3.24.2013

The Middle Way >>


I am a firm believer in "Moderation in all things, including moderation." I think I've just slowly come to this conclusion over the years, through personal observation and experience. For example, when I graduated from college, I lost 30 pounds. I didn't have a specific strategy, I just figured it can't be all or nothing. I don't do well with Absolute Musn'ts. There's gotta be room for dessert, for home baked bread, for birthday cake. I think this is why I've been able to keep it (mostly!) off for the last 8 years (good lord, where has the time gone).
This is also how it has gone with me and vegetarianism. Many years ago, I thought I'd be a vegetarian. I checked to see if things contained gelatin, I refused things fried in animal fats, and eschewed any and all meat. It didn't go well. Inevitably, there came a day where I just needed wanted something meaty. I caved and there went my vegetarianism. I chalked it up as a personal failure of will. 
 
This last year, I decided to give it another go. But I decided to be more flexible about it. If I really craved something, or if it meant a choice of going hungry or eating meat, or if it was something being served to me as a guest (a personal guest, not as a restaurant guest), I gave it space. This has 100% worked for me, and as a result, I eat meat very rarely these days and feel really good about the choices I make. The Middle is a much better place to be than All or Nothing.
 
These are just a couple of examples of how moderation has really worked for me in my life (and no, they are not all food related :)). During my yoga retreat, the concept of "the middle way" came up a few times. The "middle way" or "middle path" was something that the Buddha talked to his followers about, after living a life of ascetecism and still failing to achieve enlightenment. I do not consider myself a Buddhist (or an anything, for that matter), but many of the Eastern religions/philosophies hold a lot of wisdom, and this is one of them. I just think it is such a lovely concept to promote, and it doesn't get enough play in our culture of extremes. Thoughts? :)
 
shanti >> sondra
 
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9 comments:

  1. I love this post. So glad I found and followed your blog. <3 I agree, so very much. I would love to be vegetarian, however I am a. an extremely horrible cook (never learned growing up) and b. I often crave meat. Especially during Summer and BBQs. However, I can find a better "middle." I can eat LESS meat. When I do, I can make sure it's certified as being cruel free, etc. I can also fill my week with veggie dishes, instead of meat dishes. Plus, fresh fruit? Yummmm.

    I also try and find a middle way when something is daunting. I am Bipolar, so when I am up, I am happy and I can do so much. When I am down, everything is... just... hard. Even something simple, like e-mailing people/replying to their e-mails and heck, I am a blogger. My readers are, truly, my friends. So I'll try and just answer one... another.. another. When I start feeling overwhelmed, I stop and since I did *something*, I feel better.

    I forget this often, though. So thank you. Thank you, thank you.

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  2. I have maintained the everything in moderation way of thinking for many years and it works for me too. No beating myself up for the failing on the "all" path and no guilt for being on the "nothing" path. Just contentment for being in the middle and doing my best.
    Great post.

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  3. abhaya_sondra3/25/13, 8:56 AM

    The middle is really a good place to be, huh? I'm glad you liked it!

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  4. abhaya_sondra3/25/13, 9:00 AM

    Yes, you have exactly the right idea! Small steps can sometimes be the biggest catalyst for change. :)

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  5. Yes. "The Middle Way." Exactly.

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  6. The Middle Path is a good road to take. Moderation is important.
    I tried vegetarianism much the same way you did, and found that I couldn't leap in like that. Especially while still living at home. I sometimes cook myself meatless dinners, but I recognize that my family works hard to put food on the table for everyone, and I am thankful for that. I understand that my mom needs meat for her health, and can't be expected to make certain dishes for EVERYONE. So, I accept meat when it's served me, and will usually not eat it left to my own devices, but I don't beat myself up about it when I decide I need meat.

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  7. Can I just say "super like" and leave it at that? 'Cause I really like it, but am having problems putting thoughts in to words right now...and it's not even Monday! Yikes!

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  8. abhaya_sondra3/26/13, 6:54 PM

    That is EXACTLY how I approach it! I think it is a much healthier option mentally/emotionally for most of us. Thanks for sharing!

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  9. abhaya_sondra3/26/13, 6:55 PM

    super like is super bueno. :) I feel the same way most mornings!

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