When you look at any successful person they have that much coveted quality, “Discipline”.
Musicians, painters, entrepreneurs, athletes, enlightened masters, writers, all have discipline.
When we’re called to do something for a specific length of time it requires discipline.
Especially if the task is self imposed.
I’ve been dancing with my daily meditation (31 minutes in the a.m. & 31 minutes in the p.m) for over 20 years.
The task seem simple enough right?
But once you add on daily pressures, household duties and physical needs things get interesting.
There’s so much distraction.
I’ll get in a really good groove for months then out of no where I’ll stop.
I’ve watched myself over the years to see what kinds of things pull me off track.
Interestingly enough what has pulled me out of my rhythm more than anything was feeling comfortable. When I was the happiest, when things were going great and I felt really good, I would stop.
Or, when I’d have an argument with my husband I’d get into a hopeless spiral of emotions and stop.
Boredom was another big one for me. When discipline became a matter of going through the motions and I lost that loving feeling.
My latest fall from my daily discipline has been hopelessness.
My mind starts questioning,
“How do I know this meditation works?”
“Others don’t meditate and they seem just fine!”
“Maybe God’s (creator/the one/energy) forgotten about me so, why bother?”
“Nobody knows if I’m doing it or not so?”
and it just goes on from there.
You’d think it would be as simple as just starting again. But layers of self doubt, inner criticism, hopelessness, boredom and new habits start to creep in. Eventually you find yourself weeks or months from whatever discipline you’re aiming for.
I wish I could tell you it’s as simple as deciding, but it’s not (for most of us).
In falling from any kind of discipline a person goes through what I call the horse shoe effect (see download). The horse shoe gets smaller over time. Once you become aware of the horse shoe effect the gap between you and your discipline also gets shorter.
There are people that never seem to fall from their discipline. If you look at the way they organize their life you’ll see that they keep their discipline as a top priority. They have a set of skills that others can benefit from.
What’s surprising to me is that the number one quality/skill needed is to sincerely and passionately believe in WHY you’re doing what you’re doing. Not only do consistent people keep this alive in their own minds, but they’ve surrendered to their WHY and it infuses their whole being.
Sometimes we forget that we’re in relationship to our minds. We need to negotiate with our mind. Make a deal. Coming back to any discipline is a process. What’s most magical is that the process itself is molding us. All of the adjustments we make along the way in order to stick with our discipline is like fine sand paper. It’s quite beautiful.
Nowadays, every time I fall from my discipline, I shake my head with a giggle and think, here we go again! And I pay attention. I selfishly and lovingly watch. In the horse shoe process I see new depths of fear, doubt, loneliness, boredom and embrace it. Then I make the whatever adjustments that are being asked of me in order to DECIDE again. DECIDE to CHOOSE my discipline.
The horse shoe shines light on something new every time.
Without a doubt, I always come back to my discipline stronger, wiser, softer, and more humble.
I’m learning how to have compassion for the process. Compassion with firm determination.
Now instead of seeing it as a FALL I see it as a kind of PURIFIER or BUILDER.
Even though the inner voice of criticism, doubt, and hopelessness still exist I’m learning how to not take them so seriously. I used to give them way to much credit and time.
The way to master discipline is to realize it’s a process (without getting stuck in the process). It’s not black and white. The grey parts matter. The sooner we lighten up and embrace the grey the sooner we can proceed with whatever discipline we are aiming for.
I hope you enjoy the download. Please feel free to share it with students, patients, clients and friends.
Blessings to you!
© Copy Right Reserved Jaap Gardner LLC 2016