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:)

Cochrane winter trail pano

my nature trail this morning

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.

selfie trails

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.