Is it Wrong to Feel Happiness when Grieving?

Ahhh, the amazing complexities of being human.

So very often I will hear someone say that if they laugh or even chuckle, that they feel guilty. Somehow they feel that if they are not exhibiting intense pain at every moment – that perhaps they are not honoring their loved one.  As you might imagine, I believe otherwise.

I have often shared that on the day I learned that my son Mike was dead, at only 23 years old and by his own hand, there was laughter in my home.

Yes, there was sobbing. The sort that shakes your entire being. The sort of crying that feels as though a permanent trail is being carved into your face. The pain was intense. The heartbreak was real. And yet, there was laughter.

And yes, I was one of the people that smiled and laughed. Many stories of things Mike said and did were shared that day and many times since. Because Mike was a person who loved to laugh, to do silly things, to push the buttons of others – a big part of sharing these stories was once again experiencing the thoughts and feelings when these things first occurred. This brought about longing to once again hug my boy, but it also resulted n chuckles and some outright laughter.

No, sharing these warm memories and even the laughter did not in any way diminish my love for Mike or the grief that I felt knowing he would not walk into the room again, that in fact, Mike had died.

These feelings existed within me at the same time. Along with many other emotions. I felt gratitude that I had been given this special person to love and have in my world for 23 years. I felt worried and even fear for my husband and surviving sons. I felt nurtured and cared for by all of them and the many amazing people who reached out in love.

We can and do often experience many feelings at one time.  At this moment, I’m feeling calm and relaxed. I feel a wee bit of sadness that Mike can’t heckle me about my feelings right now while I’m typing this. I know he would have a lot to say.

Even while holding those feelings I am happy and grateful to the amazing teacher and mentor who just interviewed me for business. And I also am a bit worried about someone that I care about who is experiencing a health issue.

Yes, all of these feelings and more are co-existing within me at this moment.  Humans are multi-faceted, complicated beyond comprehension and absolutely capable of feeling many things at one time.

It’s okay to smile. It’s okay to enjoy a meal or an outing, a book or a movie. It’s okay to think about something different and become completely absorbed in that thought or experience.  Even when your grief is very new, raw and intense.

Feeling moments of respite, even joy does not mean that you don’t love the person you are grieving with your entire being. It simply means that you are quite wonderfully human.

Namaste,
Sandy

Grief to Healing

Grief is a noun. Sometimes I think about the word grief and I feel almost as though the word describes a thing, a place, a state of being. Grief. I wonder what it would look like if I could visualize it…

You’ve experienced a profound loss. It may be a person, a relationship, a financial situation or a myriad of other experiences. When we experience loss when we are faced with a profound change in our status of being. We may well feel as though we are victims. Fair enough. You are now in Grief. I visualize a sign-post designating this place.

Depending on many factors, we may spend quite a lot of time in that place without much movement at all. This is not unusual and may well be what we need at that time and possibly for a while. That’s alright, it’s where we are when we begin.

At some point, we begin movement. Healing. It can happen incredibly slowly or more quickly than we expect. We process our thoughts and emotions, we make strides along that path, through grief into healing. We are taking action. Up ahead is a new sign-post, it clearly says Survivor.

Grieving is a verb. An action word. Safe, healthy, productive grieving is taking place. So very important! As the pain is released, it makes room for healing to happen.

The Victim is now taking action, walking the path, moving forward to that new situation. The Victim is transformed into a Survivor. When I think of a survivor, I easily call to mind the image of someone who has been through something that has changed life as they knew it. They are changed, forever. The person is now a Survivor.

How would it be to deliberately continue to process thoughts, emotions, all of the aspects of grief? To continue walking that path, through grief into healing? Up ahead there is another sign-post you know.

Keep doing the work! Each step you take toward that new sign-post is an important gift of self-love that you give to yourself. And you deserve it!

Processing the hurt, finding out who you are now. Learning to love yourself in new ways and to integrate your experience. Celebrating all that you treasure from your past, appreciating your now and looking forward with joy to your future. You are evolving with every step, you are growing, you are healing.

You are a Thriver! Of course, I want to share the definition of thriver with you.

To grow vigorously; flourish.

To be successful or make steady progress; prosper.

This is you and me as well. We all begin at that same place, regardless of how we got there. Grief. As we do the work, we walk the path, together. We move at whatever pace is right for each of us. But each of us has within ourselves the ability to be a Thriver.

