The Power of Self-Discipline

To have self-discipline is to honor and encourage oneself, while being consistent with one’s own word.

The truth about self-discipline is that one simply has to do it. There is no thinking when it comes to making decisions that honors oneself, they either make it or they don’t.

There are many spiritual and metaphysical practices as well that require self-discipline like: yoga, meditation, journaling, educating oneself, and so much more. (although self-discipline can be practiced throughout anyone’s everyday life)

The more one practices making decisions that are aligned with their highest intentions, the easier it will then become to make these decisions. When one remains consistent with their word, then these decisions are no longer a struggle to make; they then become automatic, ingrained as a pattern within our subconscious.

For me in the beginning, I can admit that I had to force myself to become accustomed to such practices of self-discipline. Although looking back now, I am grateful for the ways in which I pushed myself to reach my highest potential.

Below, I list some of the healthy ways in which I was able to establish self-discipline in order to better myself. I hope it helps.


Getting to Know My Patterns

We all have patterns that run through our minds on a daily basis. These are the same patterns that influence our behavior, as well as the decisions we make throughout each day.

Once we become aware of the recurring patterns that we often follow without thought, we are then able to catch ourselves before we unconsciously react to such patterns.

These patterns can be something from eating a sugary snack with a cup of coffee every morning, to smoking a cigarette whenever stress hits, to procrastinating every time one has to do work that disinterests them.

Yes, eventually the intention may be to reprogram these patterns to something that serves us, but nonetheless, the first step is simply becoming aware that these patterns even exist. Once we are aware, we can then take the steps to stopping these patterns through self-discipline.

Stop Playing the Victim Card

One of the most difficult shifts to make, yet also one of the most impactful, was realizing that it was time for me to stop playing the role of the victim and to take accountability for my actions.

As I became more and more aware of how much I unconsciously played the victim card, I also realized how much power I gave away in the process of doing this. I wanted to rise up to my true power, yet I was simultaneously contradicting myself by claiming to be a victim.

If I knew I was a co-creator, then why would I choose to fall victim to my own creations; Unless I had doubt that I was in fact a powerful creator?

This victim mentality was the very thing that was holding me back from reaching my highest potential.

To make this shift, I first had to realize that I could not pick and choose when I created and when I did not. I had to make the connection that I was in control of the experiences that I brought into my life. If I wanted to accept the good, then I also had to take accountability for my mistakes.

Now this does not imply that we are the sole cause of all the suffering on this planet. This simply means that we are in full control of the experiences that we attract within our own personal lives, and that we cannot pick and choose what we want to take accountability for.

Being Consistent

This aspect of adding self-discipline to one’s life is so important, for it involves honoring one’s own words and intentions. To be consistent with your word is to keep the promises that you make to yourself.

For me, this meant following the rules I set for myself until it became routine.

It is so easy (and also very common, it happens to the best of us!) to begin a practice or to set an intention for ourselves in order to establish a set routine, just to have it discontinue as time goes on.

Of course it is never intentional to discontinue said routines, but we often tend to forget soon after, or sometimes manage to find an excuse in order to make ourselves feel better about discontinuing.

The truth of the matter is that being consistent simply requires dedication, determination, and yes, self-discipline. But the good news is that one does not have to rely on anything external in order to implement whatever routine it is they would like to establish, because no one has the power to push and motivate you more than yourself.

The initiative I took that helped me the most when it came to being consistent, in addition to simply taking action in the present moment and doing what it was that I wanted to achieve, was dropping all excuses.

I realized that when I kept being dishonest with myself, and convincing myself of things that were not true, the only person I was lying to and holding back was myself.

I then made the connection that if I was going to maintain self-discipline, it would be for me and my own good; To love and honor myself through genuine and consistent actions (and although I am speaking from my own personal experiences, this can go for anyone).

Making the Right Decisions

Lastly, it cannot be broken down into a simpler form: Make the right decisions.

As I stated above, I realized that making excuses for myself was simply a waste of time. If I wanted to make the right decisions, I came to the conclusion that all I had to do was make them.

This may sound simple, but that is only because it is. I would spend so much time thinking about whether I wanted to make a decision or not, that I would end up making no decision at all; Or I would simply allow my impulsivity to take control and make the decision that I was used to (which was often not the one that served me).

I then reached a point where I was tired of my own excuses, and was hungry for change.

To my surprise, the decisions that bettered me were not difficult to make at all. It was only overthinking and procrastination that convinced me making decisions that were good for me was a complex and nearly impossible feat.

A mere illusion that I convinced myself to accept as true.

No matter what though, through it all, one must not forget to love themselves unconditionally through the process, and to remain patient and forgiving with oneself as they continue to practice and learn.

So I encourage you all to be the best yous that you can be, because we all deserve to be our best authentic selves. All my love, I hope this helps. Namaste.

Breaking the Cycle of Procrastination

Our egos love to convince ourselves that it is easier to remain stagnant than to initiate growth and rise above limitations; But staying stagnant is suffering, and the limitations do not exist. 

If one feels as though they are lost and don’t know where to go next, the best thing to do is something.

