There is a story about a poor farmer whose only horse ran away.
His neighbors came over to lament his bad fortune. They said with great concern, "What bad luck, now you have no horse to plow the fields!" The farmer replied in an even tone, "Good luck, bad luck, who knows?"
The next day, the horse returned with a herd of wild stallions in tow. The neighbors came over excitedly proclaiming his good fortune. "What good luck, now you have many horses to plow your fields!" The farmer again replied with equanimity, "Good luck, bad luck, who knows."
The next day, the farmer's only son broke his leg while riding one of the wild stallions. The neighbors came over again and said with pity, "What bad luck, now you will have no one to help you in your fields." The farmer had the same response as the day before, "Good luck, bad luck, who knows?"
The very next day, the army came by looking for able bodied men to go to war. The farmer's son had a broken leg so the men continued their search elsewhere...........This story can go on and on and represents the reality of life's ups and downs.
The Taoist story teaches about the concepts of suchness and equanimity. Accepting the "suchness" of life, (life as it is in the moment) with equanimity (an even mind) gives us an opportunity to experience the ups and downs without getting too caught up in the drama.
Being able to keep our minds steady and even in the midst of a constantly changing "suchness" is a practice that can be quite challenging.
Yoga philosophy recommends "practice" and "detachment" as a way to remain steady and even in our minds.
The farmer in the story was able to remain calm in the face of the good and the bad that came about day to day. This was likely because he was able to "detach" or not cling to the things as they were. He accepted the constantly changing "suchness" as part of life.
The neighbors however, were much more sucked into the drama of it all. Their happiness or lack of it seemed to depend on the drama of the day.
Most of us aren't as skilled as the farmer at staying calm in the face of challenges, but letting go of the drama can keep us more stable in the face of difficulty and change.
Practicing "detachment" doesn't mean that we don't get upset when things are upsetting, or excited when things are exciting, but loosening our grip on life as it changes allows us to stay steady and balanced regardless.
For many people, the holidays bring lots of drama which can make for a very difficult couple of months.
Pay attention to when you get caught up in it and practice "letting go". Don't join in when the drama begins.
Take deep breaths. Go for a walk. Go to a yoga class. Meditate.
Most of all, enjoy life "as it is" in the moment.
All Abhyasa Ahimsa Aparigraha Asmita-Ego Attachment Baron Baptiste Beginner's Mind Bramacharya Carl Jung Clear Seeing Colorless Comfortable Discomfort Creating Spaciousness In Mind And Body Cultivate The Opposite Deepak Chopra Dharma Empty Your Cup Enthusiasm Equanimity Family Fight Or Flight Great Vows Inner-awareness Inner Critic John Kabbatzinnb2faff332d Listening Mirrors To Ourselves Monkey Hunting Non Stealing Patanjali Pause Pillar Pleasure And Pain Posseses Us Practice Pratipaksa Bhavana Pratyahara Present Moment Present Moment Awareness Respond Instead Of React Samadhi Samskara Santosha Satya Sauca Sensual Pleasures Shadow Side Spirituality Steadiness And Ease Sthira And Sukha Strength Sustained Attention Svadhyaya There You Are Thich Nat Hahn This Too Shall Pass True Self Uncertainty Universal Truth What We Possess Wherever You Go Wisdom Yoga Philosophy Yoga Sutra 1. 14 Yoga Sutra 1.33 Yoga Sutra 2.33 Yoga Sutra 2 37cfe9965fa2 Yoga Sutra 2. 46 Yoga Sutras