So we are in week two of this Franklin Makeover…As I mentioned in last weeks post – I replaced one of the attributes with Moderation and of course, this week is Kindness week. I was anticipating…well, I don’t know exactly what I was anticipating. But, I guess not quite this.
I took the word Moderation to a sit in order to discover what it actually means to me. The intention was having the opposite effect of what I desired. Last week I had wrote about Moderation in terms of over/under achieving, which is true. But it also applies to my eating patterns as of late (as I’ve been eating myself out of house and home) As I sat with the word it became clear to me, that with moderation, I associated a restriction of behavior, limitation, and having to force myself to hold back, to which I immediately rebel with ‘Oh No – I am not’ and proceed to the extreme I was trying to avoid.
In another sit, I reflected how Moderation, is often seen what is needed to create balance and how nature naturally shows balance. The sun shines so intently for part of the day and then there is complete darkness. Overall, there’s a balance, but within the course of the day, there exists both extremes. Same is true for the seasons (unless you live in Kauai ;).
Google search defines Moderation as ‘an avoidance of excess or extremes’, synonyms being restraint, self-restraint, self-control, self-discipline’ No wonder. With an overly strict and domineering upbringing – this is not going to work.
By the end of the week, I decided on a new word that I liked better. Abundance. There can be abundance in fasting (in the cleansing and healing process) and there is abundance in feeding (the building process). Abundance in a winter (of resting, stillness and quietude) and in summer (BBQs, beaches and activity). I can find tremendous abundance in eating a fresh plain apple. The nutrition it provides, the color, scent, how it grew, where it came from – this amazing thing that just grew from a tiny seed to feed my body. Even if it were all I consumed – with this framework, it would feel like such a treat instead of ‘not enough’ and hence going to extremes. Maybe there’s a better word, but I’ll try this one out.
With Kindness I didn’t notice the patterns of extremes, but I saw again that talk of ‘not enough’ creeped in at times (Although now that I’m thinking of it, I think the patterns of extremes were there too) It was heart warming to read all the kindnesses people saw and did during the day and fun (if a little challenging) to think of new things that I could do and pretty amazing to start to see how quickly it mirrored back to me. Its a practice that I intend to continue to do my best at. The biggest takeaway, is that I realized how many day-to-day kindnesses I’ve taken for granted – both things that I do and what others do for me. And just how quickly it shifts the whole dynamic and the energy in recognizing it. And also, just how much time I spend alone and working by myself at home, when I could be sharing kindnesses. What a cool thing to see in action. And now that I think of it – what a great application of Abundance 🙂