Finding Home with Equanimity

Equanimity (noun) = mental or emotional stability or composure, especially under tension or strain; calmness; equilibrium.

The year 2020 has given me the opportunity to adjust my mindset, embrace equanimity, and find gratitude in walking by faith. 

Doing has been more comfortable than being for me for most of my life.  When I was in high school, I was creating annual goals, five year plans, and other milestones for myself.   While most people were writing New Year’s resolutions, I was writing my personal annual review.   Depending on the “grade” I gave my performance, I would feel happy or disappointed with myself.  I was my own taskmaster. 

So many messages in our culture supported my mindset that personal performance equated to personal value and mood.  Trust me.  I have read so many books on leadership, taken so many courses, and been analyzed with so many strength finding, personality tests, I am a walking workshop in a box. Give me about four hours and I could be ready to provide you with a personalized, day long seminar on creating your vision, mission, goals for 2021 with PowerPoint slides and a workbook.  

So imagine how I felt in Fall 2019, when I realized I might not be able to achieve my own personal outcome measures. My body was literally saying “you can’t make me!”  Meanwhile, one of the most strenuous grant writing years was looming – 2020.  Crystal Agnew and I already had a schedule of proposals we were preparing to write.  
When I look back over the year, I am so grateful for family, friends, and mentors who provided support and encouragement. If you read my previous blog post, they are my fluffy blanket. 

Here are a few of my supports to maintain an optimistic, balanced response in the face of unexpected challenges: 

  1. Practice self-compassion not self-pity,
  2. Listen to your body. Treat it with respect. Show your body love by eating, sleeping, and exercising in ways that nourish not abuse,
  3. Take a few steps back from people who tend to see their glass half-empty. Show them compassion but remember you can see you own glass differently,
  4. Celebrate every win, no matter what size, and
  5. Recognize that feelings are like clouds. Every one will pass by and they are made of vapor. No use trying to hang on to one. Just observe. 

As 2021 begins, I am inspired to move forward with the lessons I have learned, more light-hearted and willing to forgo the performance review. 

“Let joy be your continual feast. Make your life a prayer. And in the midst of everything be always giving thanks, for this is God’s perfect plan for you in Christ Jesus.”
~ 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (TPT)

About Linda Freeman

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Linda Pulley Freeman combines her specialized training in environmental and chemical engineering with her deep ministerial commitment as she serves mission fields at home and abroad.

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