This is a word that I have not often thought about! Lynn writes, "The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines equanimity as "calm mind....Tonight as we penetrate the soul mystery of equanimity, we will look at what inflames, agitates and disrupts our feelings. Emotions are the inflamers, agitators, and disruptors....We are not to suppress our emotions. And we must never deny them. Emotions educate us. They keep us safe. They, most of all, challenge us to become self-aware and self-compassionate. They are the palette of colors that paint the portrait of our personalities, our relationships and our lifetimes....In my study of emotions, I have recognized four basic ones: anger, fear, sadness and happiness....Tonight, revere all four emotions. Love your happiness, your anger, your sadness and your fear. If you reject or resent anger, fear and sadness, you will never know equanimity. Your life will not be a composition of self-love."
As I meditate on equanimity I begin to see images for each of the four emotions. For Anger I see a bolt of lightening...for Fear I see a maze...for Sadness I see tears...and for Happiness I see bubbles. I get out my watercolor pencils s and begin to draw these images and emotions into a mandala.
As I move into the emotions with curiosity and paint, I begin to realize that the symbols I've chosen are the four elements of Fire, Earth, Water, and Air!
I begin a second mandala...
These emotions now have a deeper meaning for me. For example, when angry, looking for where I need more fire-South energy in my life, or where I need to focus that bolt of energy. For sadness, where I need to allow the flow of water, the ways of the West to assist me in releasing, allowing cleansing water, through tears or immersing my body in water, to help me move through all the stages of sadness. For happiness, where I can breathe in the air, and the new beginnings of the East, releasing my laughter and joy. For fear, where the maze that traps my mind opens up to reveal the labyrinth path through the Earth, trusting the wisdom of my body as it explores the terrain of the North.
I found in this journey that anger, fear, saddness, and happieness
became four parts of the whole. A universe of life, breathing new
© Lea Goode-Harris
January 2, 2007