Cultivating a New Discipline
Getting Off The Rollercoaster
Upon the awakening of a life that has taken a wrong turn, new directions must be taken in order to come back to being happy, loving and peaceful. One of the keys to surviving the seemingly treacherous transition from darkness into light is to develop a new discipline. This is best achieved as a gradual learning process, but requires one to take a hard look at past ways of all aspects of daily activities.
Courage and determination will bring you through, but most important of all is the conviction that you WILL succeed. This is of paramount importance for your growth as any half hearted effort you put into turning your life around may not only prolong your anxiety, but will drain you of valuable energy that could be channelled into shedding light on the many aspects of that wonderful person that you are.
SIMPLICITY IS THE KEY:
First steps to a new discipline are very simple. In fact, you may even be tempted to dismiss these techniques as silly, irrelevant, or perhaps unnecessary. However, start by bringing to the forefront of your thinking the reasons behind the choices and responses, to the many activities and events that are a part your everyday life. Stop the process of automatic reactions and Think before you Do.
Examine the thinking and responses generated from any event, and see if the action you are about to initiate is valid. Ask yourself...
"Why is it that I continue to do certain things in a certain way ?"
Ask yourself again...
"Is this an aspect of my behaviour that has always bugged me?...
Why don't I alter the way I do this thing?...
Why do I persist in this way...
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I've often thought of doing this thing differently or more completely!...
What would it require for me to do this thing in the way that I've always wanted?"
Be aware of the things that could make you think in such a way, then listen to your other thoughts as they begin to chatter and make alternatives. This is your Ego at work, and it can sound something like this...
"That's ridiculous...this is to simple."
"I'll just delay doing this little job."
"You've been doing O.K. up till now!..
Why Change ?... you're getting by".
Indeed... Getting By. This is hardly akin to living life to its fullest.
When negative thoughts begin to manifest as you enter the process of self examination, you will begin to justify and rationalise your previous behaviour. Feelings of this nature are the desperate attempts of your Ego trying to bring itself back into a position of "Master of the helm", or the seemingly true guiding force of all your actions. But as you go deeper and further into yourself, you shall start to see the illusions you have been living with day by day. By laying out the problems and their responses for an honest assessment, you will see the validity of the choice about to be implemented, and whether or not it is has a motivation from the Truth. These assessments can bring you to understandings of how behaviour is related to patterns. If we want to change or break these patterns, we must first understand them. To gain this knowledge of why we do things will enable great advances in our personal growth as confusion is replaced by clarity.
To highlight this concept, I shall describe some of the things I found myself doing through force of habit and laziness, and how I began to challenge this old way of thinking.
The very first thing I became aware of to help me in promoting my new discipline, was related to what I did with my clothes as I got ready for bed. I would drape my trousers and shirt across a chair or sometimes the end of the bed. As I then awoke to a chance of putting my desire for discipline into action, I began to consider why I've never used coat hangers very much - since keeping my room tidy since clothes looking fresh would be a good thing. It was then that the negative thoughts would come charging in with all sorts of alternatives as to why I should leave them were I placed them.
"Look how neatly you've placed them, they'll be perfectly acceptable in the morning. You'll probably crease them more as you sit in your seat on the train tomorrow so why bother."
Time went by and I persevered with the process of hanging up my clothes; always thinking it was a chore, the one day it hit me, and I said to myself ...
"What is all this fuss over me taking five seconds to employ the use of a coat hanger".
The arguments can be endless, and the energy one puts into these concerns can be incredible.
In continuing to increase your awareness of the many avenues available in cultivating your new discipline, I put forward two other examples to assist in giving you an understanding of the beauty and simplicity in the method I have found. Whenever I made a cup of tea, I would leave the used tea bag on the sink when at the same time I really knew that it would be a good thing to take it straight to the kitchen tidy. But I would think...
"I can do this later...
Mustn't let my Tea get cold...
Come on... You've had a hard day,
put your feet up and relax."
Once again, so much useless energy being put into excuses. I could have taken the tea bag back and forth to the kitchen tidy any number of times in the space of time that I was procrastinating.
On another occasion, I was walking to the kitchen and I happened to notice the key to the backdoor was still inserted in the deadlock. Having just had this lock installed after being robbed the previous day, I thought to myself...
"It would be wise to start getting used to NOT leaving the key in the deadlock.
Since there was a small window quite close to the lock, someone could break the glass, reach around quite easily and turn the key. Hence, the purpose of the deadlock would be entirely defeated".
My Instinct (or Inner Truth), gave me the idea to go over and get the key, but in the following moment, the old Ego steps in forever wanting things to go easily and smoothly. The excuses then appear in the mind.
"That's a good idea, but start doing it the next time you leave the house."
This type of argument is very seductive, and it takes a strong resolve to see through its disguise. Its effect is to quickly kill the good nature of the original idea by constantly delaying its implementation. It should be noticed that the Ego did reluctantly recognise the truth of the idea, but smeared it with its trade mark of rationalisation.
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Rationalisations always appear very soon after the initial concept is delivered by the True Self.
This is valuable for us to keep in mind since we are now able to see a potential for confusion. We must learn to recognise the Instant Fear of the Ego, and the normal decision making process that we would undergo as we evaluate and compare through logical deduction. (Which is in itself a process of seeking the Truth).
THE TRUTH IN INSTINCT:
The more effort you put into building this foundation of self awareness, the more slicker the excuses can become. Through all the struggles of these mental gymnastics, you must keep one thought in mind... "Excuses are the voice of the Ego." The True Self just knows what is good and right. It sees a situation and the answer or solution is there immediately. There is no time spent formulating a plan of action; the True Self just KNOWS. The True Self is knowledge. It is instantaneous and complete, and never needs to be adjusted or fine tuned, but the Ego can also be considered a thinking process over a period of time that will process countless options.
