Love is the deeper energy and glue of life. It’s the Ocean we all swim in. Think about it, planets rotate around stars, moons are drawn to planets, animals gather in packs, cells join together to make organisms, humans form families and communities, and so on. Reality is a team sport wherein everything gives of itself for things and beings to thrive and flourish. The Yoga Sutra helps us do this well by describing the four qualities of true, authentic, and unconditional love. Upeksha, or “equanimity”, is the fourth of these and is a total game-changer.
I’m a planner, so REALLY like when things go AS scheduled. This means when life and people interrupt my plans I can react grumpily, because I’m attached to the plan. As Frank Jude Boccio writes, though, equanimity is “a state of even-minded openness that allows for a balanced, clear response to all situations, rather than a response born of reactivity or emotion.” It’s engaging our lives, relationships, and the world with wide-open hearts that feel EVERYTHING without judgment. Upeksha is savoring the pleasure without clinging to it, tasting hurt without hating it, and enjoying our normal, everyday experiences without longing for more.
A friend of mine says he tries to expect as little of his wife as possible and i think there’s wisdom here. Equanimity is choosing to ACCEPT LIFE AS IT IS, humbly realizing most everything is beyond our control and other people are responsible for their actions. This frees us to compassionately work to better our lives, relationships, and world with a freedom of spirit and joyful heart because we’re not attached to the outcome of our efforts. It allows us to give our gifts of kindness and care without expectation of return or result, as well as opening our hearts to realize the hurtful deeds of others are merely the fruits of their own suffering. So, today I invite us to practice equanimity. On top of life’s Ocean of Love there are lots of waves, and while we can’t stop them, we can learn to surf; so let’s get our wakeboards of bliss out and start paddling!
Grace and peace,