HYA Yoga 40 Day Challenge: Week 3 – Equanimity
By Simone McClenaughan
Equanimity is a funny word. It’s hard to say, difficult to spell, and often challenging to come to grips with. At first, the concept of equanimity made me feel a bit sad because when we embrace equanimity, we sort of see things neutrally. Things aren’t good or bad – they just are what they are. This made me feel sad because I thought that equanimity was essentially extinguishing any feelings I had.
Yet, after a meditation on equanimity, I now think of it slightly differently. Equanimity is more like a pause that gives you four things. Firstly, equanimity allows you to enquire about how you feel, how to want to react to a situation or thought, and how you want your life to be. Secondly, it gives you choice – choice about your life, your reaction and your feelings. Thirdly, it offers you creativity – the change to create the things, thoughts and life you really want. And lastly, it provides you with peace – peace free from reaction.
With all that in mind, I attempted to have an equanimous week. I attempted to Shift My Vision (Law 5) and Drop What I Knew (Law 6). Clearly, I needed a bigger nudge to really embrace the theme and laws because I got sick. Sick enough to go to the doctor, need medicine, have enforced rest, miss work and yoga. My first reaction to all of this was fear and guilt. I was afraid of failing the 40 Day Challenge and guilty for missing out on my yoga sessions. Afraid and guilty of letting everyone else down.
Once I let the dust settle (and emailed Karina in a minor state of panic), I realised that the universe had to take the reins of my life for a while because I wasn’t taking care of myself. So with the universe driving, I was able to take in the scenery and check things out from a new perspective. Being sick allowed me to practice equanimity and accept that it is what it is. But it also showed me something else – it showed me that I am not being kind to myself. I suppose the lessons that are the hardest to learn are also the ones that are most worthwhile.