My keyword this year is discipline. I chose this word to work with thinking it was my greatest challenge. I struggle to stick to an exercise routine or drink enough water. Discipline seemed the thing I lacked the most. Most people see the word discipline as something to avoid. They think of punishment; particularly of children using physical force.
A friend recently offered a different take on the word. What if we considered discipline to mean “to be a disciple of the self?” With this definition in mind, quite a different approach unfolds. Suddenly drinking water instead of cola is about being my own disciple rather than punishment and restriction. It moves out of punishing, for whatever perceived shortcomings I have, in to acts of reverence for the divine within.
Another take on the word; “to take on the teaching.” While a great rewording it just doesn’t pack the same zing for me. There is something for me in thinking of being my own disciple. The image of the Christ within jumps to mind. What would I do for me if I thought I was my own savior? Aren’t I my own savior? If not me, who?
However, this hasn’t made it easier. I still struggle against what is good for me. I recently came home from a retreat in California and the struggle has been intensified. The lure of falling back to sleep seems strongest after coming home from a spiritual retreat. By falling back to sleep, I mean walking through life without full presence and alignment. I’ve been home a week and I can honestly say it’s felt a bit like I slept through this week. It’s time to wake up.
Time for a new daily practice routine, one that emphasizes that I am a disciple of self. A new screen saver on the computer to remind me. A prayer posted on the bathroom mirror. I want to start my day with the reminder that I am a follower of the Christ within and that every action (or inaction) either supports the work of this God or interferes with it.