Before I talk about “middle way”, I have a confession.
I was about to burn our house down.
I put a pot of beans on the stove and forgot.
I went upstairs to work on the computer.
I smelled something like burning plastic.
Then, hearing the construction noise coming from the basement, I assumed it was my husband.
Usually he was the one who noticed anything alarming first. As he said nothing, he must be the one who’s causing the smell – that’s how my mind went automatically.
So I did not go check but continued to work on the computer.
After a while, the smell got stronger and it started bothering my nose and throat.
Something was really wrong. Finally I went downstairs to check.
It was the pot.
The bottom layer of the heaviest pot among the ones I had was literally melted off.
Simply put, it was so close to start the fire.
I don’t write the all details but it was very, very bad.
I have no excuse. It was 100% my fault.
It happened because of my conceit and laziness.
I was about to destroy my loved ones’ life because of my carelessness.
My carelessness came from the disrespect to the heat energy.
Fire is the energy. It can be very useful but also dangerous.
I had the knowledge but I didn’t really know what it meant.
When I notice the smell, I was totally relying on my husband’s precaution.
I was dependent and irresponsible.
I had no excuse but had to face to my true, shameful self.
Ironically I was building this website when the pot was burning and melting.
I was so focused on building my business’ new platform I completely forgot about the pot.
What’s the point to work on the business so hard if I burn the house because of it?
There was something wrong in that picture.
This incident seriously made me think to quit my business.
The pot I ruined was the one I was using a lot for my workshops.
“Does it mean I should stop doing a workshop?”
My mind was too busy to care about the pot on the stove.
“Isn’t it like a joke such a mindless person talk about healthy life?”
“Am I really eligible to teach people how to cook and eat healthy?”
I lost my self confidence.
From desperation, I talked with a good friend of mine.
She told me, “It was the experience to learn important things. What did you learn?”
I saw my husband dealing with the situation very calm and fast.
As the knowledge, I had known he was experienced. However, I had not been really admitting and, or, respecting it.
This incident nailed it in to me that, although he might not be perfect, he was definitely much more experienced and capable than me in a certain situation, especially when it’s life-threatening.
It doesn’t mean he is superior and I am the opposit, but we all have different values. I have been really loved, supported and protected by others like him.
I also realized how loving my family and friends were. Instead of blaming my foolishness, they all showed their care for me.
I should not dismiss my mistake just because luckily nothing was seriously damaged and everyone was nice to me.
The marks made by the heat in the kitchen will keep reminding me how close it was. When I get a pot as the replacement, each time I use it I will remember what happened and why. And I need the consistent reminder.
On the other hand, I shouldn’t be just feeling bad.
What do all these mean to me and my life?
How can I apply this into now and then in more productive way?
I have been given so much. How can I give it back to the world?
The fire didn’t happen, I didn’t die but decided to continue my business after all.
This significant experience happened when I was exactly trying to renew my website, the time when I was searching the more defined, updated vision of my business and my path.
The Buddha said the middle way of moderation is between the extremes of sensual indulgence and self-mortification.
Roughly speaking, he said we shouldn’t be addicted or occupied with any of physical pleasure, intellectual satisfaction, greed and even guilty conscious.
Easier to be said than done like anything else.
It’s a known fact that junk food and sugar are not good, but it doesn’t really help us stop being addicted with such things.
It’s the same as knowing the fire can be dangerous didn’t really stop me burning a pot. Knowledge doesn’t necessarily help us solve the problem.
I can’t find the accurate origin but there is the old saying about middle way: after you experience the both extremes, you understand the middle way at last.
All through my life, I was using a stove. It was so ordinal, usual and nothing special.
My past burning experiences were not as extreme as this time. The history misled me that the fire wouldn’t happen in my kitchen.
Fortunately the actual fire didn’t happen this time either. But it was an extreme.
This extreme finally made me believe it CAN happen in my own kitchen and destroy everything.
I have noticed many people have some extreme experience in the life.
It can be a truly happy time in the past.
Maybe a great success carrier and income.
Or a fight with some disease or the recovery from an injury.
Can be health problem, relationship, kids, finance, or the combination of them.
Anything that impacted your life to a serious degree is your extreme.
Through the experience, what did you learn?
Health is, in my understanding, probably in the middle of the extremes.
Heavenly tasty ‘entertainment food’ is a pleasure. I don’t have the nerve to say ‘Don’t eat it!’
You experience it and eventually you come to the middle way.
Preparing all food from scratch is a serious job.
I truly admire those who make things from scratch.
At the same time, I totally understand those who can’t prepare meal so often by themselves.
Is this safe?
Really good for you and your family?
Should I spend so much?
Should I trust the producer and seller?
I wish I can provide you the absolute final answer for your healthy eating, but it’s a middle way.
You try, experience, feel, learn and eventually you find the best middle way for you.
When you come to the middle way, the ‘peacefulness’ happens.
What I came to conclude is my definition of health is “peaceful, joyful way to live”.
With that vision, I will keep searching and sharing what I can do for healthy eating.