I’ve done a lot of ‘self improvement’ in my time; you know all those questionnaires you fill in and you get scored on how you’re a people pleaser, or you try too hard, or you are too fiercely independent…
And I’ve noticed that those questionnaires always miss something really important: the Goldilocks principle.
Buddhists would call this ‘the middle way’.
Should I be ultra-spiritual and give up material goods? Should I just enjoy my life and stuff the environmental impact?
Goldilocks kept trying porridge until she found one that was ‘just right’, and we can do the same with our own lives…
Not spiritual enough and we get caught up in ego and suffering. Too spiritual and we get lost in the unbounded realms of consciousness.
Just spiritual enough and we get that perfect balance. We keep our head in the clouds and our feet on the ground.
Too flexible? Too rigid? When we apply the Goldilocks principle we stand up for our beliefs and our values while recognising the occasional need to bend our rules. (Or if not a need, it can be terribly practical to do so!)
There are a million variables we can examine in our own lives and each one has a sweet spot; that point where things are “just right”, that point of non-resistance, non-judgement and non-attachment.
So let’s perform an inventory (mentally if necessary, or on a spreadsheet if that floats your boat!) and figure out where we’re off balance and where we’re following the Goldilocks principle, that sweet spot between the two poles.