Last weekend, I took a bite out of the Big Apple. And, as it turns out, everything else that was edible in Manhattan. A family-styled dinner at Carmine’s (code for a delicious pasta overload). M+M World. Tuna tartare tacos. And so on. It was a joyous feast that I do not regret. On Saturday, I was co-hosting The Golden Ticket :: Your Time in the Spotlight with my dear friend and colleague Michelle Ward (much more to come on that day in another post). Lo and behold, the dress that I had packed for the glitter + gold day was juuuuuust a little snugger than it had been days before. So, I reached for the ol’ Spanx. As expected, it brought things in and up, and smoothed things out (almost) perfectly. A second look in the mirror had me contemplating this thought…would a second pair bring things in and up that much more?

And then this:

How many pairs of Spanx would a person have to wear before the sheer bulge of the extra undergarments defeated the purpose?

Or, put another way: What’s the critical mass of Spanx?

Applying my lipstick and laughing at the inanity of this question, I thought back to a moment two years earlier. My then six year-old daughter had done or said something heart-meltingly beautiful and I was tearfully holding onto her with such force that it was like I was willing time to stand still with my arms.

My husband surveyed us on the couch, Mama and daughter in a heap of love, and with a gleam of mischief in his eyes, said: “Y’know, Babe. There is such thing as being too present.”

I wonder. Kinda like too much of a good thing, non? Or like too many magical undergarments?

In that moment on the couch, I went from enjoying a snug with my girl to trying so hard to clamp down on it that the sweetness became salty with tears.

The moment itself became bloated and completely out of proportion.

And so, I’ve been asking:

  • At what point does self-discovery become self-aggrandizing goop?
  • At what point does our ability to see other perspectives just become another way to dilute meaning?
  • At what point does positive self-reflection turn into convenient procrastination?
  • At what point does simplifying actually become unwieldy with boundaries and barriers?
  • And, ultimately: 

At what point is the critical mass for self-development reached (and tipped)?

Kate says: "Anything--even spiritual work and self-help--can be twisted to suit the purposes of Ego."


Lianne’s rule of thumb sings to me: “As long as your inner work is making you more human, more connected and more of who you are, carry on.  If it is taking you to a place where you are finding it hard to live in the world and irritated by others' ignorance and lack of enlightenment then it has become a voyage of escape, not a voyage of discovery.”

Proportion and intention.

I keep coming back to having “it” be about understanding the end goal. 

The Dalai Lama has said: “It is important to consider others at least as important as ourselves.” This is hard to do when our eyes are affixed to our navels.

Look up and keep your eye on where you’d like to go…and exercise proportion control.