Discipline – The Path to Healing. The Path to Freedom
This is an abridged version of the 15 page thesis I presented upon completion of the Three Year Spiritual Healer School at Damanhur University on the topic of Discipline:
As a healer, coach and entrepreneur, as well as from my personal experience over these years since my awakening, I find one of the most important and fastest ways to heal and evolve is through discipline. My clients who have the best, lasting results in realizing their dreams and goals are the most disciplined. Those who show up for their sessions, do the work, put in the hours for self care and act in the direction of their dreams experience the change, healing and personal development they desire to create and live happy, healthy lives they love.
I also chose this topic because when people ask me about how I’ve achieved so much in my life in such a short time, I feel I owe all of my transformation and accomplishments to discipline. Becoming a medical doctor, traveling the world, transitioning to a yoga teacher, then a life coach, spiritual healer and entrepreneur all required discipline. My dreams and goals only continue to grow. My reach continues to expand where I reach over 45,000 people worldwide and I work with clients from around the world.
The birth of my discipline began in the field of chaos. My parents were 18 years old when I was born. They were in the party scene, used drugs and there was infidelity. There was no stability. My father went to jail for selling drugs when I was five years old and my mother remarried to my step father when I was seven. We moved to a new place during this time. I grew up quite quickly and in psychology they say the first child of a dysfunctional family often becomes a type A straight A student and overachiever to make up for the family’s dysfunction. I needed the discipline to create order and protect myself amidst the chaos around me.
After all these years I actually thank my parents because they were exactly what I needed to become myself. The only way to become ourselves is to build the structure, and a way to build this structure is through discipline. Usually it begins quite rigidly and then there is an evolution to flexibility, adaptability, confidence and mastery. Ultimate you become the discipline. You become who you are.
This discipline has served me well, especially since my awakening and even more over the past three years since living in two countries and managing two lives while being involved in so much. It’s a personal choice for me to be enrolled in two schools at once, Alchemy and the Healer school, along with becoming an instructor of Inner Harmonization, and the many other courses and projects I am involved in along with my personal and busy work life. This past year a friend asked me to share my discipline with him.
Choosing this unconventional lifestyle and this line of work as a healer, coach and entrepreneur requires a great deal of discipline, especially to be an example and practice what I preach. Personally I feel the best way to guide someone on a certain direction or topic is to embody what they are seeking and be the results of what you offer and the advice that you share. Indeed it is possible to guide others on a path where you have the knowledge despite not choosing to live it for yourself, but in my opinion it’s much more powerful when you’ve lived through something and can share from your personal experience. Would you be inspired to learn from an overweight nutritionist? Embodying what you preach makes it easier for people to trust in what you say and to subscribe to your method, especially when you are living the lifestyle and/or embodying the way of being that your clients wish to achieve.
Definitions - Discipline, Healing, Freedom
Before continuing, let’s define discipline, healing and freedom. In my opinion, discipline is doing what you know you need to do. Discipline is about taking your life into your own hands and making a choice followed by taking action despite all of your limits, weaknesses and the temptations that steer you away from what you actually want to accomplish in life.
Discipline in terms of healing and spirituality is about being in integrity with yourself and choosing what is in alignment for you highest and best good for the sake of your greatest growth and becoming. It is the desire combined with the actions to be your best and reach your goals. It’s about consistently acting and making choices in alignment with your goals.
There are elements of discipline in all of the quests, as will be discussed in more detail later in this thesis. In relation to the first quest, discipline is about renouncing what is not serving you or whatever is not in alignment with your goal, such as to heal or evolve so that you can succeed in the direction of living your freedom. This could mean renouncing the comforts, habits, addictions and pleasures that are no longer serving you and that are pursued out of impulse versus mindfulness.
In relation to the second quest, discipline is about continuity, consistency and showing up even when you don’t want to. In relationship to healing and freedom, it’s about being proactive and consistent with your self care and personal development even when you are healthy, well and feeling good because this acts as prevention and supports you in making evolutionary jumps.
Discipline is a method to achieve freedom from your limiting patterns and support you in creating a life you love. As we see in the sixth, seventh and eighth quests, discipline organizes, adapts and orders. Through discipline structure is created.
It’s important to note that discipline is not about sacrifice or suffering it is a conscious choice that brings great rewards. Healing, transformation, optimization and freedom are great gifts of discipline. There is an aspect of delayed gratification with discipline. In the moment of choosing a discipline you may be inspired by the possibility of the benefits but in the long term you see it is for your highest and best good.