Namaste,
Sandy

 

 

 

Reiki and Grief

As a Reiki master/teacher, I’ve been very fortunate to work with many during very difficult times in their lives as well as when they are simply looking for a bit of relaxation.

I also have the ability to flow Reiki for my own self-care, to bring balance back to my entire system. Most often this is a gift that I cherish and deeply appreciate, the healing energy of Reiki always feels so very good to me. What I didn’t realize until I was plunged into my deepest grief, was how extraordinarily beneficial I would find receiving Reiki from others.

A week or two after my son died, one of my dearest friends, who is also Reiki, invited me to have a session. Even now, I remember driving there, anticipating the processing of emotion and beginning to feel lighter. That gift was something that I needed far more than I realized and I still appreciate it greatly.

Yes, receiving the healing energy of Reiki helped me to process thoughts and feelings that I was struggling to release. And they most definitely need to be released.

I appreciate that Reiki does not force anything, but rather allows the flow, the movement, the release that’s right for the person receiving. This was incredibly important for me then and continues to be just as important now.

Laying on that table, relaxing. Feeling the hands very lightly touch me and trusting that the Reiki energy was doing just what was right for me. I’m grateful. Grateful to be able to flow the healing energy for myself and those I care about as well as those I work with. I’m grateful for the friend who shared that gift with me as well. Reiki, the energy gift that keeps on flowing.

Namaste,
Sandy

The Contract

The words you are about to read are an excerpt from my book, ‘The Acorn Journal: Messages of Connection from The Other Side’.

I’m sharing this because Mike has been on my mind in such wonderful ways recently. You see, his birthday is right around the corner, Sunday, June 2nd. This year, he would have turned 32 years old. I’ve been thinking about all the laughter we shared over those 23 years. The squabbling, debating, playing… all of it. And I have to say, I’m so grateful for all of those years.

Mike loved knock-knock jokes, especially of the pirate variety. So, expect to see more of them on my Facebook page in the upcoming days.

As you read The Contract, I encourage you to think about the people you love, imagine the agreements that you made with them. And I hope that your heart feels both more full and lighter, all at the same time.

The Contract

My son Mike was 23 years old when he died. One day I was thinking about Mike and his short life, how much he was loved and how much he loved all of his family and friends. After much soul searching and contemplation, I made up a scenario in my head. What if…

What if before Mike was born I had the opportunity to read a contract. This contract would explain that on June 2, 1987, at precisely 6 am I would give birth to a 9lb bundle of love. As the contract went on it would explain that this hazel-eyed little boy would announce that he was awake by laughing and giggling in his crib. He would grow into a sweet, bull-headed, smart boy who would drive his elder brothers crazy by always humming or singing. He would not care about playing sports or being cool, he would be passionate about books and music. As he grew he would favor cowboy boots and flannel shirts, of the red and black variety.

As he became a teenager he would deal with Addison’s disease, but in his normal manner, he would seem to take it in stride. An intensely private person he would be very open and opinionated about how others should live their life. He would make strong friendships and he would develop interesting hobbies, brewing beer and wine and cooking, as well as hunting.

The contract would go on to clearly state that while we would be able to love and interact with this amazing person, on December 17, 2010, at some point he would end his short life by shotgun. There would be no negotiating this ending, it would be so. It would be written in the contract.

What if I had the option of signing that contract? Would I opt to learn to love this person with all of my heart if I knew that same heart would break in a million pieces on December 18, 2010, when my doorbell rang and a sheriff told me of my son’s death? Would I sign that contract knowing how profoundly my sweet husband would be affected, that I would watch him age years before my eyes? Would I sign the contract knowing that my two surviving sons would never be the same, that they would have to experience the most severe heartbreak imaginable while still in their 20’s? Would I sign that contract if it meant that we would all have to experience everything that we have in the past year?

Yes! I would, again and again, I would sign that contract! And I believe that my husband, two surviving sons, and my daughter-in-law would put their signatures right alongside mine and Mike’s. Without hesitation.

Knowing and loving my son was worth each and every moment of heartbreak. The blessings, the smiles the laughs, the aggravation, yelling, and squabbling were all blessings. And I would indeed sign that contract.

For the record, it is my belief that my soul did sign an energetic contract saying just what I’ve laid out above. That’s my belief and it may or not be yours. But I find comfort in knowing that even if I had known all those years ago how it would end, I would do it again. It’s so been worth it, at least for me.

And that gives me the strength to go forward for another day.

