“Know thyself and nothing in excess” tucked in my back mental pocket forces me to re-evaluate who I am, and what parts of my life are out of balance.
I learned the Greek Motto in a college Drama History class (It’s true …electives make for a well-rounded college education). “Know thyself and nothing in excess” has logged some mileage in my mind. It keeps me committed to staying acquainted with myself and maintain physcial and mental balance (as best I can). This is not easy to do, as it is much painless to put the focus on others and their problems, or bad habits. Staying familiar with me has forced me to grow in many areas. The Greeks were on to something here, as I've learned there is no room for stagnating if you are committed to knowing yourself…life becomes your classroom and lessons abound. Like learning one of the most difficult things to say is “no”. Saying no breeds guilt and angers some folks, but I have learned if not said at appropriate times then I am spread too thin. My family suffers; I am unhappy and stressed out… it’s just not worth it. In getting to know myself better, I learned to apologize. When I screw up, I confess that I did or said the wrong thing. I shelf my pride and at times it just about kills me, but it has made all the difference to keep peace and balance.
The second part of this tenet is to not overdo the good things in life; nothing in excess. This can be difficult, at least for me. It goes against my Italian upbringing (and our world) that hums more of an “eat, drink and be merry” tune. Too much food, drink, exercise, shopping, loathing,…. really anything, is self-destructive. Our culture is on steroids in this area…bigger is better, more is more, indulge yourself….this is the American Way (think Veruka Salt, “I want it NOW, Daddy!”). When I become excessive in any part of life, I am off-kilter and negative consequences will follow if I don’t recalibrate. Take for example the Wine and Food Festival I attended yesterday with my husband and friends. I hate to admit it, but I completely overdid the wine and food (the Greeks would not be happy with me!) I woke up bloated with my head in a fog and the piano tuner at my door. Piano tuner? I did not remember setting the appointment with him last night after the festival! Shame on stupid, excessive me…time to recalibrate. I have along way to go.
It’s a never-ending challenge to understand how complex, wacky and unique you are, so, if you don’t want to stagnate in life, then tenet #3, The Greek Motto, is key to nurturing and keeping balance in an constantly evolving you. Unicycle Rose’s Tenet 4 & 5 to follow…..that’s after I share my Trifecta of Fun weekend.