Tag Archives: Equanimity

Walking Around Holes

This continues to be a week of discovery for me. So many new streets to walk, not without pitfalls, as it turns out.

Chapter One

I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I fall in.
I am lost… I am helpless.
It isn’t my fault.
It takes forever to find a way out.

(Portia Nelson, There’s a Hole in My Sidewalk: The Romance of Self-Discovery)

There are five stanzas–chapters–in Nelson’s poem. The hole does get deeper but it takes less than forever to find a way out.

Finally, the repetition—doing the same thing over and over and getting the same results— becomes apparent. She walks around the hole. The final stanza or chapter is a single line, “I walk down another street.”

With new holes to discover, no doubt. 🙂 Similarly, I have walked such streets but less so, now.

Walking requires focus and without it, I fall in a hole every time. When I focus, I find a way around. As well, it does not take me as long to realize that certain streets were never a way for me. Never.

I don’t feel denied for there are so many streets I’ve yet to travel. It is mine to keep my life lens open.

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.

 

Lose the Questions

Frequently, I write about questions. For me, they best express not only my awe of life but also when I am least enamored.

In other words, a question sparks my curiosity, like a match. It explodes into the light of beginning.

A question takes me into my own energy, the reality that is my now. For me, questions are eternal–they return–unlike answers that are ephemeral at best.

Yet, I know I cannot cling to my questions any more than I can avoid what they reveal to me. Not if I want to immerse myself in every moment that is my life.

In Zen, we don’t find the answers; we lose the questions.

It’s impossible to comprehend the marvel of what we are,

or to understand the mystery of life’s impeccable genius.

Weed out the confusion that comes from trying to understand.

(Mary Maezen Miller, Paradise in Plain Sight)

Now, best I get to weeding my plot of paradise.

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.

Feats of Thoughtfulness

I cannot think of a moment when kindness is not essential. Yet, it remains a hard practice for me.

Always, I start with the small stuff–especially on difficult days—when I want to shout, not necessarily to be heard but just to shout at senselessness.

I “can build a whole world around the tiniest of touches” (Carol Rifka Brunt)–world building, moment by moment. A kind word or a gentle touch—a hug— interrupts my momentum, perhaps saving me from a slide down yet another slippery slope.

I like to think of world building as a balancing act with kindness keeping me in the middle-of-the-road, providing me perspective on both sides of the spectrum, saving me from the tipping point.

Perhaps this is how we effect change everywhere—in tiny touches with surprising feats of thoughtfulness.

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.

Groundless in the Time of the Impossible

While it seems impossible at first,

you soon recognize that with everything

there is a point of balance

and you just have to find it.

(Amy Tan)

Experience has shown me that in each day a point of balance exists no matter how pervasive the impossible.

I find my fulcrum in the unlikeliest of places. It means going groundless as Pema Chödrön calls it.

I must trust in myself, go all in. After all, becoming comfortable with “getting tossed around with right and wrong” is a lifetime experience (Chödrön). No two times are the same but with practice comes acceptance.

Less and less am I concerned with sides. If I’m on one, I am not on the other. I am separate. It seems to me that survival in this physical dimension relies on connecting separate shores.

Maybe staying connected is our #DailyDose of the impossible. After all, each of us is unique in our expression as a human being. We are born to difference but animated by the same energy. We are all star dust.

Each moment is mine to find my fulcrum, some days a tipping point, some days not.

Every day you may have broken

down in guilt and failure.

Every day may have shown you

your helplessness a thousandfold.

Yet each new day brings

new sun, new air, and new grace.

(Eberhard Arnold)

Groundless in the time of the impossible.

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.

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.