Throughout the constancy of change, there are three ideas that have enabled me to remain in my state of equanimity: locus of control, being a humble beginner, and I can practice mindfulness and meditation anywhere. 

Locus of control

I recently got into a conversation with the co-owner of my (current) favorite Vietnamese restaurant about current events. The co-owner is convinced we are fast approaching World War III. The me that continues to practice loving kindness listened attentively, heard the fear, and, when he paused in his speech, spoke to him about locus of control. Since I am not in a position to directly change events, I focus on living my life with kindness, compassion, and purpose. While remaining informed of latest developments, I retain my state of equanimity no matter the weather.

Being a humble beginner

To intentionally get out of the house and interact with fellow homo sapien sapiens in-person, I got a part-time job working security at an entertainment and resort company. From day one my ears were open and I kept my mouth closed expect to ask questions. I continue to find joy and wonder in learning this company’s unique culture, understanding people’s roles, and how to navigate the politics unscathed (which definitely requires the exercise of compassion when certain behaviors arise). I have been privileged to see behind the curtains of athletic, live televised, and theater events in one short month while also learning what securing these events take. There’s so much more to learn, and I am excited to continue this journey!

Opportunities for mindfulness and meditation practices are everywhere

Aspects of my part-time job can be viewed as “boring.” A colleague advised that I keep a book or two in my car in the event I’m in these “boring” assignments. I decided that, if I were assigned a “boring” assignment, I would use that as an opportunity to practice mindfulness and meditation. There’s a pervasive misconception that to find mindfulness and to meditate, we need to give up our present lives and move to a remote place to be quiet and meditate all day and all night. One thing I’ve learned is the power of practicing mindfulness anywhere – on public transit, walking, eating, etc. Our brains are the most incredible computers – while remaining focused on the present, we can also process the thoughts entering our minds. In doing so, we can accept or reject thoughts that do not serve us. Thus, for me, there are no “boring” assignments – they are opportunities to practice.

The pace of the modern world is one that consistently tests all aspects of our brain – especially our ancient one that has no capacity for language. I’ve found that focusing on my locus of control, being a humble beginner, and finding opportunities for mindfulness and meditation wherever I am helps me navigate these waters with an equanimity that I once thought was only a dream.

Meet the Author

Stephanie Farlow serves on the 2022 Metro DC ATD board as Director of Programs. When not serving the chapter, she collaborates with other TD professionals to help individuals and organizations become the best versions of themselves. She previously spent the majority of her public sector service with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in a variety of roles.

You might also like