Discipline leads to freedom

Monday, February 28, 2022

Listen here:
I’ve been blogging for a long time. When I look at my blog posts from 19 years ago, I see that every time I apply discipline to my life, it leads me to success in my weight loss journey. How so? Let’s talk about that today at the Simply Cintia Podcast!
I appreciate you for listening to this episode:

Here’s the thing, I am really close to reaching my weight loss goal. The last time I checked, I am 9 pounds away from reaching my goal. I’ve been closer than that recently too. The beginning of the new year brought about some stressful situations. I handled them with homemade bread and large helpings of peanut butter. I have adjusted my eating habits and now I am even more determined to reach my goal. How am I planning to do that? I want to become more disciplined because discipline leads to freedom. Richard Foster says that Every discipline has its corresponding freedom. 

“Every Discipline has its corresponding freedom. If I have schooled myself in the art of rhetoric, I am free to deliver a moving speech when the occasion requires it. Demosthenes was free to be an orator only because he had gone through the discipline of speaking above the ocean roar with pebbles in his mouth. The purpose of the Disciplines is freedom. Our aim is the freedom, not the Discipline. The moment we make the Discipline our central focus, we turn it into law and lose the corresponding freedom.” Richard Foster 

Let’s unpack this statement:

If I want to give a good speech, I need to learn rhetoric. Here is where discipline shows up: I can picture Demosthenes going to the beach each day. He takes off his shoes so he can get close to the cold water. In his hand, he has a lot of pebbles. He chose the smoothest ones possible but nonetheless, these are pebbles and they are heavy. He puts one by one in his mouth until it is full. 
The goal is to speak above the ocean roar with pebbles in his mouth. Day after day, he goes to the beach, takes off his shoes, puts the pebbles in his mouth and practices speeches with a volume that challenges the ocean roar.

The purpose is freedom. When Demosthenes has to stand in front of a crowd, he has reached the freedom to speak clearly and audibly so the person in the back of the room can hear him clearly. 

Discipline leads to freedom. Our aim is freedom not the discipline. Friend, what is your aim? Let me tell you what mine is: My aim is to reach my weight loss goal. So how do I apply this scenario of walking to the beach with pebbles in my pocket each morning? How do I speak with pebbles in my mouth? 

In my case, I write down everything I eat in a food journal. I drink water (64 oz), I sleep 7 hours a night, I exercise. These are my disciplines. My goal is the freedom, not the specific things I just mentioned. 

So how do we get to freedom? We have to show up at the beach each day. I want you to think about the freedom you want. It might be in the area of finances. It may be a spiritual discipline. It may be in your professional life. Whatever you choose, please take the time to think about what do you want. 

What is your freedom? Then, I want you to imagine yourself as Demosthenes, going to the beach and taking his shoes off. What is your beach? That location for me, when it comes to the area of activity is my CrossFit box. I have to show up each day and train. In the area of food, I have to take my food journal seriously. I have to open it several times a day. I have to be honest about what I ate and how much I ate. That’s how I practically take my shoes off and show up. 

Last but not least, what are your pebbles? Pebbles are not meant to be in the human mouth. They are dirty, they are uncomfortable. They are not chocolate, okay? But pebbles served a purpose of training Demosthenes to be a great orator. Friend, what are your pebbles? 

In the food area, is the habit of honestly stopping to grab a pen and write down everything I eat. In the area of exercise, my pebble is the fact that everything in me wants me to stop or to go slow when I'm working out. When I decide to keep going faster until I’m done, the pebbles have served their purpose. 

When it comes to sleep, my pebbles get in my mouth when I make a decision to stop everything I’m doing to go to bed at the correct time. I feel pebbles in my mouth when I set my alarm and put my phone away from me in the bathroom. 

When I decide to go on to sleep and let everything else go out of my mind so I can rest and recover for another day. What is your pebble? Uncomfortable disciplines lead to great freedom. The goal is the freedom, not the discipline. The discipline will get you to freedom so don’t despise it. Do it with the freedom in mind.