Start, Stop & Change: discipline

This is a post about discipline.

Honestly, I get a cold chill even saying the word. For me, discipline doesn’t bring up anything that feels particularly high vibe.

That’s because my past relationship with discipline was very much the dictionary definition, which is: “train oneself to do something in a controlled and habitual way.”

I very much used to believe in this type of discipline.

  • I disciplined myself to exercise a certain amount and eat a certain way.
  • I disciplined myself around a specific morning routine.
  • I disciplined myself to mark so many items from my To Do list each day.
  • I disciplined myself to work long hours and ignore exhaustion.

I trained myself to do certain things in a controlled and habitual way.

It didn’t matter if I didn’t want to do my morning routine. I was disciplined and did it anyway. It didn’t matter if I didn’t feel like doing what was on my To Do list. I was disciplined and did it anyway.

Does any of that sound familiar?

Are you disciplined in this old school way? Have you trained yourself to do things in a controlled and habitual way?

  • And then when you “go astray”, do you tell yourself you need to be more disciplined?
  • Is a lack of discipline what you think is standing between you and the life you want to create?

Before my obsession with all things Law of Attraction, I was only familiar with what I’m calling this old school notion of discipline. Where you train yourself to do stuff. Where you train yourself to create habits that you follow whether you feel like it or not.

Discipline is how I thought you got things done and made things happen.

If we go even further into the definition of discipline, here’s what we get: Discipline is the “practice of training people to obey rules or a code of behavior, using punishment to correct disobedience”. Ewww—low vibe!

Many of us have experience with this kind of discipline, too. What’s crazy about it, is we are the ones embracing these codes of behavior, and then we are the ones punishing ourselves when we don’t follow the code, when we behave differently.

As one example, let’s say you have a morning routine where you are supposed to get up at a certain time, no snooze button allowed, exercise for so many minutes, journal for this amount of time, meditate for this long—or whatever morning routine you decided you wanted to develop into a habit and be disciplined in following.

So what happens when you don’t? Let’s say you miss a day or you skip the journaling. And what do you do? You punish yourself.

  • Perhaps you punish yourself with negative self-talk. I’m just not disciplined. I never stick to anything. I’m lazy. I’m so disappointed in myself. You beat yourself up for not being disciplined and doing the things you were supposed to do when you were supposed to do them.
  • Or perhaps you punish yourself by seeing the rest of your day through the lens of having come up short. You notice throughout the day all the other ways you are not this enough or that enough, not doing enough. That’s certainly a kind of self-inflicted punishment too.

As adults most of us are not being punished by others.

No, we are punishing ourselves for not being disciplined. We are punishing ourselves with negative self-talk and with feeling lousy about ourselves.

How do we really feel about all this discipline? Much of the time the discipline doesn’t feel good.

Even when we tick all the boxes and do all the things we’re supposed to do because we’re being disciplined, we don’t feel all that great. Then when we don’t do the things we’re supposed to do in order to be disciplined, we don’t feel great either.

It’s kind of lose-lose. The discipline doesn’t feel good and not living up to the discipline doesn’t feel good.

Here’s why that is: When you are doing anything in a controlled, habitual way, there’s a good chance you are not in alignment. It’s unlikely you are taking inspired action when you do things as a result of discipline rather than alignment.

The thing you do could be exactly the same, but the energy around it—discipline versus alignment—means it will feel altogether different.

So journaling because I’m being disciplined, low vibe. Journaling because I’m in alignment and it’s the aligned, inspired action, high vibe.

Being disciplined often means you are forcing yourself to take action, while alignment leads to an inspired action you want to take. So you feel different depending on whether your action is coming from discipline or coming from alignment.

I know you’ve experienced that. You may not have thought about it through this particular lens of discipline vs. alignment, but you’ve lived the difference. You’ve experienced it. One feels gunky and one feels good.

Depending on whether you take action from discipline or alignment, you will be an altogether different kind of magnet to which the Law of Attraction responds.

  • When you meditate in the morning to be disciplined, but are just going through the motions, what do you think that makes you a magnet for?
  • When you go to the gym to be disciplined, but dread going and hate being there, what do you think that makes you a magnet for?
  • When you journal each day to be disciplined, but don’t really enjoy the experience, what do you think that makes you a magnet for?

It matters how you feel when you take action. It matters a lot!

It’s not so much the action you take that is important.

The most important thing is how you feel as you take the action. It’s the vibration you offer as you do X, Y, or Z that matters. Because Law of Attraction is responding to the vibration you offer, not to how disciplined you are being.

“Emotion is vibration. What you give out is what you create.” —Abraham

I think for most of us there is just a fundamental problem with this old school kind of discipline. It is ripe for low vibe emotions. It makes you a magnet for gunk on the frequency of frustration and disappointment, unworthiness and discouragement.

Old school discipline has you taking a bunch of action or not doing certain things, but not feeling particularly good along the way.

Anytime a client tells me they want help to be “more disciplined”, I get an uneasy feeling. Because most times what they mean is they want to make themselves do things they don’t really want to do. They want to make themselves do things they think they should do. They want to create habits they will put on autopilot and do whether they feel like it or not.

