August 11, 2008

Thoughts on Moderation

Throw moderation to the winds,
and the greatest pleasures bring the greatest pains.
- Democritus

In one of my money meditations that I teach, there is the part:

I am wise with my money. I dedicate part to pay off my debts easily and effortlessly; part for my savings, which I then invest and watch grow; and the remainder I live on in comfort and moderation. I am now in a position to bless money as it goes out to pay my bills and pleasures, knowing it will return threefold.

Folks really resist that word, moderation. It's interesting to see them balk - no, I want EVEN MORE MORE MORE so I can live in lavish, luxurious excess!

It is exactly this greedy attitude that keeps folks in a constant struggle to feel rich, no matter what their current income or standard of living. We live in an age of American Obesity, of the 59 cent Happy Meal, where we are encouraged to "Super Size it" - is it any wonder people shudder at the thought of moderation? But what of it's opposite - excess?

Do you over eat, over drink, over work, over spend, over sleep, over do it or over extend yourself? Are you over sexed or are over sex? Are you over weight, over anxious, over limit, or over time? Are you just over it?

It is through moderation that we can nourish our financial dreams and plan for a comfortable future, rather than living in a need for constant, over indulgence as personified by microwave brownies (remember that commercial for instant, total, gratification, yeah! Ick.) Notice that in the meditation there is the affirmation of living in comfort, of paying for one's bills & pleasures. Moderation is not about denial. Living under one's means is just as stultifying as living over them.

Do you feel under stress, under strain, under duress, under paid, under fed, under nourished, under appreciated, under rug swept or just like the under dog? Under the weather or just under the wire? Under someone's thumb?

A visit to the Wikipedia brings these insights:
Moderation is the process of eliminating or lessening extremes. It is used to ensure normality throughout the medium on which it is being conducted. Moderation is also a principle of life. In ancient Greece, the temple of Apollo at Delphi bore the inscription Meden Agan - Nothing in Excess. Then again, Horace Porter reminds us Be moderate in everything, including moderation.

Ask your self this - do you control your money, or does your money control you? Moderation is a simple technique anyone can master, be it a moderate diet or moderate budget. Balance is key, rather than swinging pendulum like to the extremes. Practice balance in your steps, balance in your breath, balance your diet, balance your checkbook, balance in your mind, balance work & play, and remember:

Everything in moderation - but don't miss a thing. -Anon

Sketch: Bank Of K
kgr 2008