Be sure that your intuition or instinct will always deliver a concept, and in the twinkling of an eye one is gifted with the wordless essence of what is needed. How fortunate we are that our True Self is always loving and willing to keep on being there for us. Unlike external happenings, our True Self never stops trying to guide us through simplicity and Love. It will never chastise us for any mistakes we make... it never lets us down... and it never will. It persists in Love as we persist in our follies. This is the God within us all. This is the Image that we are made in and it is constantly available for our good and betterment.
As you develop this awareness and discipline, you also bring forth your Inner Wisdom through the refinement of Instinct. The successful use of instinct will highlight how Spirit is as much as a part of your being as the Body is. When this link of Spirit and Body is truly made, you will begin to have tremendous advances in your Spiritual and Personal development. You will be well secure on your road to Wholeness.
The aspects of my character described earlier, represent only the tiniest fraction of the many ways I addressed the task of change through awareness. While I knew they were a burden to me, I also knew they could help me develop my new discipline. By becoming aware of how I was being seduced into laziness and inaction, I was able to take the appropriate measures and get myself off the crooked road. Once this technique of self examination had become automatic, no more did the Ego have a power over me to take charge of my first actions. With every little battle I won, I brought to myself a new strength. It felt good to follow my very first and true thoughts because it gave me a power that made me feel good about myself and believe me... it is such a GOOD feeling. It is a feeling that brings such a sweet peace, since the real me has acted to mytruest feelings. For once I feel in charge, and you will also know this feeling. It is so comforting to know you have successfully acted from your instinct, and the rewards will start to spill over into other areas of your life. We have been blind slaves to this part of us for too long.
MY LESSONS AND YOUR LESSONS:
My situations were unique and important for ME, but within your own situation, it is only yourself who has the ability to discern what is important for YOU. This will be your first real Adult use of instinct as you learn to identify and pursue your Inner Truth while those subtle negatives try to keep you from being free. Free to be YOU ... free to be the REAL YOU.
As you've been reading these words of mine, your thoughts could very well have been centred around some mocking disbelief relating to my use of such ordinary every day events. You might be thinking..."Perhaps this guy could do with a long holiday", or some other rationalisation. The point I want to make to you Right Now!, is to understand how subtle and cunning the excuses for not changing your existing patterns can be.
The very fact that your mind processes an excuse or a rationalisation, is a sure sign of your Ego not wanting things to alter.
Change is another thing that causes the Ego to fear, and this is when the excuses will really start pouring in. The Ego wants the status quo to be maintained with things going smoothly and without concern or effort. It wants the established patterns of behaviour to remain intact.
Remember, change is another unknown for the Ego. It needs facts and figures. It needs reference material.
It is very powerful, but when it has had an experience of the fruits of Faith and Trust, it will slowly come to accept the unknown more and more. This is why we need courage.
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TO THINE OWN SELF BE TRUE:
Please be honest with yourself. You owe it to yourself to grow in Truth, Strength and Love. Start opening up to the world around you by opening up to yourself like you've never opened up to anyone else in your entire life. You are your best and most trusted friend, and you certainly want the best for yourself. You are a good person, you are a kind person and you will strive like you've never strived before. You are becoming NEW, you WILL become new. You will shine and your light will touch others as you continue to understand all aspects of your life... Your life that was, the life that is now, and the life that is to come.
Your future is in YOUR hands, and only you know the direction that you need to pursue; only you through your own Truth, can guide yourself to a peace most suited to your own self. This is the importance of being totally honest with yourself. Do not fear your Truth, for the True Loving You knows not fear, but only Love. It is the Ego which fears, and...
YOU ARE NOT YOUR EGO!
...it is but one part of your entire self; it is a part of you that serves a purpose but will be put in its proper perspective as you develop Love as your new Guiding Force.
Take time to do these things peacefully, gently, and patiently. There will be no gain if you rush into the task with either some hidden resentment; a reserve that the technique is a bit suspect; or in fact, any other negative you might be harbouring within. You are making yourself new, and you are becoming someone whose life will be modelled on Peace, Love of self and others, and Patience. You must open up to trust your instincts. Remember that the past mistakes were guided from the Ego which acts upon fear. Instinct is truth motivated
Bring a job to its logical conclusion, especially when it's completion may only take a very short time. We can all rise to the occasion when the going gets rough, but it those seemingly insignificant events in our everyday life that silently bash at our psyche and leave us bearing subtle wounds to hold us back from becoming the whole and full person that we are capable of being.
In summarising this chapter, the purpose of this level of self examination is for developing a technique which shall bring to the forefront of your thinking, many unconscious patterns of behaviour. Once this is firmly established, you will start to gain insights into your Ego relinquishing its stranglehold over the other parts of yourself; those parts that long to unite into that Whole and Free being that you are supposed to be. You will then begin to know freedom.
As you progress in this task, you will cease to do things automatically or without thinking. You will learn to stop and question; evaluate and choose. You will learn and understand; you will grow and step out on your own again. Your needs will be few as you find more and more, that what is most important...that what is really needed, is already contained within.
One day I thought...
"My new way of thinking is now Second Nature to me."
But I soon realised I had some more work to do,
because I wanted it to become First Nature to me.
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Staff, H. (2008, December 31). Cultivating a New Discipline, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2023, March 29 from https://www.healthyplace.com/alternative-mental-health/still-my-mind/cultivating-a-new-discipline