Equanimity: mental calmness, composure, and evenness of temper, especially in a difficult situation.

I often start my sessions with couples asking them to write on a piece of paper three words that describe HOW they want to be during our session. This begins the process of clarifying what kind of partner they aspire to be in this moment and the practice of committing to being that person.

In doing so, they set an intention to practice equanimity. When anxiety, fear or anger arises they can remind themselves of how they want to respond in that moment; they practice an awareness of their own emotions and take responsibility for how they choose to participate in their relationship. Regardless of what their partner is doing or saying, they can remain committed to being equinamous. They can remain committed to their authentic aspiration.

Clarifying the kind of partner, mother, father, sister, brother, friend we aspire to be allows us to remain grounded in ourselves, no matter what swirls around us; we can remain composed, even and aware of how we contribute to our own well being and that of others. It allows us to live from our deepest integrity.

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Jane Ryan

Jane Ryan, M.A., LMFT, is a Licensed Couple and Family Therapist with twenty years of clinical experience and a speciality in helping couples navigate the challenges of intimate relationships. Jane also has a sub-specialty of helping couples navigate the relational and sexual effects of breast cancer.