Why Discipline is Actually the Key to Freedom - And How To Cultivate Daily Practices
So why do we need discipline at all? For many of you this might seem like a very obvious answer but for others, discipline may strike you as being this rigid and militaristic construct that keeps us locked into the striving and grasping way of living life. But discipline can lead to the very ease that you are yearning for.
Discipline actually makes manifestation and creation possible in our lives. Manifestation and creation light us up and give our life meaning. Limitation is what creates the container for upward growth. When we live from a place of ease and comfort all of the time, we are ruled by the limits of the mind. We need to strike a balance between effort and surrender. Evolution happens when we are outside of our comfort zone. We can’t transform while simultaneously clinging to safe patterns and habits that give us a false sense of security. We have to shake things up and do things a little bit differently in order to experience different results.
If we push ourselves so hard that our body and mind rebel, we end up taking two steps backward. But when we push ourselves just enough for progressive and gradual expansion of the heart, body, and mind, magic happens and we enter into a new frontier of possibility.
So limitation and boundaries, actually lead to greater freedom when the disciplines that we create allow for the spaciousness for flow and surrender in the present moment.
This is really the same in all of life. Spending money without financial restraints eventually leads to bankruptcy and a life of scarcity. However, if we are able to create a reasonable budget, we manifest a sustainable experience of feeling pretty abundant. When we drink without any concern for our bodies, we end up hung-over as all hell the next day feeling like crap with a headache, no energy, and nausea. However when we find that sweet spot and enjoy a few drinks in moderation, we are able to celebrate in the moment without sacrificing our health or precious days. Eating without limitations leads to a belly ache, health issues, and excess weight which all will eventually limit your freedom. A free schedule without any resemblance of structure leads to laziness and inaction. So you see freedom and limitation create one another. They are like night and day, light and shadow. One does not exist without the other.
For years, I shunned the idea of discipline. The very word made me shudder with the intense feeing that the walls were beginning to close in around me. I’d push back and resist with every cell of my being. I thought discipline was the quickest shortcut to the elimination of my sense of freedom and personal choice. I walked a path of disembodied chaos, swimming in mental constructs of what I should be doing without actually implementing these in my life.
It hit me one day that the most intense suffering in my life was due to the fact that I was stuck in outdated patterns that, while comfortable, were not allowing me to evolve with the natural flow of life. As much as I yearned for career success, vibrant health, joy, and embodiment, I was allowing myself to stay stuck in habitual patterns that kept me from ever reaching my vision of FREEDOM.
When Discipline Doesn’t lead to Freedom
When we create disciplines in our life that are so dense and rigid where there is no room for heart-centered choices in the present moment, life becomes dry and our body and spirit rebel. We’ll oscillate between periods of tight, rigid rules and expectations and then periods where we throw all remnants of discipline to the wind in a downward spiral of disembodied chaos. So discipline that supports upward growth also engages the heart and allows for freedom of choice in the Here and Now. There is spaciousness within the limitation that allows for breathing room, self-expression, and freedom.
The key is to avoid making your disciplines so specific with too many rules or guidelines that make you feel like you are walking a tightrope. When we grasp at order, control, and discipline at the detriment of our life force and experience of flow, nobody wins. Once we loosen the rules and drop the expectations, the “good” and “bad” days fall away. We can show up in the moment, alive in the body, empowered by the freedom of choice.
Think of a really juicy yoga class. Yes, there are the asanas, the poses that give structure to the class. But then there are also the moments for organic movement and flowing transitions, where we feel into what’s alive in the moment and we allow for it’s outward expression.
Heart driven discipline means allowing embodiment and feeling to be the spark to action rather than a set of mentally imposed rules and expectations.
Using Feeling and Desire to Guide Action
When we take the opportunity to connect, come home and engage in self-inquiry about how we want to feel through action, we tap into a deep source of inner power. Creating core rituals allow us to do just that. We then allow how we desire to feel to inspire our commitments, we can actually find much more ease and less striving because we are acting with the current of our flowing desires and passion. The specifics of the daily rituals will vary from day to day in a way that honors the feelings you are desiring in that moment.
Not sure how to create your core rituals or what you should actually be committing to each and every day? In one-one-one coaching programs, we work together to create and personalize the meaningful daily, weekly, and monthly rituals for your business and life.