My dear friend Liz gave me a keychain last year with the word EQUANIMITY. It means mental calmness, especially in a difficult situation. I was thinking a lot about equanimity over the last two days in reflection of 2017, and my first reaction was feeling disappointed that I didn’t really embody equanimity much at all this year. Then Liz sent me an email asking about the keychain and how I felt about this past year, and she shared with me her own beautiful reflection of her year. It helped me take pause and realize that achieving equanimity was never really the goal. This past year I had some days of calmness (I surfed a few times and went on lots of walks with Amaya!), but I also had so many days where I just Lost. My. Shit. So I’m accepting that equanimity is a worthy and worthwhile word to always keep in focus.
Thinking back on 2017, I could only see my struggles at first – the anxiety of a new mom, difficulty going back to work and producing to my standard, getting laid off, Allie’s recent diagnosis, challenges in my marriage, and Amaya growing up…I had to force myself to step back and acknowledge how I am persevering through all of this. My friend Trandy made a great point today: life is not happening to me, it is all part of me…and I can choose to accept it rather than fall victim to my stories.
Here are all the things I’m grateful for in 2017: surfing in the middle of hill country, landing a wonderful job, all the great memories I made with my old colleagues, quality time with my family and loved ones, new friendships, my health, strengthening my bond with Andy, and sweet Amaya – her laughs, the way she’s thriving, and how her whole being smiles when she sees me. It’s an honor to be a witness to her life.
“If you are depressed, you are living in the past. If you are anxious, you are living in the future. If you are at peace, you are living in the present.”
Equanimity reminded me that this year I often let my mind take me anywhere but the present. I often found myself in autopilot, avoiding my feelings. When I listened to my inner voice, I proactively did things to fuel my soul. However, I often drowned out that voice until it was it was a bit too late, and I found myself overwhelmed and sobbing uncontrollably. Today I felt a bit sad to reflect on those more challenging times. Andy’s told me on multiple occasions this year to take the time and do the work to be present. I’m making slow progress and know that I’ll just have to keep on keepin on.
For 2018 I really want to keep “presence” as top of mind. Equanimity will always be a focus, heck it’s the ultimate life goal. The path towards equanimity this year will be a simple mantra my teacher used to say: BE HERE NOW. Being here and being present means feeling alive in my own skin because I’m aware – painfully aware of my body, my feelings and emotions, and my truth instead of falling victim to my fears and stories. Tactically, it means honoring my meditation practice…or at least creating space to feel all the feels and process things. It also means continuing to build a solid foundation of knowing my worth and what I deserve.
This is my reality. It’s January 2nd, and I’m finally ready for 2018! (PS. I totally spent New Years Day eating Cheetos on the couch.)