The Freedom of Discipline

January has been shaping up to be a month about discipline and how I either apply it or the ways that I don’t in my day to day. My word for 2019 is ‘Presence’ and I have shared before that I believe so much of relearning to be present is a committed discipline. Since making this commitment to myself I am seeing how many other areas of my life have the opportunity to practice discipline as the means to freedom.

Photo: Sasha Freemind

Photo: Sasha Freemind

Home | Who else has watched Marie Kondo on Netflix?! I picked up her book on the Konmari method back when it was first released (2013, I think??) and it helped me process through healing from a shopping addiction. Since then I have kept some aspects of her method in place but over time much had faded. I was so inspired after watching this short series of her helping others clear space in their home to make more room in their lives that I immediately started using her method of tidying up again! With a heaping pile ready to be donated and the initial buzz of that organizing high wearing off it is now becoming a practice of discipline to maintain the tidiness. But I can honestly say there is so much more joy walking into my closet in the morning, it is easier to find items in the cupboards, and our surfaces are more clear so the eyes can rest. If you have a keen eye you will see that her method is infused with spirituality and reiki and truly guides you back to gratitude for all that you have. This tidiness discipline leads to a freedom of clutter in both mind and environment for more peaceful living- a key ingredient to living in presence.

Body | Since turning 30 two years ago I have felt a lot of shifts happening in my body. Weight is distributing differently, I can feel a change in my metabolism and with my hormones. I recently started doing HIIT workouts again 3 days a week and, truth be told, at first I dreaded it but then finding tools like Fitness Blender has made all the difference. I also start training for a 10k this month which I have never done before and am excited/intimidated to challenge my body in a new way! As I get older I appreciate how much more I see exercise as a means to good health and not just looking good, it has made all the effort feel more meaningful. Along with a new herbal regimen from my Ayurvedic Practitioner I know that with disciplined practice I am going to feel unstoppable this spring! ha! This unstoppable feeling is freedom from being distracted by health concerns or false belief of what my body is capable of.

Finances | Honestly I used to be pretty blase about monitoring my money honey but this month I realized as tax season is looming that it actually has caused me more stress and unnecessary work to not be disciplined about my accounts and tracking my contract work. So last week I went in and cleaned up my Quickbooks, created a scanning system for my receipts and documents, and am manually tracking my spending for the first time in ages as an awareness practice- and so far its all working brilliantly! I have been surprised most by the sense of pride that I have had each time I take care of a financial task immediately and in the correct way. This to me shows the power of discipline in creating freedom in a big way through self ownership.

Schedule | For all you empaths and introverts out there I have a great practice that has been working for balancing social and personal time. This is would also be a good practcie if you are someone who struggles to say ‘no’ to requests. I have blocked out specific times for coffee dates, lunches, and meet up time in any given week and once those are filled I start scheduling out into the subsequent ones. Don’t get me wrong, I love my friends and it is one of my goals this year with my social media break to meet up with people in person more, but as an empathic introvert I have to be disciplined about being the gatekeeper to my time. I use to have weeks filled with all sorts of appointments and then weeks that would be pretty empty- leaving me energetically feeling a bit like a roller coaster. I have found more peace by keeping my weeks as even keel as possible (there is no perfection here). This discipline has led me to emotional freedom from the highs and lows of being ‘on’ and ‘off’ and I find I don’t stress about social experiences as much now (if you know, you know).

Personal Practice | Of course daily spiritual practice is essential. At the turn of the calendar year I was itching to do a different practice then I had been doing for many months. When it comes to these practices and the discipline of sitting at the altar each day I find that consistency reaps powerful reward but listening when it is time to change is just as pivotal. The discipline of spiritual practice brings us freedom from suffering and truly, what more could one want? You can read a bit more about my experience with the Tao and what it has been teaching me.

These are a few of the ways I am experiencing freedom through the discipline. I truly love being a student and the greatest teacher is the world around us. It was predestined in the stars that I be a devoted and diligent student and I know that when I start to get too relaxed about my growth or structures the universe comes and reminds me quite quickly. I also see how in those around me some are in need of learning to relax a bit around their disciplines or what they are disciplined about. What side do you tend to lean towards? What disciplines provide you with more freedom? I’d love to keep the conversation rolling in the comments below …