Friendly Discipline

May 05, 2021


Among the virtues, discipline has always played a starring role in the life of a yogi. It can also be the most misunderstood.
During these strange times where some of us are moving into a more active life while others are still very much in everything-at-home mode, I think there’s a particular kind of discipline needed to maintain equilibrium. A discipline that’s adaptable, a shiftable structure that can both meet our needs and keep us focused.
As someone who has worked at home for years, I can tell you that the single most important thing I do to stay motivated is to write out a schedule for my day every morning that lists the things I want to accomplish. This self-imposed framework keeps me focused and provides a structure that is essential to doing my work successfully.
The second most important thing I do is to allow myself the freedom to pivot, adapt, and shift as needed.
I imagine a stately river flowing. The banks of the river are the discipline. They are the boundaries that direct its flow. In doing so, the river’s banks create the structure within which it can be fully in its “riverness.” It can flow without spilling over and flooding.
In the same way, I think of the kind of discipline we need right now is a structure that directs our energy and frees us up from having to make decision after decision about what to do next. A framework to guide our day with a gentle touch and without harshness or rigidity. This kind of healthy, friendly discipline brings the freedom and fortitude to keep moving in the direction we wish.



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