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By Elaine Langlois
Are there situations in your life that are simply too hot? Do you feel left out in the cold? Do you find it impossible to get to a place that feels just right?
A hot new best-seller offers us answers for these and other modern dilemmas: The Goldilocks Syndrome: Getting Rid of the Bears in Your Life. The Goldilocks Syndrome is the latest work of popular psychologist Verdetta Dervish, whose previous books include Letting Your Hair Down with Rapunzel and Negotiating to Win:Lessons from "The Three Billy Goats Gruff."
"It's no accident that fairy tales have endured in Western civilization for so many years," Dervish tells us. "Fairy tales are a source of fundamental wisdom that, with insight, can be applied to our personal and professional lives."
We all know the Goldilocks story. A little girl, wandering in a forest, comes upon a deserted house. She tastes porridge that is too hot and some that is too cold before devouring a bowl that's "just right." She sits in a chair that's too small (breaking it) and one that's too large before finding one that's "just right." She tries a too-soft bed and a too-hard bed before finding one that's-you guessed it- "just right." She falls asleep. The householders, who happen to be bears, return, waking Goldilocks, who is frightened and runs away.
So what lessons can we draw from this tale? Here's what The Goldilocks Syndrome has to say:
Find the golden mean. Sophrosyne, the Greeks called it. Get a boat. Steer a middle course. Avoid the highs and lows. Take Dramamine if you need it. Practice moderation and restraint. Look for whales. You could do some wakeboarding, too.
Rediscover the little girl in you. Take a walk in the woods. Leave your cell phone and pager at home (but make a trail for yourself with breadcrumbs). Bring a basket of food to your grandmother. Play with your old paper dolls and Barbies.
Be choosy. Take the time and effort to find what's "just right" for you. This applies to food, furniture, jobs, and mammals!
Organize. Now that you know what you do want, get rid of everything you don't. Organize your life from top to bottom. Throw out that broken chair and everything else you haven't used in the past two years. Strip your life to the bear necessities. The bear essentials. Buy a planner. Write in the planner. Don't lose the planner.
Explore the health benefits of porridge. Once eaten only by mischievous urchins in fairy tales and indigent orphans in novels like Jane Eyre, porridge is the wonder food of the 21st century. It lowers cholesterol, clears up sinus infections, and has natural weight-reduction properties. Applied to the skin, it's an effective exfoliant and an excellent remedy for acne.
Get rid of the bears in your life. This is The Goldilocks Syndrome's most important lesson. Face up to your bears. See them for what they are. Understand why you are in this destructive relationship with them. Now you are ready to make a creative plan for overcoming your bears. Call pest control. Make smelly rugs out of them.
Get in touch with your inner bear. At this point, you can move forward to internalize the positive aspects of being a bear. Adapt to your environment. Don't let anyone invade your territory. Learn the effectiveness of a well-placed growl or powerful forepaw strike. Expand your diet to include acorns, honey, bees, garbage, rodents, termites, and grubs. Climb trees. Fix up a cozy den. Mate frequently. Take really long naps.
Don't feed the bears. How many times do we have to tell you? Feeding just encourages them.
Like the song says, "Fairy tales can come true. It can happen to you." Deal with your bears and you can change your life. It may be difficult but, at the end of it all, you could find yourself in a castle with lots of nice clothes and furniture, a terrific car, expensive jewelry, and lots of other portable property, with Mr. Just Right.
About the author:
Elaine Langlois is a writer and editor.