Being controlled and habitual are in opposition to trusting your intuition in the moment to lead you in the direction of what feels good and in the direction of your highest good. Really let that land for you.

When you are being controlled and habitual, you’ve cut yourself off from your moment-to-moment intuition. You effectively disconnect yourself from co-creating with the Universe. Old school discipline is the opposite of going with the flow, going downstream.

  • Being controlled and habitual are usually not in the frequency of high vibe emotions.
  • Being controlled and habitual are typically signs of misalignment rather than alignment.

When you do things for the sake of being disciplined, you introduce a ton of resistance in your vibration.

So all that action you’re taking in the name of being disciplined you now have to overcome the resistance you’ve created.

Most times I don’t think all that action you’re taking can compensate, can overcome the resistance. Or if it can, it’s going to be a lot of efforting your way upstream.

So, should you give up on being disciplined altogether?

It might surprise you to hear me say: I don’t think so. But I do think we need a very different definition. We need a new way to think about discipline. As always, Abraham has the wisdom.

“The discipline that we would like you to exercise is to make a decision that nothing is more important than that you feel good.” —Abraham

So we’ve gone from the old school approach to discipline, which is to train yourself to do things in a controlled and habitual way to the LoA approach to discipline, which is to feel good.

My shoulders relax and I feel like I can breathe more easily just thinking about Abraham’s approach to discipline. I am delighted to help my clients embrace this kind of discipline.

Now some of you may initially balk at this new notion of discipline.

How can the only discipline in our lives be to feel good? Won’t that mean nothing will get done, we won’t get any of the things we want, we won’t ever take any action?

But from an LoA perspective, those worries don’t hold up. When you feel good, when that is the vibration you offer, the Law of Attraction responds.

  • When you feel good, you will take action. It will be aligned, inspired action.
  • When you feel good, you will be connected with possibilities and answers and solutions that just are not available to you when you are feeling the friction of old school discipline.
  • When you feel good, the Universe can co-create with you and do more of the heavy lifting in your life.

Adopting Abraham’s approach to discipline doesn’t mean you won’t ever go to the gym or get things done on your To Do list. It simply means you will be motivated by feeling good rather than controlling and regulating, rather than sticking to habits for the sake of sticking to habits.

When I rediscovered the Law of Attraction, I realized a couple things about my relationship to discipline.

First, I didn’t trust myself to choose wisely without a bunch of self-imposed rules and regulations. I thought the only thing between me living a high functioning life and me sitting on the couch all day eating bon-bons was discipline. I thought I needed to control and regulate myself, which creates a life of should and have tos. Of course, shoulds and have tos create a low vibe that attracts circumstances, people, situations, and things of a similar frequency.

Second, I didn’t trust that feeling good is a viable way pointer for living life, a practical and effective way to guide me. I didn’t think feeling good was reason enough to make a decision or take an action. Feeling good just didn’t factor in as criteria for what to do and not do. In fact, it seemed an unrealistic way to navigate life. That’s why I thought I needed discipline to stick to doing things even when they didn’t feel good.

I had to re-train myself. I had to disengage from old school discipline as the way to live.

I had to learn to trust myself. To trust I would be just fine without regulating and controlling my behavior. I had to learn to trust that feeling good is my connection to my Inner Being, and that alignment is the absolute best way to make decisions, take action, and show up in my life.

I share all that because I want you to know if you’re someone who has spent a lifetime relying on the old school kind of discipline to get things done and behave a certain way, I know what that’s like. If you’re curious what it might be like to live with a different kind of discipline—the discipline of feeling good—it is possible.

It’s possible to make this shift. And it changes everything. Because when you’re no longer trying to control yourself and act in a habitual way, you open the door for being guided by what feels good.

As Abraham says, “Your cork floating is the only thing that is worthy of discipline.” And I would offer that your cork simply can’t float when you are operating from old school discipline.

“Discipline yourself to feel good. That is the only ‘discipline’ you need.” —Abraham

Guide your behavior with alignment, don’t regulate your behavior with discipline.

This is the distinction between high vibe and low vibe.

Here’s what I suggest: Take one area of your life where you’ve been regulating and controlling your behavior with old school self-discipline. Maybe an area of your life where you’ve been trying to create habits and stick to them. An aspect of your life where you’ve been using discipline to make yourself take certain actions.

This could be your morning routine or how you spend your evenings. Maybe it’s related to your fitness goals or some aspect of personal development or your To Do list.

Pick an area or aspect of your life and make the conscious choice to shift from discipline to alignment. From old school self-discipline to Abraham’s feel good approach to discipline.

What would it look like to approach that area of your life with alignment front and center, with feeling good as your focus?

You are releasing yourself from old school discipline in this area. You are no longer training yourself to do things in a controlled and habitual way.

Play with this, experiment. This is going to feel new and possibly awkward at first. That’s OK. It’s OK to be a beginner with this new approach to discipline.

How will you be disciplined about feeling good? How can you allow yourself to be guided by what feels good?

  • How can you trust yourself more in this area of your life?
  • How can trust the Universe more when it comes to this aspect of your life?
  • How can you bring more alignment (and less old school discipline) to this area of your life?

“Discipline is of value, but discipline yourself to feel good. That is the only discipline you need.” —Abraham

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