The antidote to worry and stress? Surprise! It’s not happiness. It’s equanimity.

Equanimity is the ability to keep calm whatever is happening. When something normally considered ‘bad’ happens, you can handle it—it doesn't derail you. Likewise, if something ‘good' happens, you feel joy without feeling dependent on or attached to the event.

Sarah Napthali

Many of us need an antidote to worry and stress…with students starting a new year, summer coming to an end, or impacts of COVID still lingering.

We just want to be happy again, right?

But, the way forward is not chasing happiness, it’s cultivating equanimity.

Early in my journey as a mom, I stumbled upon Sarah Napthali’s book, Buddhism for Mothers: A Calm Approach to Caring for Yourself and Your Children. It remains one of my favorite parenting books. I turn to it time and again.

You don’t need to be a Buddhist, or practice meditation to benefit from the book. I have tried and failed to meditate many, many times. I’m not good at quieting my mind.

Thankfully, this forgiving book reminds me to simply be still and mindful when I am fearful, anxious, angry, or sad. Here’s another quote:

With equanimity, we accept what is and stop trying to control the inevitable and the impermanent. Buddhism speaks of Eight Worldly Conditions: life is gain and loss, pleasure and pain, praise and blame, fame and disrepute. No matter how hard we try to attract or avoid any of these, we’ll experience all of them in their turn. Each will come and go, just as every aspect of our lives is constantly changing.

Gardening notes

I was a little worried that my Pink Moon Allium wouldn’t bloom this year. I’ve had it since 2018. Happily, it did and has been attracting bees…a good thing.

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