There’s a continuum of ‘treat yo’ self’ to ‘discipline yourself’ and being able to find a balance from day to day is what makes it ‘healthy’.
This was an aha moment for me during my morning run. It’s extra hot out right now and as I ran slowly on my regular route I thought about how it takes discipline to keep going forward when the conditions are not ideal. I haven’t always have a good relationship with discipline though. Naturally inquisitive, I’ve been pondering my journey to this mindful approach. Growing up, much of the discipline I received was rooted in toxic shaming. As soon as I was old enough to live the way I wanted, one of the very first things to go was disciple. Of course. It felt freeing, radical, fun. And it probably was. I really can’t condemn that transition, I needed it to find my autonomy.
But, it didn’t work for me forever.
Excessive indulgence lead to consequences that I didn’t like, and was soon followed by its natural remedy: excessive restriction aka toxic discipline. What this looks like is not exercising, binging shows, drinking too much, ignoring my higher self, prioritizing fun and feeling good over everything else. Followed by guilt, shame, lost goals, misdirection, feeling lost. The only antidote would then seem to be strict restriction. No fun, over exercising, punishment, mean self-talk, workaholism. Then the burnout, the collapse, the over-indulging.
What a roller coaster ride that black & white mentality took me on.
Eventually, through education, mindfulness, emotional regulation, therapy, love, & acceptance I began to practice balance in my life. And through trial and error I learned healthy discipline. My aha moment was noticing how all the things we do are not good or bad in and of themselves, but the way in which we do them, that makes all the difference.
So, I get my morning run in 4–5 times a week. I take a nap when I need to. I prioritize my goals and intentions, being sure to put in the effort that I need to, in order to accomplish them. I make sure there’s room for rest and play. And, I practice a balanced way of doing all the things.