Check out my article on Tiny Buddha:
“The heart is like a garden: it can grow compassion or fear, resentment or love. What seeds will you plant there?”
~ Jack Kornfield
My whole life has been a story of discipline. I started exercising and eating healthier in eighth grade. I planned out my studies meticulously so I would finish school assignments exactly on time. I always arrived five minutes early for any appointment or meeting. Disciplined.
When I began my yoga studies in earnest at the age of 22, I applied the same disciplined nature to my yoga practice. I had extensive practice plans and scheduled in all the parts I should be doing: pranayama and meditation at dawn, asana practice after work with standing poses on Monday, hip openers on Tuesday, etc.
People would comment about how disciplined I was. I just smiled, knowingly, because I knew what I was doing was “good” and they could learn something from my organized way of living. Yep, a little self-righteousness, too!
Then, one day, about 15 years ago, while I was contemplating the yogic term tapas (self-discipline), I had an awakening: my discipline, everything, all that I did (including exercise, eating well, rigidity around how I used my time), came from fear, not love.
It wasn’t focused on all the wonderful benefits I received through discipline, but what I would lose if I didn’t do it.
If I didn’t exercise, I wouldn’t have my exercise high all day. If I didn’t eat perfectly, I would gain weight. If I didn’t do my practice, I would lose my state of consciousness.