Discipline Supports Surrender

Recently I received a major insight that is profound and simple.

I have been wanting to find the “flow” more in my life. To write from ease and grace. To have work feel more effortless. I have been wanting to surrender even further to Life.

The guidance that came was discipline. Discipline facilitates the surrender and ease I claim I want. At first it didn’t make sense.

Then it did. I saw it in the main area of my life, parenting.

For example, as a parent I can’t let it all go and “just be.” I have to maintain exuberant discipline. If I have clear and firm boundaries as a parent, my kids feel safe to explore who they are. If I’m wishy-washy or lazy, they don’t know what is what or where the edges are, thus their healthy ego development is compromised.

I choose to exert a tremendous amount of disciplined energy to be present and available for my kids so they can keep relaxing into a safe container and be their fullest selves.

In other words, firm boundaries support my son and daughter to be free to be who they are.

Another example is in my marriage.  A tight container (exclusivity, commitment, monogamy, etc) supports relaxation and freedom to really let go and surrender to union with my lover.

This is also what I see as the heart of yoga as a spiritual path. Exerting intense discipline in each posture with presence and awareness allows for the moments of surrendering where the body can have a new experience. And all the exertion throughout the class gets to the last and final pose–savasana, said to be the most difficult posture in yoga. From my limited understanding, savasana is all about surrender. For me, surrender appears to be my most difficult “posture” my everyday life.

I even see this in any spiritual tradition. That a disciplined practice supports further letting go on the path. When I get lazy with my practice, I have subtly hit the snooze button.

Discipline is to be right here right now. In other words, it requires discipline to be present. And to be present is to facilitate the flow of the Spirit and Grace.

Yes.

More discipline is required. Now I have a place to direct my will. I don’t have to make that part of my experience wrong anymore. Time and my experience will tell me if this indeed supports further surrender.

A few different ways I see this:

It’s time to to set up more structure in my life. Time management and boundaries.

Boundaries facilitate trust.

Boundaries support relaxation.

Discipline supports being in union with God.

Yang, supports and lubricates yin.

Proper holding supports deep relaxation.

Structure lubricates manifestation.

Structure supports safety and being free to be oneself.

Discipline facilitates Grace coming in.

Discipline supports me being present which supports surrender and letting go.

Discipline in the right areas supports more acceptance and love.

I’m inspired to have things so structured that I don’t have to think about the details.

YES!

And, why even bother surrendering? Because it helps me really receive in the biggest way possible.

Up until now, if I want to continue to “receive” the guidance in my life, I would have said all I have to do is surrender. Now, I see a missing piece. That in order to surrender further, I need more discipline.

Boom.

Check out the next post as I explore waking up my inner samurai in order to get it done.

 

27 Comments

  • Ffina

    Reply Reply August 23, 2011

    Boom

  • Jason

    Reply Reply August 23, 2011

    Do you find that you are able to set discipline and boundaries for yourself while staying in an “adult-adult” relationship with self and not into “parent-child”? I like the idea of becoming more disciplined but I don't want to beat myself up or shame myself for crossing boundaries or slacking off.

    • Jayson

      Reply Reply August 23, 2011

      yes yes. that is the trick. not to shame or should all over oneself. it's the difference between tough love and shame for me. i'm using tough love with myself and it feels great. waking up my inner samurai. blog post to come on this!

      • Gamebuzzed

        Reply Reply August 23, 2011

        Difference between tough love and shame. Can you explain more?

        • Jayson

          Reply Reply August 23, 2011

          yeah dude, blog post coming on that one. BIG.

      • Jason

        Reply Reply August 24, 2011

        Thanks! Looking forward to next post on this.
        -Jason

  • Sundara

    Reply Reply August 23, 2011

    Wow. This is EXACTLY what I needed to hear today. For too many reasons to count. Thanks Jay. 🙂 I'm gettin back on the discipline train.

    • Jayson

      Reply Reply August 23, 2011

      yes sistah. i'm seriously tightening my ship over here. feels great.

  • Gamebuzzed

    Reply Reply August 23, 2011

    Full Circle.

    • Jayson

      Reply Reply August 23, 2011

      ha ha. say more. I think i know what you mean….

      • Gamebuzzed

        Reply Reply August 23, 2011

        Before your “crisis” you were about discipline. Tow the line. Garrrr. I'm going to assume that you've returned to a Tow the line focus but Sans Garrr.  If that is so I put my arms in the air and say “Thank God”. I love the process and new level of open. Beyond grateful for your almost two years of wiggidy. I loved seeing you change and fall in love with love… But fuck man, it's good to have you back. (lot of assumption here but it speaks my truth)

        • Jayson

          Reply Reply August 23, 2011

          I feel like I just received a hug from you. 🙂 thanks dude! awesome!

  • Dan

    Reply Reply August 23, 2011

    There is a simple brilliance about your words. Thank you

  • Jonathan

    Reply Reply August 23, 2011

    “I don’t have to make that part of my experience wrong anymore.”

    Boom. Shudder, and release. Thank you Jayson, words I needed to read. I feel stuck when I start trying to rationalise my decisions, only to end up thinking that I've made the wrong decision. Then I stop exploring what feels right for me. I think it comes down to sharing my experience in the here and now. That isn't wrong is it?

