Ranjana TN

Week #5: Authenticity

Week 5 went better than expected. I’ve been feeling calmer and more optimistic, especially since Monday. That’s not to say that I didn’t have any emotional roller coasters; in fact, I had plenty. But I also had quite a few moments of feeling positive, serene, and grateful. I suspect connecting deeply with a couple of loved ones had a role to play, in addition to meditating and going for long walks daily. Feeling seen, heard, and loved make a lot of difference.

Every day when I sat down for meditation, I’d tune into my inner voice and ask myself how I could stay true to myself that day. I’d ask variations of this question such as, “what does my authentic self want me to know?”, “what feels authentic to me?”, “how can I tune into authenticity?”, or “how can I show up authentically today?”

After meditation, I’d journal for a little while, writing down my thoughts. I’d also check in with myself while on walks in the evening and when I journaled in the morning. Having clarity on what was true for me on important matters helped me navigate some conversations and situations with faith and self-assurance.

In a lot of ways, this value probably is the one I’ll find the hardest to practice long-term. I’ve been so used to people-pleasing and suppressing my own needs and desires in favour of everyone else’s that it will take quite a bit of practice to tune into my own truth and show up as myself.

Value for Week #6

“To cultivate equanimity we practice catching ourselves when we feel attraction or aversion, before it hardens into grasping or negativity.”

– Pema Chodron

Equanimity is a spacious stillness that can accept things as they are.

– Sharon Salzberg

With equanimity, you can deal with situations with calm and reason while keeping your inner happiness

– The Dalai Lama

While meditating today, I decided that my value for the next seven days will be equanimity. This will help me confront another old enemy of mine – worrying about things I can’t control and feeling anxious about events, sometimes outrageously impractical or improbable, that I fear might come to pass.

Since I already have been focusing on meditation these last couple of weeks, an obvious way to practice this value will be when I meditate. There’s a particular way equanimity is practiced in Vipassana and since I’ve learnt the technique, I’ll practice it that way during my meditation sittings.

I’m curious to see what my experience of the week will be like while wearing the lens of equanimity. I don’t expect it to be easy or comfortable, but it should certainly be informative.