Republished with permission by Jacque Saltsman
The Freedom of Discipline AND Compassion
Happy belated Independence Day! Just because the 4th has come and gone doesn't mean we can stop thinking about freedom. Freedom from what, though? From whom? Some might say that freedom is being able to do whatever you want, whenever you want. Others might say that it’s being able to live however one chooses, without judgement or forced restrictions from others. Some might say freedom is mental; an attitude – having inner peace no matter what the external circumstances are. In some parts of the world it still might mean the simple right to vote. Whatever freedom means to you, I doubt any of it would ever come to fruition without discipline AND compassion. Discipline? Discipline means rules, restrictions and having no fun, right? Sometimes. However, when we incorporate self-compassion with discipline into our lives, we can create practices (that eventually become habits) that are the vehicles to the freedom we desire. Think about it.
The practice of gratitude and savoring leads to a happier, more positive disposition which leads to better health.
The practice of compassion (for self and others) leads to a greater sense of connection, peace and less anger.
The practice of meditation leads to a clearer, more focused mind with less monkey chatter.
The practice of being financially responsible leads to the freedom to go on vacation or get a new tattoo every year without going into debt.
The practice of regular exercise and movement leads to a more flexible, happier, moveable body that’s free from pain.
See the connection?
I know that none of these practices are easy, but when we are motivated by self-love instead of fear, they are much smoother and more sustainable. We must, however, start somewhere and practice… every day. That’s why it’s called a practice. No one (but ourselves) is expecting perfection when we first start. Often, the most difficult step is starting.
Once you’ve started here are 3 helpful tips to keep you going.
- Have realistic expectations, especially when starting out. Baby steps and bite size chunks are key.
- When you fall off the wagon or don’t meet your expectations, have compassion for yourself. There’s no need for judgement, just get back up and start wherever you left off.
- Get support! The likelihood of achieving any goal in a vacuum or surrounded by negative or unsupportive people is very low. Recruit people who are inspiring, who already have a healthy practice and/or who are truly committed to helping you become the best version of you possible.
You got this and you deserve all the love, peace, ease, and freedom you can imagine!