    • Jayson

      Reply Reply August 23, 2011

      Correct. Not wrong at all bro. Far from it. Since when is your experience wrong? it's just your experience. sharing that is a gift to others whether they like it or not.

  • Jeremy

    Reply Reply August 24, 2011

    New reader here. First glance its good stuff and seems to satiate an appetite I've always had for better living, thinking and doing. 

    On your topic of discipline tho, I'm curious as to how much tolerance you actually have for the un-disciplined in your life.

    I've personally received a lot of flack in the past for my non-disciplined approach to life of which I've mostly ignored. As a free-thinker with no dogmatic structure and an artist with a rebel mentality the idea of discipline is and has always been a huge turnoff for me.  That said, I AM now taking an interest (in the form of small steps) trying to integrate a bit more discipline into my life only to avoid time management conflicts. 

    I am not a parent nor am I married. I do have a very busy career life as well as a passionate perpetual artist/hobbyist. I agree that installing boundaries does help establish trust and that some micro discipline is probably good, but it does strike me that the over-arching idea of a life 'disciplined' is a life somewhat closed off to opportunity and idealism. The proverbial 'old dog' comes to mind. I know its a broad topic but this is ALWAYS where I get hung up (as soon as I hear the word 'discipline').  I know I personally don't want to live within such templatized expectations and routine that the details can be ignored. While that might work for some (even me now and then) in getting things done…its condescending to the naive kid inside me who wants to think and live way outside the box. Break all the rules and turn life upside down once in awhile. That mentality might seem dodgy if you have kids but its def not how creativity is fostered. And when you cutoff creativity you cutoff your appetite for learning. Not to mention the opportunity for healing, innovation, and idealism that gets missed. 

    I'm not trying to throw a bunch of hippy shit into the mix nor am I going against the grain for the hell of it. I've just found great personal success in learning how to fail gracefully of which I realize I could not have accomplished with 'discipline'. Perhaps if you are comparing your approach to life  with how a car works I can see your point. One can get a heck of a lot of milage out of a well maintained car but its pointless if you have nowhere to go.  

    Anyways…I just wanted to throw some Yin into the mix as its a triggering topic for me. Food for thought. 

    Here's something Steve Jobs has fostered as a parent and businessman.

    • Jayson

      Reply Reply August 24, 2011

      Nice Jeremy, I like your perspective. And, without being too presumtious, it sounds as though your rebel is still in reactivity. When I let my rebel run the show, I notice it's often in reaction to something and a push back. It also runs contrary to one of my current practices which is acceptance. And, as a parent, “discipline” or better said, “healthy boundaries” with my kids is the way I want to raise my kids. I notice them flourish within the boundaries.

      All this said, it sounds like you have found a way that works for you, which is the best thing. Keep going!

      • Jeremy

        Reply Reply August 24, 2011

        I wouldn't say the rebel is 'working for me' its just served me well. Right now I'm also working on acceptance …specifically radical acceptance. I need something more than the rebel to move into the next phase of my life but I shudder to think of ever living without it. Glorifying and adopting strategies just because they sound good is not my thing either. 

        Thanks for responding.

        • Jayson

          Reply Reply August 26, 2011

          ah yes. got it. your rebel is my inner samurai.

  • Mark

    Reply Reply August 24, 2011

    and SURRENDER gently redirects discipline. I like it. It seems that any attempt to put the truth in words looks like a paradox. “Truth in words” itself is a paradox.

    • Jayson

      Reply Reply August 24, 2011

      ha ha. correct, but step by step in my own way through my own experience without getting lost in concepts.

  • Andy

    Reply Reply August 24, 2011

    Resonating with what Jeremy was saying…..

    Surrender just is, its hard “to do surrender” for me anyway.

    • Jayson

      Reply Reply August 24, 2011

      Sounds like you are far more enlightened than I.

  • Josh S

    Reply Reply August 24, 2011

    In my experience, the “discipline” required in something like savasana is simply “inhibiting” (ie. not doing) my habitual tendency to “do” something. When I inhibit the habit, my body and mind are free to find their natural effortless “alignment”. It feels like hard work because I'm short circuiting an ingrained habit; however I'm actually doing much less work. You could say I'm disciplined, but in another way I'm just letting go.

    This kind of discipline I can endorse. However, I'm foggy on the rest. Your other examples seem like a different, animal. I hope you're not endorsing forcing yourself to do what you don't want to do because you think you should. Knowing you, I doubt that's what you're saying 😉

    Also, your email talked about procrastination. What's the link? It was proposed to me once (in a Psych course on motivation) that uber-organized people are disciplined because they don't trust themselves to be able to handle things without the structure. This landed for me. In some way then, could this self discipline enable my lack of self trust?

  • Hannah Kinderlehrer

    Reply Reply August 26, 2011

    i think this is dead on- i have to schedule moments throughout my day to tune into my environment, to my deeper, truer self (surrender.) if i don't make it happen, it doesn't happen. if i don't make my meditation practice a discipline, it will happen sporadically instead of regularly. i see it parenting too. thanks jayson.

    • Jayson

      Reply Reply August 26, 2011

      awesome. yes to parenting. so much more to say on that. thanks Hannah!

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