Prepent Day 22: An Element of Fun

Sunday 9/25/16

Elul 22 5776


Dear Discipline,

It’s a slippery slope: I stay up late, wake up late, miss my morning writing, meditation, then catch up for the rest of the day, tired, and something is missing.

Self discipline, when calm and when chaotic, is what helps me ground the most. And yet so much of my life has been in struggle, wrestle, dance with self ascribed self discipline habits and how to live these vital tasks with love, not with resentment.

“With every job that must be done there is an element of fun” sings Mary Poppins, the disciplinarian governess who knew also knew a thing or two about magic as she teaches the kids to make up their beds. “You find the fun, and, snap, the job’s a game..”

Working with my coach Laurie these past months reinforced the sense of self commitment to whatever it takes to make me happier and more helpful. Self growth isn’t magic. It is work, but it can be a great joy. And it all starts with you, Discipline.

I prefer you as Ms. Poppins. You hurt so good. This coming year I want to figure out more ways to have you in my life with less hurt and more good. And magic.

On this 22nd day of prepent I’ll co-lead a session with Laurie at Lab/Shul’s High+Holy Bootcamp , getting ready for the year ahead in body, mind and soul. I’m excited. This is one tangible way to walk the talk of these reflective days and make honest promises that we will do our best to stick to. Building habits and training ourselves to take on the grids that empower our being is one of the reasons these 40 high and holy days are so helpful. We get to be our own coach, and help coach each other. And it all begins with discipline.

What’s one area in my life that could use more loving disciplined attention? How do I improve my self discipline? This article from Forbes gives some ideas.

I’ll be thinking of you today, making lists, choosing one for us to focus on, in the most delightful way.

Love,

Amichai


PREPENT: Rabbi Amichai Lau-Lavie’s annual journey to the new year, with 40 ways in 40 days to reflect, refocus, recharge and restart life. This year features daily love letters inspired by Lab/Shul’s theme for the High Holy Days, “וְאָהַבְתָּ re:love.”

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This story "Prepent Day 22: An Element of Fun" was written by Amichai Lau-Lavie.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of the Forward.

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