Before acting, one should rest in a state of equanimity,
indifferent to the results of the action,
so that the action happens naturally
without any sense of it being “your” action.
Equanimity is defined as mental calmness, composure, and evenness of temper, especially in a difficult situation. One could also call it coolheadedness.
What comes to mind for me is a leaf being blown about by the wind in a storm. If the leaf becomes happy when the wind blows in one direction, but agitated when blown in others, it will live its life in turmoil. I wonder, does the leaf really have a choice about which way the wind blows it? :)
I am very fortunate to have taken a week of rest in Costa Rica recently. I knew that I needed a timeout because I felt myself getting caught up in the results of my actions. I was feeling a sense of urgency about everything and I was feeling drained trying to manage the business related aspects of my life. Quite frankly, I needed to relax.
Costa Rica is a beautiful country with lovely people. I am fortunate to have an amazing sister-friend living there, and I’d been thinking about visiting her all year. Without too much thought a couple of weeks ago, it became clear to me that it was time for that visit. So I just booked it :)
Even as I arrived in Costa Rica, we flew through rain clouds. It rained almost every night of my trip. And I slept like a baby. The rain brought me calm.
During the whole trip, I slept when I wanted to…and I got up to eat when I was hungry. Between those times, I either read mystery/thriller books or spoke with people that were around. On the last day, I felt the need for a little adventure and went zip lining and horseback riding through the mountains. (Plus G and I were able to work in a roadtrip/spa day midweek :) And that’s it. It seems funny now that I thought I was going to get all of this work done while I was there. God laughed at me through the rain haha
The rain also brought life to the land in Costa Rica. A friend there showed me a picture of some of the land only a few months ago and it was brown and without life. Apparently, as soon as rainy season begins, the land becomes green quite quickly. The land needs the rain. It is waiting for the storm. The storm brings new life.
Often in life, especially when things are not going our way, we become stiff and inflexible. Our way is the only correct way. But being stiff and inflexible brings death. To illustrate, let’s think back to the leaf. When the leaf is on the tree and full of life, it is flexible and difficult to break. Bending, or even stepping on it, won’t break it. The leaf has to be torn apart to be broken. However, when the leaf is dead, it is stiff and inflexible. If you crumple it in your hands, it breaks apart. If you step on it, it breaks. If you bend it, or even press on it, it breaks.
When storms rage in our lives, we have to decide how we are going to face them. Will we be calm, coolheaded, and flexible? Will we remain present and do what needs to be done in the present moment? (Now is now.) Will we allow ourselves to fall in love with the storm and let it bring us rest? Will we allow the storm to bring us new life?
Or will we allow the storm to make us agitated? Will we be thinking of how our lives were before the storm? Will spend our time in the storm wishing for dryness? Will we hate the rain and remain restless? Will we allow the storm to bring us death?
We can hit storms in all aspects of life — work, relationships, and even spirituality. We may feel as if we are hitting a wall. But dear one, please remember that walls are meant to be climbed ;)
Photo source: From my mobile phone, flying over Costa Rica.