It’s critical that we learn moderation — but it’s one of the hardest things to get a handle on, isn’t it? It’s a precarious balancing act, and how can acrobats be taught to stay on the high wire? They can get some coaching, but they have to get up there and feel the balance for themselves.
I have always loved the extremes of life, especially those that allow me to go beyond my normal comfort zones. Whenever I have to teach something new, I’m anxious, but I’m also excited by the possibility of becoming the “too much” my mother used to call me. However, I’ve learned to realize that i need to pay close attention to the places where I go over the edge — in all ways. It’s immoderate to eat six huge meals in a day, but it’s also not reasonable to think that the only way to find health, peace and harmony is to eat nothing but bean sprouts grown on an organic farm in Canada.
We need to trust our intuition. We all have an inner wisdom that speaks to us. When we overindulge in food, alcohol, sex or even spending inordinate amounts of time on our computers or iPhones, our mind/body and spirit begin to give us signals.
Think about what you’re striving for, and whether it’s in sync with your value system. When you don’t honor what you stand for, you’ll begin to live the life of a hypocrite. Is sex an act of intimacy and fun for you and your partner, or are you straining to mimic what Cosmopolitan tells you is the latest greatest, hottest thing to do? Do you work hard because you want to provide yourself and your family with a good life, or are you caught up in trying to keep buying the latest gadgets?
Don’t over indulge yourself, but don’t deny yourself either. My mother was always storing and saving things for a later date. She often lived life as if she was in a Monastery. As she aged her various frailties removed her from using the things she saved. What kind of life can you have if you’re always denying yourself the things you love?
Finding the right balance can be a lifelong journey — but it’s one that needs to be taken. Each time you ask yourself if you’re living in balance, it allows you to live in a more conscious way instead of blindly following the herd off the cliff. I certainly wish I had learned this lesson as a young woman. If I had I probably wouldn’t have had to have my shoulder, hips and knees replaced from all my obsessive athletic activities.
The good news is they can replace your joints. But the key to staying well mentally and physically is to learn to tame your inner 2-year-old.
— Author, humorist, PBS star and Fortune 500 trainer Loretta LaRoche lives in Plymouth, Massachusetts. To share your pet peeves, questions or comments, write to The Humor Potential, 50 Court St., Plymouth, MA 02360. Visit her website at stressed.com.