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Uncoupling The Seven Deadly Sins

This post will be one third book recommendation, one third reflection, and one part an invitation.

I am currently reading "On Our Best Behavior - The Seven Deadly Sins and the Price Women Pay to be Good" by Elise Loehnen. It identifies how the seven deadly sins have seeped their way into our unconscious and unknowingly affect our behavior and how we feel about ourselves.


Let's take for example Sloth, one of the "sins". When we think sloth we might think lazy, unproductive, unmotivated, not doing very much. The monetization of certain tasks meant that some work we do is seen as valuable where other work is less valuable. It might still need to get done (grocery shopping, doctors appointments, laundry) but it isn't as important even if essential. Other activities that don't receive recognition either through payment or clean clothes bring some joy but also for many a niggling guilt. These include resting, daydreaming, reflection, contemplation, and creativity. That gnawing guilt, or feeling that something is wrong, is how this centuries old conditioning shows up in us today. Essential for a happy, balanced life but often overlooked, drowned out by that inner drive towards busyness and perpetual motion. This leaves us unsatisfied, exhausted, anxious, and depressed.

The book offers not so much a solution for sloth but an acceptance of it, a being with it, and in doing so allowing ourselves to be in balance and in rhythm with the rest of the natural world. "Accepting sloth as essential, we can demand support, embrace rest, and reserve our strength for the worthiest work." - Elise Loehnen

When I reflect on the seven deadly sins, I see the many attributes women are wishing they could integrate and these are all laid out in the book beautifully.

Sloth = Allowed to Rest

Envy = Allowed to Want

Pride = Allowed to be Confident

Gluttony = Allowed to enjoy Nourishment

Anger = Allowed to express Needs

Lust = Allowed to Desire/Enjoy

Greed = Allowed to Recieve

If this desire to be good enough, to do enough, that shows up as perpetual busyness is woven into the collective unconscious then I believe so does the intuitive desire to be in rhythm with life around us, to be able to truly rest just as the world around us let's go of growth for a while, shedding it's leaves, and emptying the landscape.

I'm always curious about how to be in relationship with these life affirming rhythms and awareness and how to continually weave them into life and that is something I explore in the upcoming "Autumn Equinox" Yoga Practice. There is still space if you'd like to wonder with me.


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