The Joy of Discipline

Discipline – an activity, exercise, or a regimen that develops or improves a skill; Training. What are you training yourself to do everyday? What repetitive motions, actions, thoughts do you employ? Pay attention to what you are training yourself to do.

When I am lazy, it feels heavy and grey. When I am motivated it feels lighter and everything seems brighter. I am including worldly and spiritual principles together. The discipline of balance. We begin to reap the harvest of our right actions. We get sloppy when we pursue our small ego satisfactions. Instant gratification is only for an instant. In fact, instant gratification makes you unhappier. At first it felt like drudgery to stay with our discipline, but now we enjoy it. To not pop the pill of avoidance. A beautiful garden has come about through a lot of tender loving care. We gain contentment through discipline.

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 anew into our lives with a sense of gentle but strong purpose. To touch into our spiritual side, our connection with life. 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 what is next.

In an addiction we only pursued the continuous state of avoidance and what we thought was happiness. Turned out to be avoidance. Happiness is not about not doing, it is about doing correctly, with a sense of gentleness, 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.

To begin, step slowly and consistently into a better frame of mind about yourself. Do not accept any negative judgements about yourself. This is an essential discipline. When you feel negativity about yourself, remove it, do not permit that harmful false thought to develop or remain. This is an old behavior that we need to be very aware of and to remove. And no differently is the feeling of; I am not getting what I want, so I am going to get aggressive or just leave. Have the discipline to feel the neediness or fear when it arises. We get something in mind we want, and if things do not go according to OUR plan we get all bent, and judge others as being selfish and stupid, when we are the ones exhibiting that behavior. Have the discipline to know that this mindset makes us small and hard. It removes us from the flow of life. Have the discipline, the courage to open you heart, to see how you might be more flexible. To help engage more fully, without your ego needing to be satisfied.

With a renewed sense of confidence, be more aware of what your motivation is.
Is your motivation to avoid, or dominate? Or to step nto life authentically? Have the discipline to soften and open. It takes Courage! Whenever you are feeling tight or afraid, ask;
“What is my motivation? How can I have courage?” You can then feel the re-setting of your emotional attitude to relax. Courage is always combined with kindness.

When you get agitated over a small thing; forgot something at the store, can’t find the pen, dropped something, someone says something you don’t agree with, or they didn’t do exactly what you wanted them to. Be aware of when you realize you are thinking about the same negative things you have been for days or years, and you then feel the tightness it brings up. 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.

This is when you can begin the discipline of training yourself to relax, accept, and hold your sense of inner peace, more importantly than your needing to have the universe accomodate your every wish. Sometimes you have to bring up just what it is that is bothering you, so it is not a background negativity. When you know the best you can what is creating the dissatisfaction, work with it or just dismiss it. Say NO, enough, I don’t believe that, I will let it go and drop that weight. I choose to be more peaceful, and I will pursue that diligently. Then, bring your full attention to whatever it is you are doing, be in the now, be present. We can get so wound up with the worldly things we forget to have the discipline to include the spiritual aspect as a balance. The spiritual life is not a theory, it must be lived.

“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, take a walk, dance, 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

I needed discipline to stop indulging in my addiction. Perhaps at first brought about by desperation. But my needing to change was actually motivated by my 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, and I wanted to begin living, not hiding.

Life changes everyday, but we can remain flexible, accepting, and believe in ourselves and the good we are capable of bringing to this life. Even as a mother needs to discipline a child so they do not harm themselves, we need to gently and mindfully discipline our inner child to not indulge in harmful, negative behavior.
“What is my motivation? How can I have courage?”
Through Discipline, Gentleness and Balance, comes the joy of life. 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
May you be well. May you be happy. May you find peace.

Heart Of Recovery web site — fcheartofrecovery.com