Equanimity is a perfect, unshakable balance of mind.
I could feel the anger surge in my body. My head was spinning, I couldn't focus. I lost my equilibrium. I wanted to scream. I wanted to use my words to bludgeon the object of my anger. I turned to my Morning Pages, my daily practice of writing three handwritten pages. I wrote with fury. The venom that spewed from my pen scared me. "What if someone reads this rant?" Inhibited by this fear, I became more polite in my writing. I knew my path to healing was through expression, not suppression. The anger polluted my system like stagnant water. I needed to keep things moving through me.
I made a declaration. I will write with as much honesty as I can muster for the next 30 days. After each session, I will burn my writing. This practice helped me to dig deeper into roots of the rage. At the end of the session, I dropped the papers into the fire and watched my words curl and burn. Relief. The next morning I repeated the process. Relief.
I continued to write and found that underneath the rage there was sadness, fear, and grief. My pen continued to cut deeper and explore related topics. At the end of each session, I burned my work and felt relief.
I wrote poems and stories. The raw truth of my writing helped me to make new discoveries and find fresh perspectives. Eventually, I wanted to save my work, but I kept burning it for thirty days. With each day I found more relief, even joy. The raw and unfiltered honesty in my morning pages unlocked deep healing. Burning the pages sealed in the lessons of the day. I was awake. I was paying attention.
Even though this experience was 20 years ago, I still return to this practice, even when I'm in a joyful mood. It helps me remember that emotional states are transitory. It encourages me to uncover deeper levels of authenticity. The practice promotes equanimity and helps me align my voice with my values.
There are times to give voice to our anger, but if we are too quick to take to Twitter or email, we can create more suffering for ourselves or others.
Try it. Burn Your Writing