To some people, discipline is a dirty word because it smacks of rigidly following rules. To me discipline is essential to living creatively. Discipline provides a cocoon-like structure in which I feel safe and confident living in the world. Therefore, I’m free to express myself, explore new ideas and new relationships. Discipline helps me integrate body, mind and spirit so I stay both grounded and open to inner guidance and inspiration from the Blue Space.
Monday through Friday my physical discipline begins with yoga to keep my body flexible and my heart open and concludes with a 30-minute vigorous walk. Every day includes a healthy breakfast. Three evenings per week, I work out at the gym. With these routines I stay alert and present in my body, home of my enduring spirit. I acknowledge the higher power within me and meditate daily. I practice positive inner dialogue which translates into positive outer language so I communicate with other people from my spirit. These disciplines help me work effectively and efficiently in the world. They also leave me plenty of time for leisure and play. Expressing gratitude for my life is my last daily discipline. I find it relaxes me so I sleep well.
When I’m asked how my dedication to discipline began, I tell inquirers that as a youngster I made many model planes, boats and cars. During my model-making, an inner voice reminded me of the importance of completing these projects. Following this voice, I cultivated self-discipline to ensure their completion. I’ve been rewarded with self-satisfaction for jobs well done and the self-confidence to embrace change and explore new things. As a result, I’m actively participating in creating my life.
To prevent boredom or regimentation, I vary the sequence, rhythm and intensity of my practices from day to day. I practice being alert to my thoughts and feelings. This adds a playful factor, especially when my mind says: you can slack off today. One day per week I allow myself an indulgence day to eat whatever I fancy. Hum, sweets, pizza, maybe! Weekends I break from my physical routines. These flexibilities help me expand and refine my skills as an architect, artist, writer and speaker. My relationships also improve because I’m flexible and cooperative and I’m learning to listen well.
Mental discipline is portable. I can take it with me anywhere. No luggage, it only requires space in my consciousness. And it’s always available, no internet connection or electricity required. Plane and train travel are great places to practice mental discipline.
From discipline I gain dominion (self-authority) over the ego’s assertion that I’m separate from others, from the Earth and from Creator. Frequently expressing gratitude for my life connects me with the Core of my being, dwelling place of my higher self, with its always kind and supportive voice. It helps me harness the positive forces needed for creative life-making. Through my practice of these disciplines, I‘m learning to cooperate with these forces.
One thought on “Discipline”
Beautifully, put and well written. Thanks Al.
Permit me to include in the concept of discipline that as I practice mine each day I allow the bell curve (some call it a roller coaster depending on perspective) to reveal where I am on my journey.
In that, I ‘allow’ the flow to where my discipline then takes me to an Inner place that if I stumble I get back up, brush off and mover forward wiser for the experience.
I feel a flow in this, as it releases the need to judge myself for not ‘sticking’ to my routine/discipline yet not indulge in rationalizing, justifying, or creating excuses. That is a paradigm I quickly self-correct.
For me, its all a process.
I once saw a quote and can’t remember from whom, ” Perfection is not demanded, excellence is”.
something to strive for but not get hung up about.
Your point of view is a refreshing reminder of how it works, if at the very least for you and inspriation for the reader.
I appreciate you.