6 Tips to Create a Healthy Relationship with Discipline

Discipline, rules and structure was once words I would run away from. More than run away, I rebelled, repelled and revolted. A rebel without a cause -- that used to be me. With age and experience, I gave that up -- revolting just for the sake of revolting doesn’t work if you want to create a life with cause. To be a series of still life photographs rotating into motion that come from your lens, your camera, your vantage point. If you want to shape your reality into what it really has the potential to be, discipline is the #1 rule. You gotta devote.

Here are some tips on how to create a healthy and helpful relationship with this very sticky word, discipline. 

1. Change the meaning behind the word, “discipline.” I am a 1st generation Korean American. That means my family grew up in Korea whilst I was birthed on US soil. If you know anything about Asian cultures, you can begin to imagine what my childhood was like. Very strict with more rules, regulations and laws than I’ve ever encountered throughout the course of my life. Well, except for maybe going through customs at the LAX airport. As soon as I realized all I had to do was change the meaning behind this thing, discipline, and my own association around causing the neurons in my the brain to go “AHHH!” the contraction went away. What is it within you that is making you run away from a mere word? Heal the thing behind the thing and then the thing doesn’t become a thing anymore. Get it?

2. Every discipline affects another. Try this game of giving yourself something to do, everyday. It can be your practice of yoga, taking a walk on the Earth every morning, writing 5 things you’re grateful for before bed, blessing your food and giving thanks, meditating daily, anything. Do something everyday. Watch how a positive daily ritual will effect the events in your day. It will change your mindbody patterns and enhance the quality of your everyday life. Positivity works. And make sure it’s something you love cos then it will work even faster.

3. Give it a place to live, make it practical. You know how New Years Resolutions usually never work, because more than half the time we get so idealistic on how we want it to be versus the practicality on how to get there. Always have a grand goal, yes! Dream, imagine, envision, GO BIG! BUT come back to right now -- what are the first three steps you must take to get there? Get real in your capacity and capabilities to the present moment. Going to the next level means making it practical for today. For example, if you want to create a boundary to create a piece of artwork everyday, do it. Commit to 10 minutes a day, taking that frame of time to nurture your creative juices. You’ll start to notice that naturally once the practice lands and grounds into you, the expansion of adding on more time will internally develop. The only thing you have to do is get the ball rolling in motion. Start where you’re at then build. You’ve got to have a willingness for an external structure (an outside ritual) for the internal commitment to occur. Or you start with an inner commitment that allows for the outer commitment to rise forth. Either way, you get to the same place.
4. Ask yourself this question: Are you interested in doing what’s convenient or are you committed to doing what you need to do? Make a decision and get clear in your intention. It’s up to you. You choose the route.
5. We have to value ourselves enough to give us this thing called discipline. YOU ARE WORTHY to create the life you truly envision and imagine! Say this to yourself 5 times in front of the mirror if it helps. In the beginning it might feel weird and goofy, but get over it. If it helps, who cares? If you’re worried about what others will think, do it in the bathroom, close your blinds, lock the door and then you’ll be sure no one’s looking. Say it enough times until it becomes the TRUTH. You are worthy. Own that.
6. Franz Kafka said that, “From a certain point onward, there is no turning back. That is the point that must be reached.” He is so very right on! Get yourself in the practice of a discipline until the discipline just becomes well, life. Eventually, you will know exactly what you need and the boundaries that need to be enforced to do what’s essentially best for you. Your life is about you, pleasing you, allowing you to smile, doing what makes you happy, and enjoying every moment of it! Can you imagine a life that is full of love and joy in your every waking moment? …Anything is possible…


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