Equanimity, although it hardly falls under the category of a word that gets used in a sentence every day, it is still a concept that everyone should understand if they are going to practice the art of conscious creation.
Conscious creation is basically the act of creating your life by being mindful of your thoughts and feelings, and in so doing, controlling the experiences that are brought into your life via the Law of Attraction.
For example, if you tend to worry excessively about negative things that might or might not happen, you will tend to attract negative things into your life. On the other hand, if you have a “whatever happens, happens” attitude, and you manage to keep up a cheerful or positive outlook, then you will in turn attract experiences and circumstances that you consider to be positive.
For the purposes of this post, we will define equanimity as the ability to control your reaction to the external events of your life. The ability to remain calm and emotionally in control, even though the present circumstances may seem to call for a more negatively-charged reaction.
The reason why this is so important when it comes to the Law of Attraction is because each of the emotions that you experience are magnets that attract similar emotions back to you.
If you experience positive emotions, then that is a good thing. However, if you are having a negative emotional reaction, then the last thing that you want to do is attract more negativity, which will just make the situation even worse.
This is especially true when it comes to relationships, or dealings with people that you see frequently, such as co-workers. The emotions that you experience not only attract similar emotions, but they will also tend to elicit similar responses in the people that you are interacting with.
In the case of a close personal relationship, have you ever noticed that during a disagreement, the more upset you get, the more upset the other person tends to get (equanimity masters notwithstanding, of course)?
The same things happens at work. A negative experience with a co-worker will tend to “stain” both of you with a negative charge that will serve to attract more negativity to both of you – either immediately, or later on down the road.
However, just as you may be able to identify with the 2 examples just given, you can probably also remember experiences when you got really upset about something, but the other person seemed to remain “nonplussed” about the whole thing.
They just sat there talking to you in the same tone of voice, that same (infuriating!) look on their face, and it seemed that no matter how amped up you personally became, their emotional reaction changed little, if it all.
That’s equanimity in action. And, as annoying as it may be to the person who is letting their emotions control them, the person who is practicing equanimity is actually protecting not only their own circumstances, but yours as well.
Now, don’t misunderstand. As The Probabilist pointed out (link above), the other side of equanimity is empathy. Empathy basically means that via an understanding of someone else’s emotional state, you allow yourself to be influenced by the emotions that you perceive them to be experiencing.
However – and here is where it all comes together – allowing your own emotions to be controlled by the emotions of others, or recognizing their emotions, but retaining control of your own feelings – are two different things.
If you find yourself in a situation with the potential for negativity – from a disagreement all the way up through an emergency situation – ask yourself what is more valuable; The ability to retain control of your emotions and think clearly about how best to handle the situation, or flying off the handle and allowing your emotions to dictate your actions.
Do emotions have their place? Absolutely! In fact, our emotions are arguably the most powerful and valuable gift that humans have been given. However, using our emotions for benefit vs. allowing them to rule our lives are certainly two different situations.
Equanimity does not mean living without emotion.
Empathy does not mean living as a slave to emotion.
The trick to your own personal success – as well as to benefit the people around you – is to realize that by controlling your emotions, you literally dictate what happens next.
If you want what happens next to be in your favor, then “feel” accordingly. If you want what happens next to be the random result of whatever emotion you happen to feel as the result of what life throws at you, then ignore this entire post.
It is absolutely guaranteed that the world will deliver what you expect it to deliver.
When you expect (via your feelings) to get whatever it is that you want out of life, then you are free and clear to not experience surprise when that is exactly what shows up for you.