Demystifying Discipline

 Demystifying Discipline

By Jennifer Kelleher

Today I invite you to consider your relationship with discipline. When you reflect on the times you’ve had to be disciplined, do they feel like self-love or self-torture? We all learn throughout our lives that discipline is a necessary ingredient for success.

However, I have found through my own experience that if the act of staying disciplined does not feel loving, it does not lead to sustainable change.

One of the biggest pieces of staying disciplined long-term is keeping yourself in the parasympathetic nervous system; in other words, staying in your space of calm presence. Having a plan, a support system, and guidance from professionals can help you feel secure in your endeavors. Additionally, go slow and steady so that you build stamina over time without burning out. Support yourself further with belly breathing, yoga (especially postures that open the lower back), getting proper sleep, eating a diet of whole, nourishing foods, and any other practices or modalities that help you feel balanced and aligned.

Discipline also feels loving when there is a meaningful “why” behind what you are doing. For example, if you are changing your diet and starting an exercise routine because you want to superficially look a certain way, you probably won’t be too successful in your endeavors. However, if you have the same goals, but your reason is deeper, such as wanting to improve your health, you are more likely to reach your goals and sustain them. To ensure that the intentions behind your actions are for the greater good, ask yourself: Is my discipline leading me to greater health and alignment? Are my efforts beneficial for me and for others?

When you see discipline as self-love, your steady efforts keep you on your path, while making the process of life enjoyable. That’s not to say it won’t be difficult, uncomfortable, and even painful at times. Change is uncomfortable, but it’s the only way to improve your situation. If you want to change your life, you have to look at yourself in the mirror and honestly ask, “What am I willing to let go of? What am I willing to get really uncomfortable about?”

Another tactic to help you get and stay disciplined is to turn your fears into your purpose. What in your life right now are you most fearful of? Now, flip it– what’s on the other side of your fear? What is its opposite? What would happen if you started getting disciplined around achieving this?

All of the choices we make have consequences– we are our choices. In my understanding, the opposite of fear is love. If you stay disciplined in basing your decisions on the pure and clear intention of moving closer to love, health, and balance, your life will reflect that.

Finally, it is important to recognize that discipline is also a learned skill and the more you practice it, the easier it becomes. Don’t give up and stay aware in your process. The moment discipline starts to feel like self-torture, pause, take a breath, and slow down.

Can you be kind and loving to yourself in the discomfort? Can you show up for the parts of you that are suffering? Remember that the point is not doing the thing; the point is to be as present and loving as possible as you are doing the thing.

I invite you to Ocean Bliss Yoga Studio for yoga classes, Pilates classes, and a variety of healing workshops designed to improve your physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing. Come enjoy our gorgeous, sacred space, caring and studied teachers, and heart-centered community. Browse and register at Call or text me at 917-318-1168 with any questions.

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