Sunday, April 28, 2013

Day 49 Devotion, not discipline

Several people have remarked, both in person and via email, how this food plan is easier for me because I'm a person with a lot of self-discipline. I think that's a false impression, especially if they've never seen me around a half-gallon of ice cream. And willpower and discipline never kept me sober for any length of time. It wasn't enough.

I do have a lot of energy and when I'm deeply engaged in something, I have a good capacity to stick with it. But it only works when I really want something. And I haven't been able to explain how that isn't quite discipline until now.

Yesterday I came upon a great quote from Luciano Pavarotti: "People think I'm disciplined. It's not discipline, it's devotion., and there's a great difference." His words were in a creative/artistic context but I think it applies to anything that matters to us. For more than two decades I have been devoted to maintaining my sobriety. And now I find myself devoted to a number of things: my writing, my art, my sobriety, and recently to a healthier, happier body.

I like the difference in the connotations of devotion. For me, there's something spiritual about it, something loving. That's a big shift from the punishing, militaristic connotations of discipline. Although one of my friends at dinner tonight pointed out that discipline and disciple have the same root meaning. So I like that idea too. That I am a disciple, a follower of good health and happiness.

1 comment:

zbmeredith said...

dear one, thank you for the last two posts. Glad your sails have caught the wind of devotion to feeling great. I appreciate the frame for this project. I ordered my juicer and have phone appointment tomorrow with elisabeth.