wisdom

Discipline Is Slowing Down

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What if I told you that to be disciplined you’ve got to slow down?

We all think we need more discipline, but what we really think when we think discipline is "willpower." 

We think if only we had more willpower we would love ourselves more. We would stop eating sugar. We would go to the gym everyday. We would do more exciting things and have more exciting lives.

This is a lie.

You don’t need more willpower. You need more discipline.

Discipline requires you to decide what your values are and act on those values even when in the short term it isn’t exactly fun. Discipline comes after you’ve experienced the downfall of lack of discipline. Discipline requires wisdom and long term thinking.

Willpower is the idea that we can ‘will’ ourselves to do something. We can’t.

One the most important things I’ve ever heard is devotion and love will always outlive drive and motivation. And devotion requires the wisdom and repetition of discipline.

So how do we grow discipline?

One might argue that we grow discipline with willpower.

But I don’t see it that way at all. The idea that we have to “fight” ourselves in anyway to get what we want is just falling back into the old paradigm of “life is hard” and that we have to “work more” and “sacrifice” to “build something for ourselves.” The paradigm that the world is a difficult place to be. This is an old and tired way of thinking. It’s boring and it’s ran its course. 

How we really build discipline is by committing to slowing down and asking ourselves meaningful questions.

To grow discipline we engage in mindfulness when we eat, when we talk, when we listen, when we live

It’s simple. Just slow down. Watch what you’re actually doing. Let eating food be enough, don’t work while eating. Let walking to your car or to the next store be enough and don’t check your phone for the 100th time that day. Think about what you’re saying before you say it. Really listen to people when they talk.

We build discipline by slowing down and listening to what the soft animal of our body actual wants and doing that. It’s as simple as stopping the autopilot of life.

It’s so surface-level-attractive to speed up in life. To distract, escape, and avoid. But to live a life of intention and soul-led-purpose we’ve gotta slow down.

Slowing down doesn’t mean that you can’t get anything done. In fact, I’m willing to bet that you’ll probably get more done. But you will “lean” out your to do list. Activities that seemed like life or death may get dropped. You may find yourself engaging with different people or groups or even switching careers.

But don’t be afraid to slow down badly at first. Just give it a try. Notice how many times a day you check your phone just to fill space. Notice that you feel frantic most of the time. Notice that you literally don’t stop or take a deep breath all day.

Awareness starts to decondition. And it is the key to a mindful life. So start there. See what happens.

How are you building discipline this week by slowing down?

What Are You Practicing?

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Have you seen that viral video going around with the little kid asking, “what do you practice?”?
Omg. It is so. Good.

So good that I set a couple reminders on my phone to pop up periodically throughout the asking the question, “what are you practicing?”

The idea is this.. what we practice we get very good at. When we practice worry, we’ll be great worriers. When we practice being suspicious of events, people, places, things, we’ll be very good at being suspicious. Etc, etc.


So the lesson I’m getting from this is: to stop throughout the day, check in with myself, & realize consciously what I am practicing at that moment.

Am I practicing being frantic? 
Am I practicing seeing the bad? 
Am I practicing judgment? 
Am I practicing being in fear?

What if I was willing to practice allowance? 
Peace? 
Compassion? 
Being in love?

Not just when I’m in meditation, but always throughout the day.. noticing what I am practicing.

This morning I was trying to “get through” all the emails I’ve been putting off all week. The energy was really “I hate this,” “hurry up” and generally just tight and frantic.

Then the reminder; “what are you practicing?” popped up on my phone, and I realized it. I get the tightness. I felt the resistance. I was literally ‘practicing’ tightness, judgment, & resistance. Whoa!

And because of this little reminder, I was able to ask myself, “how can I practice joy right now?” “How can I practice how I would like to feel, right now?” So that I get really good at it.

I felt my shoulders drop. 
I felt my lips curve up. 
I heard a mantra of mine reverberate in my head, “I am peaceful.” 
And just that like that a miracle happened. 
I was practicing what I want to practice.

So this post is asking you, right now, what are you practicing? And would you rather be practicing something different?

Here’s your chance to shift it. 
I’m with you.

 

 

Body Love Realization

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All the rules are off. 

No more required kale. 

No more required vitamins. 

No more guilt because I didn’t exercise. 

No more obsessive thoughts about ‘needing’ yoga each day. 

No more lists in my phone about my new commitments (that only make me feel bad the next day when I fail to follow through)

No more rules about the way my body should fit into denim, spandex, and cloth

No more worrying about the fact that my skin isn’t flawlessly smooth

No more hiding my tears when they start to flow in public (or in private)

No more shame around the size of my arms 

No more looking at my face and wishing it was more symmetrical 

No more looking at my lips and wishing they were more full

No more not wearing bright colored yoga pants because my cellulite might show  

No more denying who I am right now

I am finally ready to give into the pull 

To get lost in the depths of my soul 

How can I go deeper? 

My heart has been whispering me secrets for so long,

leading me along so lovingly; so gently. 

How could I have not heard? 

How could I have not listened? 

Us humans are funny beings 

Heads down.

Obsessively involved in the upkeep of our own suffering

But the voice telling us to look up is there; always 

Softly reminding us with the joy bubbling up inside, if we would only pay attention NOW

Where is joy trying to bubble up? 

It calls our attention, humbly, with flowers blooming, with sun shining, with grasses waving, with arms outreaching, with rain falling, with dogs wagging their tails at us, with laughter 

The under current of magic and mystery that pervades every moment. Every thing. 

This voice lets me know that there has been no mistake. 

There is nothing to be done, to be accomplished, to be gotten 

There is nothing I need to do to be more me. 

I am me. 

What a blessing.