Namaste,
Sandy

A Life Well Lived

He completed his earthly journey 5 years ago. But this isn’t about his death, this is about the life that he lived so very well. 

My dad, or as you may have known him, Art Raith entered the world in November of 1942. I’ve heard an awful lot of stories of his exploits as he was growing up, mostly good, always enthusiastic. I think if I had to use one word to describe him, that might be it. My dad had enthusiasm about just about everything.

Many memories have been surfacing recently, mostly silly or fun times. Like when he would come home from work with a fist full of kites early March. Determined that whether or not there was snow on the ground, March was the time of year for flying kites. So, he would put them together, my mom could always be counted on to find fabric to make the perfect tail. Then we would all head over to the neighborhood park to get these things in the air. So funny to watch this big man run across the grass holding on to the kite while yelling at one of us to ‘give it more line!’. Oh my gosh, it was fabulous! Inevitably at least one kite would wind up in a tree, but that too was part of the fun.

Remembering him setting up a bale of hay in the basement when we got bows and arrows for Christmas so that we wouldn’t have to go outside in the cold right away. Watching him with my own boys years later. Oh my gosh, it made me crazy sometimes! My boys could come in the house carrying a partially eaten sandwich and their Grandpa would simply pretend there was nothing in their hand. He would begin by asking them if their mom had fed them anything that day, or would they like for him to make them something special? You can guess what their enthusiastic response was each time.

We argued just like all families. He scolded or yelled, and boy, he knew the most impressive curse words. He controlled the television, sports were on endlessly. We talked about books, he was always interested in what each of us was thinking, doing, planning and he was more than happy to share his opinions. He loved to cook and was amazing. I bet all of us have a favorite or two. I easily recall the endlessly long games of Monopoly… what I wouldn’t give to play another game today. The long hours spent in the yard, doing nothing at all. Long and short, we all knew that we were loved. Without question. You knew you were loved.

So today, my heart is full. Gratitude and love have filled in all of the corners. And I’m remembering Pop. The picture that most often comes to mind for me is the one that I have shared. I swear he looks like a 6’1″ leprechaun. Pretty much perfect.

Today, I’m hoping that you take a few moments to think about someone you love, whether they are still with you on this planet or in spirit. Feel that love, go ahead and share it.

Namaste,
Sandy

 

 

 

Fear

Fear seems to be the topic of many conversations lately. So, I wanted to share a few thoughts with you. Feel free to weigh in here with your own thoughts and feelings, you have great wisdom; please share.

In the past few months, I have been pondering my place at various gatherings. I was feeling mightily intimidated! Although the truth is that it took me a few months to realize that is what I was truly feeling. Yep, the life coach can be very resistant about recognizing her own stuff.

Now let me be very, very clear about this; my feelings of intimidation had nothing to do with anything that anyone else at these gatherings.  It was all self-generated; surprise!

I would listen to people I care about, each of whom is very dear to me and I realized that I was measuring myself against their successes. This one generates this sort of money and has a very successful history of being a financial success – that’s not me, I must be a failure. This one is steadily building her business and we all see her success growing day by day as her client base grows – that’s not me, I must be a failure. This one has released that negative person from her life – that’s not me, I must be a failure. This one has gone through this, that or whatever – that’s not me… I think you get my point.

So, after lots of hours pondering my own issues, I realized that I was intimidated. Had to think that through some more. What did that really mean to me? It meant that I was afraid. Ahhhh, there it is – fear! It’s something that all people deal with but in many different ways.

After having a chat with one of my dearest friends on the phone about fear of success recently, I felt as though it was time to address this issue of fear. For me, and if it resonates with you, then for you as well.

While I was very busy being intimidated, I was using fear to build that up into something that felt as though I didn’t belong. This gave me the very handy, dandy excuse not to take the time to define success for myself. And if I didn’t define it, then whew, I couldn’t fail. Fear was keeping me from failing, but it was also a very convenient way to avoid measuring my own success. Is it possible that this is true for you? In any aspect of your life?

Here’s the thing, fear – which you realize is no longer in red! Is a very human emotion. Normal and completely reasonable – when it’s kept to its appropriate place. It keeps us from running into traffic and it prevents us from wanting to play with badgers in the wild. I’m pretty sure you’ll all agree that a healthy amount of fear about certain things is appropriate.

The first step to dealing with fear is to acknowledge it. So, here goes.

Success – what is your definition? Not how you think any of the rest of will define success, but how do YOU define success? For you and only for you.

