Discipline as Discipleship

Discipline as Discipleship

“Self-discipline and contentment are useful.” The Dalai Lama ~

When we hear the word discipline, the first thing that usually comes to mind is that someone is going make us do something we don’t want to do. Self-discipline often means that we are going to try to make ourselves do something that we don’t want to do.

Our Independent Spirit or Rebel Dragon is immediately on alert and moves into action to prevent this act of will being imposed upon us. We answer email, take out the garbage, feed the cat, get online — anything to keep from doing what someone else (in this case ourselves) has decided we should do. In the process, we lose the power to show up for ourselves. We lose the power to further the evolution and happiness of our piece of the life force with which we have been gifted and for which we are responsible.

Try this. Think of discipline as a derived from the word discipleship, which means to dedicate or to devote oneself to a chosen idea or movement. In this context, we act as free agents making choices about who we are, what we do, and how we do it in order to move toward a higher purpose or goal.

The willingness to discipline ourselves, to dedicate ourselves to a certain behavior, arises from the desire for a particular result or state of being. This willingness is supported by our morning spiritual practice during which we remember what is essential to nourish our lives; where we gather the strength of purpose to persevere. Where we fill our tank, refuel, for the journey of the day.

Self-discipline as discipleship enables us to choose and work toward what is healthy and good for us and for our work in the world.

Remember, however, to be patient with yourself. Sometimes you will show up and sometimes you won’t. Be kind, be compassionate, but persevere. Keep turning your attention toward that which matters most to you. The rest will fall into its appropriate place, or it will fall away.

Excerpted from An Invitation to An Extraordinary Life
© 2011 Anacaria Myrrha ~ All Rights Reserved

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