I heard this incredible life changing thing a few months back and I have been using it ever since. It's all about a pendulum.
Naturally when a pendulum swings in one direction it swings back the other way. Suppose we charge a pendulum up by pulling back really hard in one direction, what will happen when we let go? It will swing back really hard in the other direction. This gets me thinking about extremes. Ideally the pendulum is best if it stays centered, sure it will wiggle a little but we probably won't swing in a negative direction unless we charge ourselves up to do so. This pendulum concept can apply to almost any life situation, work, relationships, creativity, diet and/or fitness.
When I started digging in on the pendulum concept it wasn't related to diet or fitness, I was thinking about burnout which, I am always on the lookout for and is usually lurking around a corner hanging out with its traveling partner, depression. My brain tends to flood with ideas and amazing creative plans sometimes and I want to do all of it, I am pretty resourceful and can make things happen pretty quickly but I noticed that, in these situations, I am essentially charging up that pendulum with energy, its going to correct and when it does I am left feeling anxious and spent but because I am so uncomfortable not being productive I kind of wrestle with being burnt out and riddled with guilt about my non productivity. So thats how the pendulum swings for me with productivity and burnout. Self care keeps that pendulum swinging in the middle for me.
Now lets talk about diets, this one affects most of us. I was talking to this woman the other day, she is getting ready for a trip to the Dominican Republic, she hasn't been to see her family since covid and she is over the moon excited. Of course she wants to look her best. When we were talking she started telling me how she lost 20 pounds for the trip, she seemed so happy, she went on to tell me she lost all 20 within the past month. Now I dont want to be an asshole and I never want to yuck someones yum. So naturally, I applauded her efforts. She told me that all she does right now is take some kind of drop and drink shakes so she isnt sure how it will work in the Dominican Republic when she is with her family but she doesnt care she wants to look good. This was a very challenging conversation for me to be in but I continuously applauded her efforts, to do otherwise would have done her harm because that wasnt where she was at. This whole interaction got me thinking about the pendulum. Clearly she is charging up her pendulum all the way up. I imagine a hand pulling all the way to one side. She is going to get to the DR and it will likely release. This conversation got me thinking about the dangers of before and after pictures and the dangerous diets that accompany them. All of them are huge pendulum swingers (if we can complete them). Most of those incredible before and afters that we all salivate over, have an "after after" that we don't see. Nobody wants to show that photo, the one that tells the story of the pendulum release.
I am always wary of proclamations and I watch for them in my own practices, I know that if I do everything all at once there will be a correction. I want to wiggle in the middle always.
Gentle and subtle changes allow us to acclimate to the adjustments we are making. It just makes sense. Everything all at once is fast, exciting and sexy. Burnout and feelings of failure aren't quite as sexy.
Ever since stumbling on this concept, I throw it in most of my decision making processes and behavior changes, it guides me to move in a direction that feels good and allows me to make forward progress in any direction I apply it to.
What pendulums are you currently charging up in your world?
How can you get them to swing in the middle?