Whenever I felt as if I was stuck in one place, not knowing which direction to go in next, I would realize that it was time for something to change.

Instead of waiting for some magical solution to come into my life, I always found it easier to take control and make something happen.

 

Some of the things that helped me to take action within my own life, that are easy for anyone to take control and do if they are feeling stuck, are:

Clean and Reorganize Your Bedroom

This is a great way to initiate a shift within one’s life. One can get rid of things that no longer grow them, serve them, or make them happy within their own personal space.

It feels good to let go of things that you feel as if you’ve grown out of, as well as getting rid of things that may carry an energy that holds you back mentally. Although more than anything, it feels good to create a space where you feel at peace.

Start a Garden

This doesn’t have to be an all or nothing project. One can take the initiative from going out and weeding, to starting a compost bin, to potting a flower and nurturing it every day. Don’t be afraid to get creative and involved with it, do whatever calls to you personally. Enjoy and be present during the process, as this is also a way to connect with nature.

Start a New Diet/Detox

It helps to start out small, like eliminating certain things from one’s diet (which is what I did in order to nurture my body). Some of the things I took the initiative of eliminating from my diet were:

  • Sugar
  • Bread
  • Dairy
  • Meat

It is important to do whatever works for you personally, and not to forget to love yourself through the process!

Create a Daily Exercise/Yoga Routine

This can be finding an exercise or yoga video that you like and practicing it every night before you go to sleep, or even something as simple as taking a walk once a day. As I wrote above, anything is better than nothing, as long as one is taking the initiative with the intention of doing things differently. 

Read a Book or Learn Something New

One doesn’t have to pay for a class or wait for knowledge to come to them in order to learn something new, there are many resources and ways to educate ourselves right here within our own homes. It is up to us though to initiate this process and become open to learning new things.

 

The list can go on forever… But at the end of the day, initiating some kind of change feels much better than staying stuck.

Using Your Body as an Anchor for Presence

Your body is an anchor for presence.

Presence not only has to do with becoming aware of perception and the activity of the mind, but becoming aware of the energy within the physical body as well. Although our essence is the formless aspect of our being, we are also connected to and inhabit our temporary physical forms that exists here within this collective reality.

To learn more about this connection between the form and the formless, one can look into concepts such as ChakrasKundalini, and Tantra. (These are just a few examples that have helped me, but there are many more). 

It is important to treat our bodies as our temples, and remember to not neglect this aspect of ourselves.

Practicing Unconditional Self-Love

When one begins to practice unconditionally loving them self, they are also nurturing a positive relationship between their mind, their body, and their being.

Unconditional love is not something that can be obtained, or a goal that is to be reached. Unconditional love is something that we as human-beings are constantly learning how to practice and cultivate within our own lives. 

So many of us often create limitations for ourselves by reinforcing self-constructed negative belief-systems, like patterns of self-doubt and self-judgement. In my personal experience, it feels much better to work towards letting go of such a mentality, and to give yourself a break.

One thing I have learned is the importance of making myself aware of the fact that it is okay to make mistakes, as long as I am able to perceive these mistakes as a lesson to learn from instead of a grievance with the power to hold me back from growing.

Instead of holding such high exceptions for ourselves, as if we’re not human-beings with imperfections, we should work towards being more compassionate and understanding towards ourselves, as we can then more genuinely express compassion and understanding towards others.

It is not selfish to prioritize yourself; if anything, once one practices loving them self unconditionally, they can then radiate that love to others,  and share it with whomever they decide to share it with.

You are already complete as you are, you don’t need any external validation to determine your self-worth, and that is truth. ♥

Patience, forgiveness, nourishment, making peace with being alone, a nice warm bath; self-love takes many forms, but at the end of the day, it simply comes down to what works best for one personally, based on their own personal life-experiences.

Trust in whatever feels right for you, and everything else will begin to fall into place.

Supported Headstand (Salamba Sirsasana)

IN THIS POSE: Gravity is working to increase blood flow throughout the body as well as draining the lymphatic system. This pose also helps to strengthen the core and triceps.

Parts of the body to focus on as you practice this pose: 

  • NeckWhile doing this pose you want to make sure to not apply pressure to your neck, you should not be feeling any pain or tension. This is where the support from the hands and arms comes in; cup your hands around the back of your head for support, keeping your forearms resting firmly on the ground. Your weight should mainly be resting on your arms; at no point should the weight of your body be resting on your neck or spine, as this can result in pain or injury.
  • Triceps – In this pose, the triceps are mainly used to stabilize oneself, and as a means of control as you transition from the ground into the air. Along with the core, the triceps are also used to maintain balance and prevent oneself from falling backwards.
  • Core – The core is very much at work in this pose, the stronger your core is the easier it will be to stay balanced while in the air.
  • Spine – The spine is what controls the alignment in this pose. When the spine is kept vertically aligned, it will prevent one from falling while in the air.
  • Hamstrings and Glutes – The hamstrings and glutes are also at work when one is transitioning from the ground into the air. They are also at work when one is adjusting their legs in order to become in alignment with the spine as a means of balance.

