Word of the Year 2024 – Equanimity

noun; evenness of mind especially under stress… a calm mental state and without hurried movementright disposition or balance

Let’s define equanimity:

According to Merriam Dictionary, if you think “equanimity” looks like it has something to do with “equal,” you are right. Both “equanimity” and “equal” are derived from “aequus,” a Latin adjective meaning “level” or “equal.” “Equanimity” comes from the combination of “aequus” and “animus” (“soul” or “mind”) in the Latin phrase aequo animo, which means “with even mind.” English speakers began using “equanimity” early in the 17th century with the now obsolete sense “fairness or justness of judgment,” which was in keeping with the meaning of the Latin phrase. Equanimity quickly came to suggest keeping a cool head under any sort of pressure, not merely when presented with a problem, and eventually, it developed an extended sense for general balance and harmony.

I learned last year that my life needed to make a subtle shift.?I definitely do not want to lose my edge or momentum, so I knew my new word and intention for 2024 needed to be just right. I also knew I needed to find the word that captured the balance between effort and ease.?We use the term equanimity in Yoga often to describe our bodies in a posture and seeking that same balance through the physical effort and the mental fluctuations. I want that same balance, or equanimity, in all areas of my life.

Equanimity As An Intention:

Sankalpa is a Sanskrit term in yogic philosophy that refers to a heartfelt desire, a solemn vow, an intention, or a resolve to do something. It is similar to the English concept of a resolution, except that it comes from even deeper within and tends to be an affirmation.

Choosing a word or sankalpa for your year gives you direction and an internal compassion in which to lead your life. For 24 years I have chosen many different words and have taken action and it is a very important practice in my life. I have worked on some great things over that time span and all of it has lead to some greatness! A few of my recent favorites have been: refinement, deliberate, bold, reverence,and limitless. Vulnerability of 2023 did not make my favorite list. Or the year I chose peace. Sometimes we have to be ready for some big opportunities to face and practice these intentions, so I recommend choosing wisely.

I am all for creating action when it comes to intentions. It is one thing to say you’re going to be healthy and then down a couple donuts pretty regularly. Or opt to be more tolerant and continue to judge or complain about people or things you have zero control over.

In my own words and intention, or sankalpa, I feel I would like to embrace equanimity by transcending some personal biases or in my case high personal standards, self-prejudices, and self-judgments, leading to having a more inclusive and harmonious outlook on my own life. Basically cutting myself some slack and offering my sweet self some grace, especially during the challenges and bringing more balance to my life by nurturing myself and my Yin side of living. Let’s be honest, I tend to live 99.99% in the yang action side of life, which although it has served me well, I am exhausted. I also give and give and give, and while I learned a little bit how to receive, I still need to learn to give to myself without feeling guilty. I want to function in a non hurried way and soak in tiny moments of stillness to counter balance the extreme amount of constant yang/drive energy. I want know the balance between effort and ease in my day to day and lower the bar I have been reaching for.

So what does all that mean??

Words + action = intentional living. I have spent a month or more imagining what equanimity will feel like and as a result I have figured out some tangible actions that will promise to lead me towards a more balanced and grace filled life.

To cultivate an evenness in my mind, body and spirit and a calm mental state without being hurried, I am going to make some changes. I am going to live in equanimity by:

  • take one week off per quarter where I do not teach at all (first quarter is a pass since I am taking two months off post-hip replacement)
  • get on my yoga mat 3x a week (or a chair)
  • enjoy my “sacred space” / office at least 5x a week to journal, read, pull cards, and basically tune out the world and tune in to me
  • begin, enjoy, and finish a year long mindfulness daily practice book
  • say no to anyone or anything that does not support the balanced life I am committed to creating
  • let go of anyone or anything that steers me into “busy” coping strategies
  • continue with therapy and learning how to better handle the heavy weights I carry
  • give myself permission to rest, read, restore anytime
  • release the high standard I have on my physical movement
  • allow myself to splurge on things I have worked hard to afford without any reasoning or judgment

Stacie believes that it is her life purpose to share the gift of Yoga with anyone who is willing to say yes. In addition to raising a family and being an advocate for those with disabilities, Stacie is founder of Embracing Spirit Yoga which specializes in bringing adaptive Yoga into community centers and rehabilitation clinics. Bringing her depth of compassion to the mat–or the chair–she offers students the opportunity to grow as an individual in all aspects of their life.

With over sixteen years experience, Stacie Wyatt is an experienced 500 hour Registered Yoga Teacher with Yoga Alliance, Certified Brain Injury Specialist, Certified Trauma Informed Coach, Life Wellness Coach, Senior YogaFit Instructor, Mind/Body Personal trainer, Stress Reduction and Meditation Instructor, Pilates Instructor, and Barre Instructor. Stacie is also certified in Integrative Movement Therapy™and is also a believer in the power and application of essential oils for health and wellness and proudly shares doTERRA essential oils.

Stacie brings her personal life experience of raising a daughter with a disability and over 12 years working in special education to her everyday Yoga classes.

One thought on “Word of the Year 2024 – Equanimity

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