The fine balance between excessiveness and non-excessiveness
Crux: Anything excessive is not good, that’s why it’s good to practice non-excessiveness. In extreme situations, non-excessiveness will not work. Discernment.
Generally, we have accepted that anything excessive will do no good. For example, drinking copious amounts of alcohol or consuming non-medicinal drugs will only cause harm to your organs. Spending far too long scrolling on your Facebook feed or overeating are habits that people make resolutions to break out of. Even a good thing like exercising, if done too much, will only strain and can cause injury to your body. ‘Everything in moderation they say.
The flip side is that non-excessiveness is not always the right solution either. If you talk too much you may be perceived as irritating, if you don’t speak at all you might be perceived as socially awkward. If your flame is too low it will take forever to cook your meal and if it’s too high you’ll burn your food. There’s a balance, a Goldilocks zone, for which actions and emotions are appropriate for a given situation. If your friend misbehaves and you don’t speak up, your inaction will be condoning that bad behavior, whereas if you overreact in anger, your actions may damage the friendship.
If this is the case, how can we ensure our thoughts and actions are balanced without being excessive or non-excessive?
There is a Pranic healing technique called ‘discernment’. Grand Master Choa would talk about it a lot. Discernment allows us to determine good from bad and right from wrong— in the same way… you can discern excessiveness from non-excessiveness.
There’s a sweet story that one of my students shared with me about Indian sweets. He visited Kota, Rajasthan for a festival. Indian festivals are often full of sweets and snacks. My student wanted to pack lots of sweets to take home so ordered an extra-large sweet package to be delivered. Unsurprisingly the package was too large, so he discerned that perhaps the sweets were excessive, and left some sweets in the mailbox with a note for others to ‘help themselves’.
If you have identified something that you do excessively or non-excessively and would like to change, the number one important thing you must get right is your mindset. You must be mentally prepared before you can kick a bad habit. If you have identified, for example, that you drink more than you’d like… you must first mentally be ready to lower or give up alcohol before you can do something about it. Otherwise, when your well-meaning friend offers you a drink, you will give in.
In our day-to-day lives, let us practice discernment to moderate our actions so that we do not harm ourselves or others by overdoing or inaction.