A quick Google search of the word discipline will net you several definitions:
- The practice of training people to obey rules or a code of behavior, using punishment to correct disobedience.
- The controlled behavior resulting from discipline.
- A system of rules of conduct.
- Train someone to obey rules or a code of behavior, using punishment to correct disobedience.
- Punish or rebuke someone formally for an offense.
- Train oneself to do something in a controlled and habitual way.
Well, none of that sounds any fun at all! 🙁
Yet, if you look at the root of the word, you’ll see that it comes from the Latin word for pupil, ultimately providing the source of the word, disciple. I like that much better :).
A couple of times this past week, I was told I am admired for my discipline. Discipline when it comes to nutrition, discipline when it comes to training. I started giving a lot of thought to those negative connotations that we all think of when hearing that word: Strict. Rule-abiding. Unforgiving. Punishing. Regimented…
I hope people don’t assume that’s how I live my life. Far from it! Maybe I do display discipline, particularly when it comes to training, with a big goal on the line. And maybe I am “disciplined” when it comes to nutrition, but I truly prefer to live in the mindset that I am a student in life. I am a disciple of my body, listening to the messages it is sending me EVERY DAY, and doing my best to honor it by not only fueling it with the foods that seem to work the best for me, but also by constantly learning how to be my healthiest self with nourishing self-care, stress management, the right exercise for me, and REST when I need it. Am I always perfect at hearing those messages? Nope. Do I sometimes push too hard and realize when it’s too late (like when I’m sick or hurt) that I should’ve backed off the gas a little? Yep. That’s part of being a student. We are always learning from our mistakes. And boy, do I make some mistakes. But when I do, my body is here to remind me that I don’t have it all figured out yet, nor will I likely ever.
The next time you think about the word discipline, or say to yourself, “I could never X,Y,Z, because I don’t have enough DISCIPLINE,” think again. Find one small way that you can HONOR yourself and your body this week, and really tune into what you learn. Turn up the volume on the messages your body is sending you. And if you continue to be open to learning and growing, small changes eventually become big habit shifts. Before you know it, what you once thought was impossible or “too hard,” might just become your new baseline. And then, as a disciple of YOU, the possibilities are infinite.
Make it a great week, everyone!