– How can you measure that success?

– How will your life change if you are successful?

Beware; that last one is possibly the trickiest question that I ever use in coaching. I really want to encourage you to think about all the aspects of success.

What if someone is working to become free of alcohol. If she is successful and releases alcohol from her life then she will be expected to take on more responsibilities at home, which already feels overwhelming for her. She wants to release alcohol and being free represents success to her, but there is a very strong; perhaps even compelling reason in her mind to keep drinking. She feels incapable of taking on more at home and it is quite a process for her to open herself up to the possibility that perhaps someone else can step up and take on the other responsibilities at home.

Someone else may be experiencing poor health. While she is suffering loved ones, family and friends call and check in on her. They let her know frequently how much they care about her, she matters in their life. If she gets well, if she is successful – will they go away? There is a strong reason for her to stay sick. Working to make those connections regardless of health is how she is overcoming this very real fear which has stood in the way of good health.

Are there any reasons for you to stay in a less than successful position? When you think about all that will change your experience if you are successful – as defined by you. Please include those that feel good and those that worry you as well.

Are you ready to embrace success? If so, to what degree? How can I support you in your success?

Now I am completely open together on this process. Either privately or in a group. Ng How about you, are you open to welcoming your success?

Are you ready to face fear, face it head-on, look fear in the eye and put it back in proportion to what is healthy in your life? I am and I invite you to do the same.

You deserve to be happy, and I mean silly happy! It’s my most sincere desire for you to know that as well.

Namaste,
Sandy

Hypnosis – Will It Make You Quack Like A Duck?

I’ve always been fascinated with hypnosis. I suspect too much time watching old B movies when I was a kid gave me some interesting though way off the mark ideas.

As years went by I learned bits here and there about hypnosis. I learned that hypnotherapy was a valuable and very real option to help one improve their life. Everything from weight loss to stress management. But I still had some thoughts and ideas about hypnosis that were very inaccurate. Maybe fun to think about but not even close to reality.

Wanna quack like a duck? That’s the first thing I wanted to ask anyone who questioned me about hypnosis when I began learning about it. Of course, the actual fact is that I can’t make anyone quack like a duck, sing like Sinatra or play football like Favre unless it’s something that they want to do already. Hmmm…perhaps I should make that just a bit clearer. If deep down you are willing and would like to quack like a duck then you will do your best rendition of quacking when asked to do so under hypnosis. Will you sound just like Donald Duck or a mallard? Probably not, but you would quack away to the best of your ability. Again, only if it is something that you choose to do.

That’s a pretty important fact. Here are a few other pertinent and often misunderstood facts about hypnosis or hypnotherapy.

* Anyone with a normal mind can be hypnotized. So much for the theory that ‘my mind is too strong to be hypnotized’. That simply isn’t true. In fact, anyone who is able to follow simple directions and focus their mind for a short period of time is capable of being hypnotized.

* We go easily into hypnosis all the time. Did you ever arrive at a destination while driving and not remember some or all of the route? You were most likely involved in highway hypnosis. You were intently focused and simply chose not to notice outside events. In the event of an emergency, you would have reacted accordingly, someone pulling in front of you or stopping suddenly. It is a light trance.

* You cannot be hypnotized against your will. This one is a very big deal to me. After all, I don’t want anyone putting me into a trance if I choose otherwise. You are fully capable of resisting and simply not going into trance if that is your preference.

* A hypnotist cannot, simply cannot, let me repeat that one more time just for the sake of clarity, can not make you do something that is against your will. For instance, if you do not want to rob a bank, if that is not something that you would choose to do, perhaps you are morally or ethically opposed to this suggestion, then rest assured this is not a suggestion that any hypnotherapist can give you that will work. Just not the way our brains work, hypnosis or not. And may I say I am very grateful for that!

Learning about hypnotism, and working with clients using hypnosis has been wonderful for me and I hope for them as well. Each time I work with a client using hypnotherapy I am amazed one more time at how hypnosis can help us to make our world a happier place.

Being hypnotized feels great. Not much different than the way I feel right now typing this blog. There are several levels of trance, but I want to assure you, that you are always able to come out of hypnosis any time that you choose. You can’t get ‘stuck’ in hypnosis. Another fact that made me very happy. For instance, if you were to be under hypnosis, or in trance and your hypnotherapist walked out of the room and simply didn’t come back, you would have nothing to worry about. You would either gently fall asleep and take a nap or you would easily come out of the trance and be able to simply go about your business.

