I hear and say (ahem, used to say) this word all the time: discipline.
“I need to be more disciplined. I need to follow structure and routine and rules.”
I don’t struggle with it when it comes to food and eating. I have standards, it’s easy. I know what works for me, how certain things make me feel; I know the difference between when I’m craving something for the taste versus using food to cope with life. I don’t have to rely on discipline because I trust myself and food and eating are joyful. (Heck, I have a group that’s all about that! lol You can join it here)
Ah, but my to do list! My professional ambitions! My client demands! Managing my household… being a mom and a wife. I’m constantly in a loop of yelling at myself to “be more disciplined.” Picture me screaming at me: “If I just follow my schedule down to the T and push myself, then I’ll feel accomplished and proud!!!!!”
I’ve been working with my coach around this and she called BS on this way of being. Which is SOOOOOO ironic because when a client of mine says “discipline” around food, I always move away from that to focus on belief and results. I literally told someone “it’s never about discipline.” Isn’t that hilarious?? And also proof why having a coach is so beneficial. 😉
When it comes to time, I’m so afraid that if I don’t try to control every minute that I’ll float away or end up like Luna from Harry Potter. I’ll never get anything done. I’ll give up on my dreams. I’ll spend all day writing poems and being in my head.
But I realized, I’m so scared of being lazy that I was taking the joy out of my work. I kept trying to find the perfect project management tool (just like you might be trying to find the perfect diet). Guess what — there isn’t one!
Because there’s no app for self-acceptance.
So, what now??? I’ve kicked discipline out to the curb. Gave it the heave-ho. And do you know what’s happened? I’m so at peace AND so productive.
The very thing we are most afraid of turning into is probably the very thing we will never actually become. Before I was hyper focused on all these moments where I “wasn’t disciplined.” Always finding (negative) evidence where I was failing and clearly lazy.
I’ve relaxed into my schedule, which included 8 hours of teaching fitness classes and at least 2 meetings every day this week (sometimes 3), while getting a new puppy. I won’t list all. the. things. I accomplished because it’s not really about the details. It’s about how I FEEL.
Harmonious. Centered. Grounded. Trusting. Joyful.
Did I get everything done on my list? No, but it’s laughably unrealistic because that’s just how I am LOL. And oh well! Now when I print it out and it’s 2 pages long, I just chuckle at myself. And prioritize. And am at peace with the messiness of it. I believe and know good will come.
I know how to make time for joy in my life — dance parties, poem reading, puppy playing, but I was missing that aspect in my work. I’ve let go of discipline as a way of being and am actively choosing joy, letting it bubble up in my mission to show up and help people heal their relationship with food, eating, and their bodies. This is how I ended doing a live cooking show on facebook making cookie dough balls (bonus puppy appearance at the end). You can watch it here.
It’s a deep breath and “yeeeee-haaaaaaa!!!!”
May you rumble with the thing you most fear becoming. May you make peace with it. May you remember there is no app for self-acceptance.
And of course… here’s a poem!
To the unfurling:
we want to know
the answers before
what’s life like on
a tuesday at 10a.
but it’s always an unfurling.
does the rose know
how its petals will grow?
do the clouds follow a plan
as they move across
do the blades of grass
rise in single, uniform file?
everything the same; orderly
and nothing unexpected.
containment is a false
because it’s fleeting.
we’re told: “enjoy the journey.”
but then taught to fear it.
to never lean into disorder and mess
it’s a myth that you can
only rely on discipline
for growth and to get what you
it’s a lie that perfection & beauty
only come from structure.
it’s actually always about joy.
i am a dreamer and a doer.
unfurling and creating.
and so you are, dear human.
Do you know what you...