8-19-18 The Joy of Discipline

The Joy of Discipline

Discipline – an activity, exercise, or a regimen that develops or improves a skill; training.                     What are we training ourselves to do? Pay attention to this!!!

We gain contentment through discipline.  We get sloppy when we pursue our small ego satisfactions. Instant gratification is only for an instant. In fact, instant gratification makes you unhappier. Sooner or later that instant gratification will not satisfy you and you will need something bigger and better to make you feel good, right away. At first it feels like drudgery to stay with our discipline, but now we enjoy it. To not pop the pill of avoidance. When I am lazy, it feels heavy and grey. When I am motivated it feels lighter and everything seems brighter. The discipline of balance. We begin to reap the harvest of our right actions. A beautiful garden has come about through a lot of tender loving care.

Discipline is not about just staying busy, it is about knowing how to approach the tasks in our lives in a balanced and proper manner. We need to learn to stop, breathe and step into our lives with a sense of gentle but strong purpose. When we have a sense of drudgery and desire to avoid our lives, it is time to reset. Meditation helps us to recognize what is happening. To be awake, aware. We need to balance discipline with gentleness. It is healthy to stop our manic doing sometimes and relax for a while with a cup of tea, a book, perhaps a nap. Then we can joyfully re-engage in accomplishing what is next.

In an addiction we only pursued the continuous state of avoidance and what we thought was happiness. Happiness is not about not doing, it is about doing correctly with a sense of contributing and belonging. Being patient and choosing well, gives us more energy than flailing around and pushing our agenda. 

Practice awareness and discipline in small things first. Bring your full attention to what you are doing with a sense of joy and completeness in that task. Only what you are doing right now.  We learn to be comfortable with the small discomfort of discipline instead of needing to constantly find distractions. 

Motivation is essential if you want to develop self-discipline. Don’t overdo the discipline, trying to become enlightened and be this amazing helpful and joyous person by next week will only defeat you. You have set goals your goals too high and you are judging yourself. One of our favorite past times. To begin, step slowly and consistently into a better frame of mind about yourself. Do not accept any negative judgements about yourself. With a renewed sense of confidence, be more aware of what your motivation is. Is your motivation to get through however you can with a sense of avoidance, or resentment, or to relax and engage fully in your life, each and every small part of your life?

 We are all different and need to feel and find our way into being where we fit best. Not according to social norms or how much money we make. But where our hearts and true interests lie.

“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.” ~Annie Dillard

“Discipline is remembering what you really want,” and “discipline’s” root is “to follow.”How did this shift happen? How did things turn and move and change? In me, it happened because I learned that discipline is nothing without gentleness. Discipline without gentleness is cruelty. It was gentleness that allowed me to explore forms of spiritual practice that I had not previously considered. Gentleness allowed me to be creative and find what worked for me. It is gentleness that allows us to sit for only a few minutes today with no expectation or plan, instead of the forty-five we think we SHOULD be able to do. I can engage my practice, my life with discipline – make sure to sit, write and sing each day, because gentleness has given me permission to be shaped over time from whatever tiny efforts I could bring to begin with.”                               Paraphrased – Catharine Clarenbach – Tiny Buddha

There is a child in me that I can touch that has wonder and happiness. I can touch into that through the discipline of relaxing my ego and smiling when I feel the tightness of “I am not getting MY way.” I feel the re-setting of my emotional attitude to relax.

I needed discipline to stop indulging in my addiction. This discipine may have seem to come from how much I was losing and how the addiction was not working anymore to avoid and fog over my life. But my needing to change was actually motivated by my, perhaps subconscious awareness, that I was NOT living a good or productive life, and that I wanted to. That I was miserable and confused because I was separated from others and from any sense of living honestly and honorably. Mostly motivated by the core feeling that “I Want To Live”.

We need to make sure that we stay motivated through our gentle but persistent discipline in following through with what we find life brings, and how we can engage honestly and kindly. We can also feel the pull to sit in the “Poor Me” mentality. We got so used to feeling unhappy, we choose to roll around in that sewage sometimes.

Life changes everyday, but we can remain flexible, accepting, and believe in ourselves and the good we are capable of bringing to this life as we honor our disciplines and courage, and help others. Even as we heal we cannot help being useful to others, either directly or through example. If we stumble, we get up and continue to believe in ourselves, the goodness we contain and the joy life brings. Even as a mother needs to discipline a child so they do not harm themselves, I need to gently and mindfully discipline my inner child to not indulge in harmful, negative behavior.

Through Discipline, Gentleness and Balance, comes the joy of life. I choose that. 

How do you fill your bucket? One drop at a time.

The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.

The great arises out of small things that are honored and cared for.

Heart Of Recovery web site    fcheartofrecovery.com