayed from that story? What if we accepted that life turns on a dime–always has, always will. We would walk where uncertainty leads. Would that not be the unfolding of a new myth?

Life always bursts the boundaries of formulas.

Defeat may prove to have been the only path to resurrection,

despite its ugliness. I take it for granted that to create a tree

I condemn a seed to rot. If the first act of resistance comes

too late it is doomed to defeat. But it is, nevertheless,

the awakening of resistance.

Life may grow from it as from a seed.

(Flight to Arras, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry )

Aim for Even posts offer equanimity a dose at a time. No day or dose is ever the same, even if the aim is. You may read about the origins of Aim for Even here or on this site’s About page.

Is There Really a Choice?

Be impeccable in your word

Don’t take anything personally

Don’t make assumptions

Always do your best.

Don Miguel Ruiz

In yesterday’s post, I made a passing reference to Don Miguel Ruiz’ Four Agreements. Is there ever a time when they are not needed? Has there ever been a time when it was easy to practice them?

In these dark days, we know we are not hearing one another. In any conversation, who will put assumptions aside in favor of thoughtful discourse?

Anyone? It’s hard. Often, it does not work. Why make it a practice?

I focus on word choice, aiming for impeccable. I don’t always reach that level. Still, I remind myself that in equanimity there are no enemies. My heart remains open rather than shut tight. I only need a sliver of light.

What I’m saying sounds far-fetched, perhaps impractical. Yet, the few times that I have stood in mindfulness—trusted it–drama was left without a stage on which to play. I fueled no fires.

It has happened enough to reinforce my practice of the Four Agreements, especially on those days when my skin is too thin, and I react rather than respond.

One mistake need not necessitate another, so I am more thoughtful in my word choice. At the very least, it changes up the pace of the conversation or social media commentary.

My recent blog post on childhood and its innocence sparked a comment full of hate, truly vitriolic. The words were so raw I could not take them personally. Neither, could I decipher the reader’s meaning.

It is the kind of spew I see far too often on social media. It does not deserve a response, ever. That said, such hate has always been part of the human experience. The Internet only makes it more immediate.

Our language returns to us, sometimes unrecognizable. We effect change with our word. Do we have a choice other than to be impeccable?

Aim for Even posts offer equanimity a dose at a time. No day or dose is ever the same, even if the aim is. You may read about the origins of Aim for Even here or on this site’s About page.

Owning Both Halves of Me

One word can either open a wound or a world. Words stretch into sentences, then stories. We love stories. They show us who we are, no matter what they reveal.

Today, I return to the Cherokee story of the two wolves who live within us. A grandfather tells his grandson about the ongoing battle between good and evil, light and dark.

Always, the wolves hunger and gnaw. The grandson asks what to do. In most versions of this story, the grandfather says you starve one and feed the other.

That never made sense to me.

And then I found a version where the grandfather advises to feed them both. Starving one makes the other uncontrollable. They are two halves of a whole and not two beings stuck in eternal struggle.

I try to feed both; therein, my battle lies.

Putting on the armor of the bodhisattva is to wear the most powerful weapon ever known to existence–compassion–owning both halves of me.

And when I do, I stand with my wolves not in fear but in awe.

Aim for Even posts offer equanimity a dose at a time. No day or dose is ever the same, even if the aim is. You may read about the origins of Aim for Even here or on this site’s About page.

Taking My Daily Dose as Delivered

My annual appointment with my neurosurgeon was scheduled for last Friday. My autoimmune disease was in high gear, skeletal issues less so but pain high and energy low.

In retrospect, I should have listened to my body rather than heeding someone else’s schedule. I arrived to a locked office door. Truthfully, I was rather relieved as I really was not feeling well.

As turned to make my way to my vehicle, I saw the receptionist and office manager returning from what appeared to be a morning stroll. They did not seem surprised to see me.

I stepped back from the office door as the receptionist opened it; the manager quickly disappeared into the dark office. The receptionist asked my name, as she invited me inside.

She told me she had rescheduled my appointment for next week at “around the same time.” I wondered what time that would be as I had not mentioned when my appointment was. Sighing, she said the neurosurgeon was “on a marathon.”

I felt my emotions start to spike. The wasted trip was a huge drain on my energy but if I got upset, I would only further drain my resources. I stayed silent. 

The receptionist put a wall between us and opened its sliding glass window revealing an area rife with paper, including a frayed and worn appointment book.

She asked me if I like Fridays. I said I liked them fine. Pressing the question, she asked me if I prefer Fridays. I told her I do not have a weekday preference. And I don’t.

“So, did you call me about the appointment being rescheduled?”

“I did make some calls,” she admits. “If I did call you, it was late at night.”

I recognize this is supposed to be meaningful to me but it is not. I feel my anger, again. “There was no call.”

As my response is no surprise to her, she asks, “Next Friday, around the same time?”

I have no intention of agreeing to the first date offered. “No,” I say. “Any day after May 4th.” Of course, we settle on a Friday and I am given a card.

I don’t know that there is a Zen moment in this experience but if there is, I discovered it in today’s #DailyDose. It has been another rough day in terms of pain and energy but I recognized early they were today’s dose. And it made all the difference.

Aim for Even posts offer equanimity a dose at a time. No day or dose is ever the same, even if the aim is. You may read about the origins of Aim for Even here or on this site’s About page.

Trying to Be a Woman with No Future

Yesterday, I saw a Byron Katie meme that said, “I am a woman with no future.” There was a time I knew myself as such but of late, I am caught up in the way of the world rather than the way I work.

I know they are not mutually exclusive but I have lost sight of myself, looking only to the future. My body is taut, my perspective narrow. Two writing submission deadlines loom, and neither essay is coming together.

I am focused on the deadline rather than the content, looking to the end stage rather than the words it takes to get there. I need to be a woman unaware of her future.

It means bringing the meditative state into my day. For me, writing does that but the world does not stop because I write. Even without deadlines, writing occupies most of my day. Words are always forming phrases.

I pass over one thought for another and then maybe go back to the original. Regardless, I find out what I’m thinking. I have great respect for mind and all that it produces, which is a lot.

I’m not sure that I ever allow my body enough respect, especially when I am writing. It, too, requires movement but unlike moving words around on stationary screens, the body in motion takes me away from screens. Words float, sometimes out of mind.

If I sit just a little longer I tell myself. I’ll set a timer but I sit too long or maybe, not long enough. Without an evenness of mind and body, my entire being stiffens.

Mind often dominates but at its own expense for if the body is ignored in terms of exercise and nutrition, the mind muddles. In frustration, its only focus is deadlines.

It is time for a cup of tea, and a bit of a stretch. I will find more words. There are so many–more than enough–but I have only this one moment.

Aim for Even posts offer equanimity a dose at a time. No day or dose is ever the same, even if the aim is. You may read about the origins of Aim for Even here or on this site’s About page.