What’s On Your Plate?

by Tanya Geisler on · 28 comments

I was taught to approach con­sump­tion from the per­spec­tive of moderation.

“Every­thing in moderation.”

Hoo boy, how I hated being told this as a child. Mod­er­a­tion is so….MODERATE. Puri­tan. Buttoned-down. Laaaa-aaame.

Yes, you can watch TV, but just a lit­tle.” “Yes, you can have a cookie, but just one.”

It’s a qual­i­fied “yes, but”.

And while we all love a “yes”, nobody likes a “but”.

It became appar­ent that this ver­sion of mod­er­a­tion was all about going with­out, based on cul­tural mores rooted in glut­tony, politesse and virtues. It made for some com­pli­cated rela­tion­ships: I want this, but can only have a lit­tle, which has me want­ing it more.

It is the “more” that was — and remains — the problem.

For me. (And maybe for you?)

More food. More con­ver­sa­tion. More oblig­a­tions. More infor­ma­tion. I had lost the sense of how I wanted to FEEL dur­ing and post-consumption. Back then, it was about fill­ing up, not fuel­ing up.

Big dif­fer­ence.

I wasn’t savour­ing, I was shov­el­ing. A bulging cal­en­dar meant a life well-lived. A heap­ing plate meant abun­dance. A full closet meant affluence.

So why was I feel­ing so depleted?

You know the answer: I was choos­ing quan­tity over quality.

In choos­ing dubi­ous qual­ity, I was pro­duc­ing dubi­ous qual­ity in my rela­tion­ships, work and art.

Crap in, crap out.

There is this truth: there is only so much room, and there is only so much time. And mercy me, this truth becomes more and more acute with every pass­ing year.

I now approach MOST con­sump­tion from the per­spec­tive of a small plate at a large and sump­tu­ous buf­fet of life.

I’m not talk­ing about scarcity here. I’m talk­ing about INTENTION, ’cause, Dar­lin’ I don’t doubt for a nanosec­ond that you have the capac­ity to receive many more gifts, much more wealth and much more joy in your life. And don’t you dare doubt that either.

What I am advo­cat­ing is crystal-clear clar­ity about your inten­tion as you approach that buffet.

What do you want from this meal, con­ver­sa­tion, hour, visit? Do you want to feel ener­gized? Inspired? Alive? Accom­plished? Comforted?

Let this inten­tion inform your every choice.

Will you be sati­ated with filet or filler? Fact-finding or Face­book? Meet­ing your mother or “How I met your mother”?

You get to choose.

And if you find your­self becom­ing over­stuffed, over­whelmed, over­sched­uled or over­weight, notice what — and how much — you’ve invited onto your plate.

Believe as I do that you can han­dle it AND choose dif­fer­ently the next trip to the buffet.


So go ahead and fuel up. Just don’t for­get to leave a lit­tle room for dessert.

by Tanya Geisler

Clar­ity. Action. Achieve­ment. Joy. Tanya Geisler is a CTI-certified coach (a.k.a. “cat­a­lyst, not ther­a­pist”) and speaker who believes that life is a grand production…and it’s time for you to step into your star­ring role. And radi­ate. Right now.
Tanya Geisler
View all posts by Tanya Geisler

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