Needless to say, I will have lots more to say about this topic in the future. I have recently added hypnosis as one of the services available in my business, Serenity. It’s truly my pleasure to use hypnosis as one more valuable tool to work with clients to achieve their very best life.

So, no worries. When we work together with hypnotherapy, you don’t need to be concerned. You will not leave the session quacking like a duck. Unless of course you really want to quack like a duck. Let’s talk.

Namaste,
Sandy

When I Grow Up I Want To Be More Like My Dog

I’ve decided that my dog knows quite a bit about living life to the fullest. When he’s tired, he simply heads to his favorite spot in the sun and takes a nap. When he wants his belly rubbed he comes and makes it clear just what he wants. When Indy’s hungry there is no doubt that he would like a meal. You know when Indy’s in the mood to play because he simply starts playing. Smart guy!

Because Indy is so clear about what he wants he is seldom disappointed. Indy is a brilliant life coach! He’s teaching me lessons every day and I’m doing my best to learn from him.

When I work with clients, whether life coaching, Reiki or meditation, I am always encouraging them to practice excellent self-care. While I may forget to practice this myself from time to time, my buddy Indy offers gentle reminders. If I’m a bit too serious, he reminds me that life is to be enjoyed by showing my just how much fun there is to be had in a short wrestling match.

One of the life coaching lessons I continually strive to learn better is to embrace and express certain emotions. While laughter and joy are very easy for me to share other thoughts and emotions are more difficult for me to express. Fear, anger and grief are very difficult for me to share with others or to simply release. In the past I have found that I had a tendency to stuff or simply deny these feelings. Here’s the thing, although I may prefer to deny these emotions they do still exist. The body, mind and spirit has a full range of emotions, and whether I like it or not, my body, mind and spirit will find a way to express these emotions. They are not intended to be denied, bottled up or stuffed. They are there for a reason! A full range of emotions keeps us healthy and it’s vital that we each find a non-destructive way to express these emotions.

What do you do? For me, writing is therapeutic; digging in the dirt, walking and of course being with my buddy Indiana is extremely helpful. When Indy’s sad or upset he doesn’t hesitate to come to me and indicate that he simply wants my company. Sometimes it’s enough for him to just hang out with me, other times he needs some real exercise. I have a lot to learn from my dog.

I am learning, though to be honest I am sometimes a slow learner. At the very young age of 49, I am slowly becoming more comfortable sharing feelings, thoughts, and emotions that I have always accepted in others easily. Life coaching, Reiki and meditation have all helped me to understand that being sad or angry is no more destructive or negative when present in my life than they are in anyone else.

This is a good time to acknowledge and appreciate not just my resident life coach Indy, but also dear friends and family. These folks not only allow but at times even gently prod me to share as much as I feel comfortable. I’m so grateful for that. Equally as important, they do not demand that I share; they simply hold the safe space and remind me that all emotions, thoughts, and feelings are welcome and safe. That’s powerful stuff and I can’t say how grateful I am.

Indy reminds me every single day that it’s okay to have a full range of emotions and to share those emotions with others. You will have absolutely no doubt when my buddy is happy, that nub of a tail wags so hard that I’ve often thought how remarkable it is that it’s still attached.

What do you do to express yourself? Do you dance? Perhaps you retreat to a private place with your thoughts…maybe writing is your thing. There are so many ways to express yourself, talk to a loved one, call a friend, laugh and or cry at a movie. Exercise or take a bath, read a book and let your emotions pour themselves out. I don’t know what’s right for you and you may not know at this moment either. If you can’t figure it out by yourself, give me a call and I’ll be happy to help you figure it out.

I’m going to keep studying and allowing my own personal life coach to assist me in this growth, Indy’s really quite good at this whole process. I encourage you to find discover what allows you to express yourself. In the meantime, I will continue to strive to live life more like my dog. In the moment and expressing all emotions to the fullness that is appropriate this very moment.

Namaste,
Sandy

Crossing Guard, Life Coach

The other day I was on my way to work, a short jaunt from Milwaukee to New Berlin. For some reason, I took a slightly different route than was typical for me. I’m so glad that I did.

As I approached the middle school I noticed that the crossing guard that is usually there was in fact not there today. Instead, there was a man I had never seen before. I swear this man simply exuded happiness and joy. It was in his entire being, his simple presence almost shouted in a most cheerful way ‘Happy, Joy, Fun’. Interesting. He wasn’t doing anything all that different than what many crossing guards do; it was the look on his face I think that made the difference.

