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Metta Musings: What It Is

  • Written by Deb Langhans

Every morning around 6:30 a.m., after completing my “Upon Awakening”* ritual, I stumble into the bathroom to wash my face: three soggy washcloth soaks of really warm water followed by five dousings of really cold water. As I repeatedly drench my cheeks with the stabbing cold, (which for me is torturous given my reptilian preference for warmth), I silently repeat one of my mantras (a special recitation used in meditation), “svaha,”-- “so be it” in Tibetan.

Many of us have invested months of time, energy, enthusiasm, confusion, despair, anxiety and even alienation over the course of this grueling election cycle; we made the last proactive choice by casting our vote. As we brace for the final results, however long they take, we’re now faced with a reality as shockingly brutal as my morning water ritual: The ultimate outcomes of this election, for better or worse, are out of our control. To maintain (or perhaps restore) our sanity and well-being, we’d do well to embrace the popular modern version of my Tibetan mantra: “It is what it is.”

Most are familiar with the modified “Serenity Prayer” popularized by 12-step recovery programs. It feels exceptionally relevant right now:

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,

courage to change the things I can,

and wisdom to know the difference.

Learning to navigate with greater ease around what we can and can’t control is a common presenting issue for many of my clients at Journeys to Healing. It taps into the fundamental Buddhist goal of cultivating “equanimity.” Mindfulness teacher/author Christiane Wolf, M.D., Ph.D., describes equanimity this way:

“Equanimity is being willing and able to accept things as they are in this moment whether they’re challenging, boring, exciting, disappointing, painful, or exactly what we want… [It’s] like the eye of the storm, the calm center, that is grounded in the knowledge that everything is constantly changing and much of it is out of our control.”

Equanimity is multi-faceted and there are numerous ways to grow and strengthen it. Self-esteem, compassion and forgiveness… trust and resilience—all these enhance our ability to confidently and comfortably balance doing with non-doing. In our modern world, it’s a worthy, even necessary, journey.

May I, we & all beings find increasing ease with controlling what we can, accepting what we can’t and learning to recognize the difference.

My best,

Deb~ Journeys to Healing

* “Upon Awakening” is one of numerous self-care rituals I teach clients. When practiced regularly, it can greatly enhance the trajectory of one’s day and encourage well-being on all levels--mind, body, heart and spirit.


Deb Langhans has worked in the wellness field as a coach/counselor, writer & speaker for over 25 years. She currently owns & operates Journeys to Healing on San Juan Island where she offers "wholistic" life coaching, mindfulness & grief recovery coaching, reflexology, Inner Journey Collage© & a developing line of products designed to encourage healthy habits.

Most services are available in Deb's studio or via phone or Zoom. For more information or scheduling, please go to www.journeystohealing.com (website). bethechange5@rockisland.com (email), or 360.317.4526 (texts preferred).

Last modified onWednesday, 04 November 2020 23:26

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