Equanimity

It has been a tough couple weeks. One of our dogs, Jackson has gradually yet quickly lost his sight and hearing. Early this morning we dropped him off for an MRI and biopsy to find out the cause. We've already taken him to two different vets and got his blood and urine tests done, as well as a visit to an opthamologist who determined there was no tumor or cancer. I'm on a mission to find the right solution to deactivate and minimize suffering for all involved, especially Jackson. The teaching theme of my yoga classes last week truly reflects and prepares me for the current challenge.

One of the yin yoga participants last week asked me if she should go deeper into her stretch. My answer was yes, she could stretch as deep as she wanted as long as she could relax the muscle while intensifying the stress. It's a metaphor to my current situation as I contemplate how much I can stretch myself emotionally, physically, and financially. How many thousands of dollars in addition to what we've already spent on the tests? How to care for myself and my husband's emotional wellbeing as we experience uncertainty? How to organize my schedule to optimize my productivity as I nurse Jackson back to health? How to live with a dog who cannot for the rest of his life see or hear?

I shared Reinhold Niebuhr's quote in some of the classes last week: "...grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference." The last sentence is the most important to me. What I need is the equanimity in action--the wisdom to act when it is helpful, and to not react or reject a situation from agitation and anxiety. Reminding myself "Is this thought/action useful?" has been very helpful. Eqaunimity is the emptiness of certainty. It is both terrifying and hopeful. Nothing is scarier than dropping the ownership of my experience but I can take the refuge in showing up the best I can.