Thursday, March 24, 2011


I'm going deep here, so stay with me.  Equanimity is the focus for week 3.  Equanimity.  Webster defines it as "evenness of mind especially under stress."  I'm going to have to say this is not my strong suit.  I lose it under stress.  I hate pain and discomfort.  I don't like loud noises and am easily startled.  I don't like it hot and I don't like it cold.  I think week 3 is looking like a tough one.  Can't wait to dive into this one.  Here is the positive side to this coin.  I have the opportunity to learn A LOT.

The first exercise we had in the understanding of equanimity was to sit on our knees with our toes curled under for two minutes.  Awesome.  I think I made it for 10 seconds and my right big toe is still hurting.  What does this say about me?  The first answer coming to my mind for this is QUITTER.  Yep, that's what I think.  I know, intellectually, I'm not a complete quitter.  After all, I went to the class.  I participated in the exercise.  I just couldn't stay with it for two minutes.  I still feel like a quitter.  Now, I'm going to do what I always do.  I'm going to give you my excuses.  Here goes.  First, I was in an hour and a half yoga practice that KICKED MY BUTT just prior to this exercise.  The teacher did a hips, core and balance class and she was brutal.  No modification suggestions and every time I couldn't do the pose I could see her LOOKING at me.  I was so self conscious.  It was uncomfortable, both physically and mentally.  *Gee, I love yoga.*  But, I had decided to go into the class with a positive attitude.  This was my intention.  Btw, yoga is a lot about intention.  Intention for your yoga practice.  Intention for your breathing.  Intention for your meditation.  A lot of intention.  Excuse number two, I'm way heavier than most of the others in the class, but my toes are the same size as theirs.  The physics of this exercise GUARANTEE  my toes will hurt more.  I'm pretty sure I'm right about this.  Pressure per square inch would be greater on MY TOES.  Ok, those are the excuses.

Back to equanimity.  What does sitting on your toes for two minutes have to do with equanimity?  Let me tell you, because I think I get it.  STAY WITH THE PAIN.  Just wait.  Don't react to the pain.  Don't react to the situation.  Breathe.  Give the situation a bit of thought.  Don't look for the quick fix.  Think.  Let the answer come to you.  Don't struggle to find the solution.  Let it come to you. 

As I said, equanimity is not my strong suit.  This week 3 is going to take a lot of work.  I'm going to have to breathe through my cardio.  Breathe through the weight work.  Breathe through my yoga practice.  Breathe through my challenges at work.  Breathe through my food choices.  No grab and go.  Think.

Well, I think I used the word equanimity four or five or even six times in this post.  So, if nothing more, you learned a new word.  I think the Bible speaks on equanimity, as well.  We are to be slow to anger, slow to speak.  We are not to worry, but to give it to God.  We are promised trouble in the world, but told to "fear not" because the world has been overcome by our Lord.    I think I really need week 3.

photo credit

Oh, and I just have to share this because it is HILARIOUS.  They just don't make womens pants with pockets.


  1. Oh Happygirl I love to laugh! Thank you. The physics of weight v. equal toe size, brilliant. And that vidoe was too much. BTW I awarded you the Stylish Blogger Award. I'm not sure if this is your cup of tea but I couldn't resist the chance to tell my readers about you since I really enjoy your blog. So check out my plug for your blog and if you are so inclined to use this meme email me and I'll send you instructions, enjoy!

  2. You know, I understand the point of the toe exercise, but I don't necessarily agree with it. Equanimity in the face of what you can't change is vital. Equanimity in the face of what you easily can (uncurl your toes!) might just be a little silly.

    Or, that may just be my excuse because I can't stand the toe curl thing!

  3. @ Mama Zen - It's your choice to uncurl your toes. Sometimes waiting to react is painful.
    @ Joybird - Ohwowohwowohwow and thank you thank you thank you. It's my first award. EVER!!

  4. I agree with Mama Zen's logic, that when in the face of a problem you can fix, it would be silly not to. But I think that misses the point. First up, the exercise is just an exercise to strengthen that virtue prior having to use it out in the real world, like running on a treadmill to gain the stamina needed if you have to run from a mugger ;) But more importantly, even if you are faced with a problem you can fix, you're still meant to stay cool calm and collected whilst you go about fixing.

    I had never heard of that toe exercise before and yeah, I did it while I read your post. I was tempted to just uncurl, but wanted to at least last the distance of one blog post and so I pushed past the pain and instead focused on your words. It's actually pretty cool. I used to be so bad with pain, but due to circumstances not of my control, I had to go through a fair bit and now I'm so much more tolerant and just plain tough. And I love being tough! This is one exercise I'll definitely be passing on cause I now know the importance of, and thanks to you I now know the word, equanimity.

  5. @ Emma Kay - Thank you so much for your comment. Yep, you are right. Mama Zen is correct in saying that there are situations that waiting or hanging back make ABSOLUTELY no sense. And, if it is something you can fix, do it. I need to learn a lot more about this detachment and equanimity. I hope I didn't appear terse or curt in my response. I was coming down with a lousy cold. I have a tendency to be terse in the best of health. If you catch me when I'm down, you can get the shotgun blast. Gee, maybe this is where the "waiting through the pain" lesson would come in handy for me. Thanks for your comment.
    @ Mama Zen - forgive my abrupt response.

  6. ooo...MZ makes a good point...i know plenty of people that pray for change in their life when they could easily do it, but they are waiting on a burning bush moment and sometimes i imagine god just shaking his head...

  7. I literally have to talk my way through stressful situations. Talk to myself and talk to God through them. Rationalize my thinking before I go off into a pit of despair! :)


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