Set Sail On The Winds Of Grace
I had to share this writing by a wonderful yoga teacher, that I have had the good fortune of our paths crossing. Daniel Vincent can be found teaching in YYC at a variety of studios including:
Calgary Hot Yoga Set sail on the winds of Grace
by Daniel Vincent, yoga teacher and skillful navigator of life
Finding peace and equanimity within, amidst the circumstances of our life can be found in the wisdom of the famous quote by theologian Reinhold Niebuhar, also known as the serenity prayer, “God, give us the grace to accept with serenity the things that cannot be changed, courage to change the things which should be changed, and wisdom to distinguish the one from the other”.
The definition of equanimity is level-headedness, composure, calmness, poise and self control. “Equanimity is the art of meeting life as it meets you, calmly, without drama or fuss”. I believe finding equanimity is our ability to weather the storm. The storm may be because of a circumstance out of our control or could be the storms we create inside our own head. Inevitably, the storms in life will come and as we grow in our practice we know that the storm itself is not as significant as how we respond to the storm. The opposite of equanimity is reactivity which means; unthinking, hasty, knee-jerk, imprudent even irresponsible. Can you think of areas in your life where you react instead of consciously respond? For many of us reactivity shows up in our diet (diet comes from diata and means a manner of living). We reach for a drink, chocolate etc. instead of just staying with the cravings. When we become uncomfortable, we are so conditioned to reach for something outside of our self. We want a quick fix, an immediate relief instead of just staying with the uncomfortable feelings of what lies within. When we practice equanimity we practice staying. If you have a craving can you just stay with it? Staying with an urge to react to someone who has upset you, instead of lashing out,
can you just stay and consider the situation before you react? If you are in your meditation practice or on your mat and desperately want to get up and leave do you stay or do you react? Staying with the discomfort allows the truth to surface and gives you insight to your negative patterns so you can change them.
For growth and transformation, it is important to become aware of where we are reactive in our lives. Most of us get reactive when we feel as if we don’t have control or are uncomfortable. Many times the feelings are based out of fear. Fear of losing something or of protecting what we believe as right. One of my teachers and friend Baron Baptiste once said “being right is like heroine for humans”. Just stay and weather the storm, stop fighting because fighting only creates struggle. Know that light and ease are waiting on the other side. Every time you move from within (not reaching for an external fix), through the reaction, to the other side, you weather the storm and move more into a place of
clarity. You begin to create more space in your life that is filled with peace and less that is taken up by drama and inner conflict.
Focus on moving from reactivity to purposeful and conscious responses with others as well as to yourself.
Think, consider and reflect instead of becoming reactive. For me equanimity is a daily choice, when
life’s storms get rough I make a conscious decision to raise my sails on the winds of grace. If you can find equanimity on your mat you will surly find it within your life.