According to Merriam Webster Dictionary discipline means “control gained by enforcing obedience or order, orderly or prescribed conduct or pattern of behavior, self-control.” According to Wikipedia discipline means “action or inaction that is regulated to be in accordance (or to achieve accord) with a particular system of governance. Discipline is commonly applied to regulating human and animal behavior, and furthermore, it is applied to each activity-branch in all branches of organized activity, knowledge, and other fields of study and observation. Discipline can be a set of expectations that are required by any governing entity including the self, groups, classes, fields, industries, or societies.”
Healing in my opinion means not only curing or alleviating ailments, disease or suffering, but also reaching higher states of functioning and consciousness. Healing is an umbrella term that sums up all aspects of personal development both physical, mental and energetic that results in reaching our fullest potential.
According to Merriam Webster Dictionary to heal means “to make free from injury or disease, to make sound or whole, to make well again, to restore to health, to cause (an undesirable condition) to be overcome, to patch up or correct (a breach or division), to restore to original purity or integrity.” According to Wikipedia, “healing is the process of the restoration of health from an unbalanced, diseased, damaged or unvitalized organism. The result of healing can be to cure to a health challenge, but one can grow without being cured or heal without "a cure”."
Freedom in my opinion means living a happy, full life free of any obligation or suffering. Freedom to me is living a life you love in all aspects, living guided by your heart where what you desire and what you live are one and the same. Freedom to me is also about being empowered and being in complete power of your life through your choices while maintaining peace, love and harmony within and around you.
According to Merriam Webster Dictionary, freedom means, “the absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action.” According to Wikipedia, “freedom, generally, is having an ability to act or change without constraint. A thing is "free" if it can change its state easily and is not constrained in its present state. In philosophy and religion, it is associated with having free will and being without undue or unjust constraints, or enslavement, and is an idea closely related to the concept of liberty. A person has the freedom to do things that will not, in theory or in practice, be prevented by other forces.”
Healing Requires Discipline
My love for discipline, which I value very much, allowed for the natural transition from Western Medicine to Spiritual Healing and Transformational Life Coaching. I found working in the Western Medicine healthcare model where “dis-ease” is already manifest in people who are subscribing to a system that cultivates dependency on doctors, exams and pills is quite distant from a true cure, and essentially removes power from the patient. When patients have the mindset and belief that only a doctor or pill can heal them, they are completely unaware that they are responsible for their health and healing. I knew it would be much more difficult and a lost cause to help people change their lives and heal in this type of setting compared to the more holistic, spiritual based healing model I now practice as a spiritual healer.
The process of working with a spiritual healer or a coach puts more of the responsibility to heal into the client’s hand. Spiritual healers act more as guides on the journey rather than the doctors who write prescriptions to patch symptoms up. When people choose to work with me, I tell them that what you put into your program is what you will get out of it. It is the client’s full responsibility as to how committed and disciplined they choose to be.
Being your own healer requires discipline Ultimately we are guiding ourselves on our healing journey even when we seek the help of others. We create our own path to healing, but we must say yes, schedule the appointments, show up, take consistent action and commit to our self care.
The desire and choice to heal is often enough to ignite discipline within people especially when they are desperate to change due to pain and suffering. Discipline is intertwined with prevention and maintaining one’s well being, health, vitality and youthfulness.
Discipline can be inspired within someone even more when results and changes become noticeable. Also once general health and wellbeing is achieved, discipline can continue to support people in achieving even more evolved and optimized states of being and functioning where they feel their best.
Areas of Discipline when Choosing a Spiritual Path
The more disciplined you are with your self care the more you enhance your energy and state of well being to optimize your functioning, thus accelerating your healing journey. The following are areas that I have exercised a great deal of discipline for the sake of my spiritual growth and evolution.
Renouncing Smoking and Drugs
In some spiritual communities around the world mind altering substances are considered a path to healing and transformation, while others it is counterproductive to the path. Though I was never a smoker, and during an experimental few years while seeking spirituality I experimented with plant medicines, I chose to renounce all mind altering substances, which I believe helped me to accelerate on and be more in control of my spiritual path and well being. This also allowed me to recognize my spiritual path when I found it, which is a substance free path.
Renouncing smoking and drugs can be a challenge for many, especially those from big cities where it is a common way of life for leisure and recreation. Perhaps knowing that smoking puts holes in our auras and using psychedelics is counterproductive to the energy structure created by certain meditation and energy practices could be inspiration to leave such habits behind.
