“You can’t calm the storm so stop trying. What you can do is calm yourself and the storm will pass.” ~Timber Hawkeye
After another driver pulled out in front of me and narrowly missed a collision, I put on my brakes and waited for the car to stop. As the other driver sailed off ahead of me, my hysterical passenger screamed, “What an idiot! Didn’t you see him? Why didn’t you blast the horn? These people shouldn’t be on the road!”
I realized my reaction, or lack of reaction, was out of the ordinary, and I also noticed that despite the circumstance I had remained equanimous—I hadn’t let it disturb my peace of mind.
I wasn’t angry with the driver, my blood pressure hadn’t increased, and no damage had been done. I was at peace.
It hadn’t always been this way. I inherited a short fuse from my dad (at least, that’s the excuse I used for years).
Imagine a day where very little upsets you and in the face of annoyances you just sail through, calm, peaceful, and happy? It may seem like an impossibility, but when I look at where I was and where I am now, I can assure you it’s not.
It’s a long journey, it doesn’t happen overnight, and like with everything it takes practice.
Before I could do anything about controlling them, the first step was just to notice them. I spent a long time at this point prior to progressing! But with awareness comes progress and just noticing the emotions arise is a huge step in the right direction.
I used to think it was an unattainable goal. I’d look at monks and nuns being zen and think, Well surely it’s easy to be zen if you live on a mountain top away from the world. But as one old monk (who looked very young) told me, while they may not have the outside pressures like traffic jams, shopping, and emails to test their equanimity, they still have human internal pressures.
He explained to me about his separation from his mother when he was a young child, living through a war, the death of his brother, and his overcoming cancer. There’s enough there to make any human mind an unpeaceful place!
Our minds are so precious and powerful it makes sense we should keep them as peaceful as possible. Not only does it impact on our mood, our relationships, and our effectiveness, but also our health.
Imagine how different life could be if the ups and downs and little annoyances didn’t affect us anymore, if our brains were trained to not react, not suppressing anger but not having the to need to supress it.
Imagine what a different place the world would be if we could all learn equanimity. Well, be the change you want to see and start today! Bringing stillness to our mind also brings peace, and when we are at peace nothing disturbs our equanimity.
Watch the video blog here and read the article in full at Tiny Buddha