Years ago, when I was a stressed out, anxiety ridden, perfectionist, I adored the word discipline. I took on more contract work that I could handle, while buying a fixer upper and still counseling part-time at a University.
I felt that if I could just discipline myself, I could get it all done…. perfectly:)
Realizing that working the equivalent of three full time jobs was not sustainable, particularly to my health, which was beginning to fail me, I decided to make some major lifestyle changes.
I worked with alternative health care providers, coaches and medical practitioners. I began to say “no” more often and withdrew from commitments that didn’t really fit with my values.
I developed a strong disliking for the word discipline, as that’s what seemed to get me into trouble back then.
Fast forward to December 2015. I was reading my books for Yoga Teacher Training and of course my home study was on yoga for mental health. I was reading a book on Yoga for recovery from eating disorders and food addiction…. and the word “discipline” came up – I immediately felt a reaction in my body. Not “discipline” in my yoga practice. URggghhh!!!
This time the term “self-nurturing discipline” was use. I was intrigued.
I began to take some time to reflect on this term.
Discipline that nurtures me?
I use the term nurture all the time with patients, “what will nurture your body/heart” I ask them. Or I ask myself, “what is the most nurturing thing I can do for me, right now”?
I noticed that my self-care over the past few years has been sporadic. I do a lot of self-care and I’m fairly healthy, but not as healthy as I could be.
Perhaps 2016 is the year to commit to some “self-nurturing discipline” and up my self-care? So I did!
Discipline means that I have committed to at least 20 minutes of fresh air per day. In Canada, in the winter, this isn’t always desirable.
I have committed to yoga… Every. Damn. Day. Even if only a short restorative practice.
I have committed to connecting with nature at least once per week.
There have already been days where my mind starts the story of “just skip today” and I have been taking comfort in self-nurturing discipline.
Of course, there may be times where I am legitimately too sick to go outside, but other than that, I will be holding on to my newfound appreciation for the term discipline.