I am sure like many of you, I woke this morning thinking how is it possible that today is the last day of 2018?! Time flies. Not original or poetic but the straight up truth. I used to get anxious as the year ended thinking of all the things I didn't do, felt like a failure for not checking more off the never ending to-do list. The last few years however that feeling has faded as I consciously turned my life over to faith & love. Today I woke up filled with wonder & gratitude as I laid in bed thinking about 2018.
Several years ago I gave up New Year Resolutions & began a new tradition. I would choose 3 words to embody during the upcoming year. 2018 was the year of
THRIVING, EQUANIMITY, & BEAUTY.
Equanimity was going to be the one that would challenge me every damn day. Equanimity is defined as "mental calmness, composure, & evenness of temper, especially in difficult situations". For me equanimity was the state of non-attachment, known in yoga as Aparigraha. It also is a state of non-judgement, Svadhyaya. I needed to have a relationship with my thoughts that embodied non-attachment & non-judgement. I didn't necessarily want to stop the mental chatter or quiet my mind, instead live in right relationship with those thoughts.
I began the tradition of choosing 3 words in 2014. Few words have changed my life the way choosing equanimity has. In 2015 I chose intimacy & sacredness which have had equal power in changing in my life. What I learned this year in choosing equanimity is that I had become aware of the unhealthy relationship I had to my endless mental chatter. I had to be self aware of that relationship & change it if I was ever going to feel abiding peace. It has been a journey. Spirit led me to choose this word knowing that 2018 was going to present me with loads of practice. This year I faced some of my most difficult & heart breaking moments. I started the year in a state of grief after having just lost my brother. I have faced many personal challenges from domestic violence to family members in the throws of addiction, but I was pushed even harder in 2018. In a different time in my life, I would be looking back at 2018 anxious for it to be over, feeling like it was the worst year of my life, but a year of dedicated practice to living in full service to my heart, of embracing the ideals of thriving, equanimity & beauty, despite some horrific situations this year, I can truthfully say I believe it has been the best year of my life!
Love & faith have played a huge role in my practice of equanimity. It is hard to be unattached to our thoughts when we lead with fear. Reading The Universe Has Your Back by Gabby Bernstein shifted my relationship with faith & deepened my personal understand of God. I spent many years not believing in God, even more years experimenting with different faiths, I feel like I have been seeking for so long. I now understand that God is the collective loving energy of the universe. That realization was epic & life changing. There is so much love in the world, when you just stop, slow down, open your mind & heart to this miracle, you can't help but experience life differently. For me it was experiencing equanimity. I no longer had to fear because I knew love was what I was created from & simultaneously meant to be. The more I leaned towards love, the easier faith was to trust & the less attached to my thoughts I became.
I haven't mastered equanimity, I suppose I will always be a masterpiece in progress. There are days where anxiety, fear, doubt, anger, impatience, chaos rise up from my belly into my heart & throat attempting to control me, but now I return to my abiding faith in love more easily. I can witness the thoughts spinning around my head through the lens of non-judgment & non-attachment. I am walking into this new year feeling a sense of calm that I don't believe I have ever had the privilege to feel before in my 46 years of life. I don't need to look back with regret or look to the future as an escape. I can just be here, now, trusting. I am more excited than ever to be alive! I will keep leaning towards love & know that I am divinely guided at all times.
*Photo Credit: Myrriah Jannette