The goal is to eventually be able to lift yourself up into this pose without jumping, by walking your legs up towards your torso and extending them up slowly.

If you are just starting out, it would be helpful to place a pillow or something soft on the ground behind you as you lift yourself up into this pose as a precaution in case you fall backwards.

It would also help to have someone else present to assist in lifting you up, and to be there to hold your legs in the air in case you lose your balance.

It is okay to jump off of the ground in order to extend your legs into the air, but it would be beneficial to work towards walking your legs up towards your torso and slowly lifting them up into a bent position before extension, as well as bringing them down slowly when coming out of the pose instead of allowing them to drop down abruptly.

Don’t forget to breathe and release tension through each step.

It is important though to not push oneself too far, as this can result in an injury such as compression. Only ever go as far as is comfortable for you, you should not feel any pain when doing these poses.  

And as always, try not to make perfection the enemy of progress.

Standing Forward Bend (Uttanasana)

During these chaotic and unpredictable times occurring in our world right now, it would be beneficial for anyone to have some kind of practice or routine to ground oneself, instead of allowing oneself to gravitate towards and feed into fear and negativity.

Every individual has the power to make a difference in this world simply by living from a state of higher consciousness, and being a conduit for peace, love, and positivity for all of humanity. We all have the choice of whether we want to bring healing or suffering into this world, but in order to radiate positive, loving, and healing energy towards others, we must first love and heal ourselves.

Yoga is a simple and efficient grounding technique that has been around for ages.

I do a series of simple stretches every night before I go to sleep to ground and align myself, and because it helps me to release any tension being held in my physical body.  One of my favorite poses that I do every night is Standing Forward Bend, as well as West Stretch Pose (or what some would call Seated Forward Bend) which has made doing a full Standing Forward Bend much easier for me.

STRETCHES: Hamstrings, Spine, Calves, and Glutes

WEST STRETCH POSE (Paschimottanasana): West Stretch Pose is basically the same pose as Standing Forward Bend, except one is sitting down, so gravity is not the main focus as it is in Standing Forward Bend. Practicing this pose every night will help to stretch out one’s hamstrings and glutes, which can often be a tight area for most people. Stretching these areas will also help to make it easier and work towards doing a full Standing Forward Bend.

STANDING FORWARD BEND: Like most poses, Standing Forward Bend has variations so anyone can practice this pose and receive the benefits. With daily practice, one can eventually master doing a full Standing Forward Bend, which is not always an easy pose to do for people who are just starting out.

But mastering a pose is not the goal here, the goal is to feel good and take care of one’s body. Mastering of poses is just something that you obtain through the process.

In Standing Forward Bend, gravity is doing most of the work; lengthening and releasing tension in one’s neck and spine while simultaneously stretching the glutes, calves, and hamstrings. Although you probably most often see people in this pose with their hands on the ground or pressed against the calves with their legs straightened, there are also variations where the legs are bent, or where one just allows their head, torso, and arms to hang down while  extending their spine and keeping their legs straight.

Continue reading “Standing Forward Bend (Uttanasana)”

From the Words of Anita Moorjani

“I believe this is the most powerful idea for each of us: realizing that we’re here to discover and honor our own individual path. It doesn’t matter whether we renounce the material world and meditate on a mountaintop for 20 years or create a billion-dollar multinational company that employs thousands of people, giving them each a livelihood. We can attend a temple or church, sit on the beach, drink a margarita, take in a glorious sunset with a loved one, or walk through the park enjoying an ice cream. Ultimately, whichever path we choose is the right one for us, and none of these options are any more or less spiritual than the others.” – Anita Moorjani, Dying to Be Me

Anita Moorjani has always been a huge inspiration for me. After four long years of struggling with cancer that had spread throughout her entire lymphatic system, Moorjani had a near death experience on February 2nd, 2006. Five weeks after having this experience, she was released from the hospital completely cancer-free. To this day, she continues to spread the message of love, positivity, and the connection to who-we-really-are.

You can view a Ted Talk she did back in 2013 here, where she talks about her experiences with cancer and having a NDE (Near Death Experience).

We Are In Control

The only suffering one experiences is the suffering that they allow.

One is in control of how they react to any situation, as well as how they react to their own thoughts. We all have the ability to observe and change our own reactive patterns. These reactive patterns are often linked to some type of emotion, which can sometimes cause one suffering (although not always!).

By changing the way one reacts, one can stop allowing thoughts and situations to have power over their emotions.  

Awareness of Thought

Don’t believe everything you think.

Sometimes people can be so used to repetitive negative thoughts and identifying with thought that they begin to truly believe certain negative thoughts to be true, when in reality, they have nothing to do with the Truth.

Once one becomes aware of thought, they then have the power to recognize what thoughts bring them suffering versus what thoughts bring them inner peace. Once one makes this connection, they can then let go of the thoughts that induce nothing but negativity, and focus more of their attention and awareness on their positive thoughts.

One can try letting go of what no longer grows them, serves them, or makes them happy.