I’ve started a weird little side project. And it involves Benjamin Franklin.
I know, I know. I usually gravitate towards rappers and music industry moguls but I am telling you, Ben was the BO$$ MAN of his day! He was a prolific inventor, author, scholar, involved in politics, respected by his peers, and (ahem) pretty successful with the ladies. I have a feeling Ben and Jay-Z would have been the best of friends, poppin’ bottles back at the crib.
But I digress…
Back to my project!
In his autobiography, Ben makes a list of Thirteen Virtues that he values most.
(You can read more about each virtue at a neat website called ThirteenVirtues.com.)
History reveals that Ben would try to “practice” one virtue per week, recording his efforts in his diary and then continually trying to do a little bit better. I love this. I’ve decided to try the same thing except I’m doing one virtue per month (I am not as goody-goody as ole Ben. Plus, it takes 30 days for a habit to stick.)
I just wrapped up Month One: Temperance.
Here’s what happened:
Ben explains Temperance as this: “Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.” I admit – I have an appetite for destruction. Put simply: I love to eat all that is bad and I enjoy my wine… probably more than I should.
Last month, I cut back on those naughty habits (not easy!). I plan on reducing it further (there is a goal weight in mind and I’m not there…yet). Self-discipline, yo.
I’ve also applied Temperance (restraint + moderation) to my mindset. I’m a sensitive gal and when anything cruel shows up in my world, I take it to heart. I had a few testy situations last month where the old me might have reacted with a bit more shall we say…intensity. But, I held my tongue, took a few breathes, remained ever-so-polite and worked hard to keep my Zen. Crisis averted and hurt feelings begone!
What I learned:
To think before I drink or raise a stink.
How I intend to carry this virtue forward into the rest of my life:
I plan on continuing to practice mindful eating + drinking. I’m also increasing my Loving-Kindness meditation efforts and sending that chill, loving energy outward any time I’m feeling salty (extremes are for drama queens!).
Temperance & Tarot – your affirmation for the month:
The best way is the middle way.
How about you?
Is it time to introduce more Temperance into your life?
What would that look like? Where will you begin?
If you’d like to join me as I continue my journey through Ben Franklin’s Thirteen Virtues, feel free! This month (October) I am tackling Silence. So… no more blog posts until November. JUST KIDDING. I won’t be THAT silent. I’ll swing back next month and let you know how it goes.
I hoped you enjoyed this backstage peek into my latest side project.
I’ll leave you with this gem from our man B-Franklin:
“Never leave that till tomorrow which you can do today.”
Word to that! Whether it’s tidying your house, writing a new blog post, doing something kind for your partner or spouse, or improving your character as a human being, there’s no need to procrastinate. There’s always something—one little step—that you can do today. Make Ben proud. Why wait?
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What happens when you photoshop away your most hated features? You want them back.
I read everything Paul Jarvis writes. You should too. Start here: I am my own worst enemy.
I so love her other books and just added this to my wish list: Anodea Judith’s Chakra Yoga
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I promised myself I wouldn’t buy any more boots…and then I saw these: Sam Edelman Women’s Josephine Slouch Boot
The latest wisdom from Pema Chodron: Fail, Fail Again, Fail Better: Wise Advice for Leaning into the Unknown
What I’m Grateful For:
My daughter will be home soon!
Cooking from scratch
Seeing my friends prosper
Good snail mail
Soundtrack for 10/3/15: It’s All About The Benjamins by Puff Daddy ft. The Notorious B.I.G, The LOX, and Lil Kim
© Theresa Reed | The Tarot Lady 2015
images from stock photography, personal collection, and flickr commons