Day 29, Surrender + Discipline = “Balance”

Yesterday on my balmy November run along the river my mind wandered as my feet hit the moist mushed leaves stride after stride. Already 55 degrees Fahrenheit, wet from the previous night’s rain, the air hung with a humid drip. Geese flew over head, squirrels scampered across the path madly foraging for their winter fare. It was a glorious morning to feel my lungs pulling in oxygen, my legs strongly carrying me forward, while my mind chanted positive affirmations. Every now and then it was all enhanced by the momentary interruption of bikers, walkers, and hikers passing by.

I laughed at myself for here I was on day three of my latest commitment – “I will run/jog/walk four miles everyday Monday – Friday”. I am always doing that, creating some new physical challenge, it is an active part of my lifestyle for over thirty years now. As I felt into my soon to be fifty-three year old body, I was rushed by blood pumping gratitude. I experienced a flush of immense thankfulness for the way my body has given back to me year after year. It has never let me down, this temple of skin, muscle, veins, blood, organs, and sensory nervous system. It awes me how it all works together to take care of me, what a marvelous machine. As I take care of it, it takes care of me. It graciously carried, birthed and gave life to two other amazing human beings, bringing them into our lives in the comfort of our own home. Wow, thank you body for all that you do. Thank you spirit for cheering the body on day after day after day!!

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“Live your life while you have it. Life is a splendid gift. There is nothing small in it. Far the greatest things grow by God’s law out of the smallest. But to live your life, you must discipline it.” ~Florence Nightingale

I swirled in this gratitude, floating like the leaves that fell on the moving river. As I basked in this grace, I crashed upon a thought that a special person in my life had stated a few months ago, he said, “You sure practice a lot of discipline in your life for someone who comes across to the world as a free wild child.” He is right! I had never thought about it before, yet his words struck a powerful chord of truth. I am a dance betweenez wild free surrender and daily determined discipline. Much of it imbued with honoring gratitude rituals. Somewhere in it all I maintain a balance, precariously suspended on solid ground with quick sand potholes.

A dreamer clinging to the string of my kite, flying with the birds on high, while keeping my feet in forward momentum propelled by determined action. What does this precarious titter-totter give me? Getting up while most people are still in the depths of dreamland, graces me with the quiet time to be in celebration. Making my bed every morning as I get out of it, makes me feel like I say goodbye to the last twenty-four hours and awaken to a fresh start. Journaling every day for twenty plus years has kept my spirit, body, and mind alive and vibrant. It is a place to dream and be reminded of WHO I AM. Meditating centers it all, quieting the chatter, so that the body, mind, spirit work together as a unit, vacated by the human ego. Daily physical exercise, an integral part of my life for thirty seven years is the flame in my furnace, it keeps me going, inspiring my determination, reminding me that I am alive and virile. Feeding my body nutritious organic food has been a part of my practice and awareness since my early twenties, for I am keenly aware that I have one body to carry me through this lifetime. Discipline, yes, as much as I hate to admit it, I am very disciplined in ways that I care for and honor my life, self and others.

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“To enjoy good health, to bring true happiness to one’s family, to bring peace to all, one must first discipline and control one’s own mind. If a man can control his mind he can find the way to Enlightenment, and all wisdom and virtue will naturally come to him.” ~Buddha

Surrender, ahhhh….that is the sweet spot! The fluid which flows between the ice cubes of discipline. It is the joy in enjoying French fries (one of my biggest weaknesses) with a cocktail in the company of friends. It is the day I grace my body with a slow sweet walk versus a pounding run or heavy weights. It is the faith that my recently published book will find those to whom it will serve, a result of inspired determination. It is lying my head down at night hearing the fear chanting into the recesses of doubt for a toe hold, taking a deep breath, I float into gratitude, the sweetest surrender of all. I wrap myself warmly in the blankets of love, faith and trust. I am bolstered by the pillows of discipline, for they hold me up to take action.

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“Always say ‘yes’ to the present moment… Surrender to what is. Say ‘yes’ to life – and see how life starts suddenly to start working for you rather than against you.” ~Eckhart Tolle

I made a quiet promise to myself on Monday morning this week that I would run everyday, Monday – Friday. Today is Thursday, day four. I look out at the cloudy wet day and I can already smell the decaying leaves and feel the cool air on my cheeks. There is no one here to “hold me accountable” per se, however, the most important person that I never want to let down is here and she knows if I cheat or give up! If I do not hold myself accountable, then who do I let down? Just me? Really? Look at that question for a minute. Yes, I let myself down, but what is the ripple effect of that choice? If I give up on me, then how can I ever ask anyone to believe in me, to trust me, to lean on me?? How can I ever encourage my children to go for it, if I myself will not tow that line? This leads me into another huge blog topic, so I shall stop there.

Today is a true dance between discipline and surrender. A day the United States celebrates Thanksgiving, time set aside for remembering our blessings. I have spent a morning of discipline, which I will add to shortly with a run and a bit more business work. Then I shall surrender into the joyous company of friends, indulging in copious amounts of delectable food. I wish all of you a blessed day where ever you are! May you celebrate with gratitude all that graces your life.

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“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.” ~Albert Einstein

A.C.T. (always choose truth) with surrendered discipline as you step towards your passions and purpose!

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