Nine Days: #9

Nine Days to Create Nine New Habits

(See footnote at bottom for introduction and previous days’ reflections)

Day 9: Replace the habit of OVERINDULGENCE with the virtue of MODERATION

OVERINDULGENCE: Yes, it may be food, alcohol, drugs, sex, television, new apps, shopping, Angry Birds or football, we all have our secret delights. But overindulgence, also called gluttony, means we consume more than is necessary. We never seem to reach satiation no matter how much we take in. The seeking of more thrills, more new experiences, more diversions becomes an endless cycle. The desire to stay in a constant state of pleasure and stimulation can never be sustained.  We fear dropping into the black hole of boredom, the “no fun” zone. Life starts to feel superficial. We long for depth.

MODERATION sounds so adult, so parental, but the child within us needs to learn to deal with all of life – the highs and the lows. Restraint, judiciousness, sobriety are the counterpoints to overindulgence. Use them moderately. There is a fine balance between control and no control. There is value in each of them. Moderation asks you to stay awake to the tipping point between the two. When is pleasure an avoidance of pain? When is control a defense against the chaos of life?

  Delete: Overindulgence

Exercise: Take a moment to reflect and breathe.

Part 1: Ask yourself these questions:

·     How do I try to be up all the time?
·     How do I feel about people who are not as fun as I am?
·     What are my favorite ways to overindulge? What is the cost?

Replace with: Moderation

Part 2: Create a program you can live with for today: 

·     Be aware when your pleasure starts to give you no pleasure.
·     Find delight in what you have now.

·     Let your heart be tender to those around you.


“Let us eat and drink neither forgetting death unduly nor remembering it.”

– Samuel Butler

FINAL NOTE: Thank you for being open to this series.  I appreciate the feedback I have received.  If you are interested in learning more about the Enneagram (the inspiration for this series), please contact the program coordinator, Sue Unser, at

Feel free to ask any questions or share any comments with me. Happy Holidays!



View Introduction and Day 1: Replace the habit of VANITY with the virtue of AUTHENTICITY
View Day 2: Replace the habits of FEAR and DOUBT with the virtues of COURAGE and FAITH
View Day 3: Replace the habit of LETHARGY with the virtue of ACTION
View Day 4: Replace the habit of IRRITATION with the virtue of PATIENCE
View Day 5: Replace the habit of WISTFUL THINKING with the virtue of CONTENTMENT
View Day 6: Replace the habit of PRIDE with the virtue of HUMILITY
View Day 7: Replace the habit of LUST with the virtue of INNOCENCE
View Day 8: Replace the habit of WITHHOLDING with the virtue of GENEROSITY