Tips & Tools

Dynamic Balance

Thrown Off Balance

Disruptions to your equanimity can happen at any time. An email with bad news pops into your in-box. A conversation you’d been planning for a while doesn’t go well. You’ve got too many meetings and no time to catch your breath.

Too often, when we’re pushed off balance, we enter a downward spiral. A small chink in your armor, followed by another, can quickly throw you into fight-or-flight mode.

Fortunately, there are tried-and-true methods for regaining your equanimity:

  • Notice what is triggering you
  • Take three deep breaths
  • Recite a prayer or mantra
  • Enter a state of gratefulness and count your blessings
  • Go for a walk or workout

The 20 Second Gaze

A method used by Jim Keen is the “20 second gaze.” Jim describes it like this:

Softly fix your gaze for 20 seconds on an object across the room or outside your window. If you can, make it a tree, a plant, or something else from nature. Art and paintings work well too. Try to find your breath as you gaze and let the world slow down.

Jim says that equanimity is about reconciling yourself to the situation at hand. “You always have a choice of who you are, wherever you are.”

The Importance of Balance

Your ability to lead hinges on your capacity for recovering from being thrown off balance. What recovery method best for you? It’s important to know. It’s a given that you’re going to get thrown from time to time. How quickly and completely you can get back on your feet is what matters.

It takes too much energy to do recovery badly. The best thing is to get back ASAP! –Jim Keen