i’ve been meaning to write a new blog post for going on three weeks now. in fact, on a semi-daily basis i sit down on the left side of my bed- computer in my lap, chamomile tea at hand- with the intention of writing. and then i get side tracked. side tracked by the endless internet information that so easily lures you away from where you intended to go. side tracked by the sleep that lulls me in at the end of the day. and side tracked by the other efforts i’m investing my energy in. but at the end of the day, what this mostly means is that my daily choices are not leading me closer to my long term goals.
and what i know is that inaction does not lead to progress.completion.or results.
i’ve been making a conscious effort to go to hot yoga lately; i’ve found that while i work to challenge my body physically, i’ve also been strengthening my mind through this practice. there’s something about a 92-110 degree room, strenuous posing, and deep breathing that really works for me. but mostly i like the fact that each time i go, i get something different out of it and learn something new about myself.
self-discipline has been on my heart this week.
first, you should know that i am a beginner at yoga (level 1). secondly, you should know that my schedule typically only allows me to attend the level 2 yoga class. literally and figuratively, i’m stretching at each class and challenging my flexibility. during last class, our yoga instructor prompted us to find the discipline within ourselves that would allow us hold a difficult pose for just a little longer, that strength and drive that would see us through the challenge and to the next moment. throughout the class she encouraged us to find and develop that discipline on and off the mat. and while i understood how discipline is defined, it took a lot of reflection before i understood what it means for me.
i believe discipline is what moves you forward from one step to the next after motivation has wore off. discipline is what keeps you going long after you’ve wanted to stop or give up. i think discipline is about that internal struggle you experience when deciding between short term satisfaction and long term accomplishments. i’m the kind of person that generally runs off of motivation and inspiration. but as i train for a half marathon, work towards a healthier lifestyle, and continue to work on developing professional skills and accomplishing career goals, i’ve learned that progress can be slow. i’ve found that despite how much i want to succeed with these endeavors, short term gratification can easily get in the way. but i’m also learning to remember that my behaviors are choices.
i’ve learned that the part of the reward of crossing the finish line is the journey you take to get there. and while motivation may be the flame that starts the fire, discipline is the fuse that keeps the internal drive burning. for me, it’s all about lengthening that fuse. not letting the fire burn out before i get to see how far i can go. i often wonder how far we’d all get if we never gave up, if we all got to that exact place we’ve always hoped to reach.if we all tried our hardest every.single.day. to get there. i’d like to think we’d all be smiling, glad that we finished and grateful that we persevered. and while i continue to work on developing this discipline, i’m also working on being mindful of my behaviors …paying attention to what my actions are saying about the direction i’m headed. i’ve been asking myself if what i am doing now is getting me to where i want to be. and i’m learning to take that deep breath in and push forward.onward.upward.
yoga or not, i hope you find it too. i hope you have a goal you are working towards and i hope you see it through to the end. i hope your motivation gets you started and that your self-discipline helps you to finish. i hope you remember that challenges build strength and personal growth comes from pushing yourself beyond the previous limitations you set for yourself. and on days that are harder than others, i hope you look for that internal drive and remember what it is you are working for. and on the days where you are ready to give up, i hope you put one foot in front of the other with faith that you will get there soon.
whatever it is that you are working towards, i can’t wait to see you cross that finish line and celebrate the journey you’ve taken to get there.