This gentleman was using both arms to wave to folks driving by. Not in a frenzied, lunatic way that you might imagine as I say he was waving with both arms. Nope, he was simply sending a smile and a greeting to everyone. This man was offering his love to each and every person who happened to be lucky enough to pass him by.

As a life coach, I encourage each person I work with to think thoughts that make them happy, to offer a smile even when they don’t quite feel like it. I ask my life coaching clients to make a deliberate effort to offer peace to the world through their body language, their words, and their energy. This man had all of this down pat and it made my day better to simply see him.

Such a simply wonderful gift. You and I can offer this gift to others as we go through our day as well. It makes a powerful difference to the way I feel if I muster a small smile when I’m feeling glum. I feel just a tad bit better. Hmmm, that’s worth taking a step further. It turns out that offering a smile and a kind word feels even better to me and when I receive a kind word and smile from someone else I remember it for hours and hours. These are such simple, small steps. Practically no effort at all! But it feels so very good.

When I offer a smile and a kind word, I feel better and so does the person I shared with. The life coach in me says that it’s very important to keep this lovely energy going, keep spreading it around. I like to encourage my life coaching clients and even many of my Reiki clients to do a bit of homework. I ask them to make it a point to catch themselves when they want to offer a word that is less than kind when they begin to think a negative thought or get irritated at something that is happening in their world. At that moment, I ask them to make a deliberate offering of peace and love to the situation or people involved. If they can’t quite muster love, I ask them to offer peace and calm. This homework is to continue for a full week.

When we chat about this deliberate offering of peace,  I hear how the clients became more and more aware of their thoughts. As the week went on they more easily noticed their tone of voice, how they held their body and they became very aware of the words they were speaking. This awareness led them to make deliberate choices. They began to ask themselves if offering the words they were going to say would help or hinder the situation and then spoke accordingly. My coaching clients tell me that they find themselves less stressed, feeling better and being more patient with others. Nice, very nice.

All of this is what this wonderful crossing guard does for me each time I see him. He puts me in mind of the cheerful flowers that bloom in my yard. I now find myself deliberately taking that route so that I have the opportunity to share a cheerful smile and a wave in the morning. It feels pretty darned good. This wonderful man is acting as a life coach and I very much appreciate the continuing lesson. Thank you, sir.

Namaste,
Sandy

Meditation Musings – Equanimity

A natural process in meditation for many people is the development of equanimity- the ability to let go. Equanimity allows us to detach ourselves from thoughts and images that attempt to distract us from the Now. As we sit and meditate our minds may become distracted by things like What will I have for lunch? or ‚I should be doing……or Why did I? Equanimity allows us to gently and persistently bring ourselves back to the moment. No guilt, no sense of failure, no idea of I must try harder. Just a gentle and persistent return to the Now.

When this feeling carries over into the rest of our world we begin applying equanimity to our daily life. We typically lose much of the why me? and it isn’t fair‚ kind of thinking. We might spend more time in the Now, truly interacting with the people around us and seeing our environment in a mindful and sensitive way.

Equanimity and the return to the Now can help when our minds start to work in circles, become unduly anxious about something in the future or past, or obsess on a given thought or phrase. It also allows us to release negative thoughts and emotions about our daily aggravations and irritations. That petty squabble with a spouse or coworker never gets a chance to be over-thought or blown out of proportion if our equanimity allows us to release the conflict and return to a more centered and grounded mental state. The same process allows many people to release the persistent thoughts that keep them awake at night, as their minds refuse to let go of their waking activities.

Other people sometimes misinterpret our equanimity as an I don’t care attitude. Actually, we wouldn’t have to apply our ability to release things if we didn’t care. A better interpretation would be I care but it wouldn’t be productive for me to hang on to this thought, feeling image, or emotion.

For me, equanimity is the source of that small smile I often wear. It’s not amusement at the foibles and foolishness of the people around me, it’s the result of recognizing my own silliness at becoming entangled in the snares my mind creates out of unnecessary attachments to things that won’t do me any good. I release them and smile at the human nature that causes even those of us who know better to be caught up in such futile exercises.

Meditation has many benefits for the practitioner and the development of equanimity is only one of them. The ability to release nonproductive or unnecessary attachments in our mind helps bring out that sense of peace and serenity that should be a mainstay of our daily lives.

Namaste,
Jim – Serenity Community Member