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  • Writer's pictureThalien Colenbrander

EQUANIMITY - a go to when shit hits the fan

equanimity /ˌɛkwəˈnɪmɪti,ˌiːkwəˈnɪmɪti/ noun

calmness and composure, especially in a difficult situation. "she accepted both the good and the bad with equanimity"

This is my 1994 Fiat Ducato camper which I lovingly - albeit through gritted teeth - refer to as my Fiat Dukhato when it breaks down. Which is often. 'Dukha' meaning suffering in Buddhism/yogic philosophy. So is this camper a curse or a blessing? I often cuss at it, but in my heart I know and welcome it as a blessing. It taught me, more than anything else, that I can't have my mood and peace of mind be dependent on circumstance - especially a circumstance as volatile as an old vehicle.

Some time in 2021 after the so many-ith breakdown and subsequently me losing my shit over some technical issue or 'incompetent' (that word!) garage, I grew tired. Tired of behaving like a puppet on a string. Tired of the outbursts of negative energy. The mother of all lessons shoved under my nose yet again: What is the *real* cause of my suffering? Circumstance, meaning the camper or the dude from the garage, or…my own incompetence at keeping it cool through a challenge? Surely the latter.

A key concept in Buddhism and yogic philosophy is equanimity, which basically means keeping your shit together when the shit hits the fan. My definition of freedom is when one's happiness is not contingent on circumstance. I'm becoming more free every day. Thank you Dukhato for being a teacher.

Who/what are the factors in your life today teaching you about equanimity? Can you muster appreciation for those situations? The universe has a way of hitting us with the same lessons in different appearances until we learn. Oh yes.

To get the gist of it, check out this talk on equanimity by Tara Brach and try her RAIN meditation.

Love, Thalien xx

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