Fasting is a part of many spiritual paths because it brings us to heightened states of self awareness. Digestion consumes much energy so when fasting, energy is shunted to other areas of the body that need attention. Fasting has great healing benefits and also results in detoxing and purification. I have found great benefits with 3 days of fasting with just water and personally prefer to fast for the dietary preparations for rituals.
Fasting also puts us into a different state of consciousness, and allows us to exist in a more spiritual/etheric space since the act of eating grounds us into our bodies. Thus if we want greater contact with divine energy, it is much easier to perceive subtle energies while fasting.
I fast some hours weekly for the School of Meditation as a way to become more self aware and enter into energetic syntony with each other. Fasting is taken a step further in the Healer School with the recommendation to fast one day a month and half a day a week for healing and even more frequently on the Monk Path for purification.
Fasting requires discipline to go beyond the instincts of the stomach, cravings of the mind, emotions and food addictions to honor not eating, which is an instinctive habit, to become a purer channel for healing and becoming.
Eleven minutes of pranobreathing daily is vital for changing habits, healing, discharging and aligning our being. It is only as effective as how consistent and well it is done. The more disciplined we are with breathing the better the results and the more energy we receive.
If done daily it acts in a preventative way creating a cushion for us to show up in the world in a more relaxed and peaceful way. This type of breathing is also a form of detoxing and releasing all energies that are not serving. By being disciplined enough to change automatic breathing, holding the breath at the top and bottom of the breath supports us in breaking habits so that we can take different actions compared to the habits of everyday life. Through this breathing technique we become better healers and humans.
Weekly Pranotherapy / Biweekly PranoSelf
Pranotherapy works best as a preventative measure in regards to health and emotional well being. Energetically I have experienced an up leveling of my being when I regularly commit to pranotherapy and pranoSelf, even when I feel well, versus only seeking treatment when I am not feeling well. Healing is a never ending process that continues as long as we are incarnated. In my opinion the more we heal the less we suffer. Thus not only do these therapies provide healing but through a disciplined weekly and biweekly regimen, we can move further along the path towards freedom. Receiving consistent therapy also supports the enhancement of our energetic structure so that we may be clearer channels to connect with the divine.
I participated in two 10 day silent retreats. It requires great discipline to not speak for 10 days. I truly loved it and found it to be one of the most healing experiences.
Before our meditation meetings and at least 12 hours per week while in the Monk Path or any time we wish to prepare for an important moment silence is recommended as a way to bring us into deeper presence and awareness. Silence is a healing discipline because it helps to quiet the mind, creates even more awareness around the power of the word and cultivates greater states of inner peace and listening.
Prayer, Rituals and Mindset
Given thoughts and words create, the use of prayer and ritual are extremely powerful on our path of transformation and healing. Going through the Monk Path I truly experienced a purification process also with the help of certain prayers. Simply saying the phrase I clean my thoughts in fact does so. When working with my clients we work on their thoughts and language through affirmations and prayer as well as those who are consistent with speaking their affirmations aloud see the best results.
During the healer school we were encouraged to create our own prayers and rituals in order to support our healing, becoming and realization of our goals. These rituals are only as powerful as the consistency and precision with which we perform them and this requires discipline.
Rituals require discipline because they need to be very precise. Every aspect of a ritual from the times, gestures, words and details need to be exact and are all necessary for the ritual to be executed and for it to be successful. Pranotherapy in itself is a ritual modality of healing that requires the precise steps, hand positions, time frame, etc.
Mindfulness around sexual energy and sexual engagement is imperative on the healing path. Sexual mastery is essential to reach freedom. One must know how to direct this powerful energy because it can be used for projects and personal development.
Choosing to be mindful about with whom and how this energy is exchanged is important because of the energetic entities that are created. As well as not wasting the energy, such as with excessive masterbation and ejaculation for men can lead to laziness and fatigue. Even for women without practices to direct the powerful energy release during orgasm, it can result in a loss of energy.
Renouncing sex for a period of time can also be serving for one’s path to healing and freedom. This serves as an act of purification and helps to sever any energetic ties or leaks. During the Monk Path I became even more aware of my sexual energy and the moments it would be activated so that I could be more in control of it. Prior to the celibacy period during the Monk Path I was celibate for a year at one point and nine months at another. I find celibacy to be a great discipline to center oneself and use the time of solitude to direct one’s vital energy for healing and evolution.
Personally I feel all people on a spiritual path would benefit from learning the disciplines of Taoist or Tantric practices to cultivate sexual energy for healing and spiritual awakening.
Food is a sensitive topic for most people because it is connected to our survival and culture. With the contamination of the food supply it is more important than ever to eat all organic and as close to nature as possible. The more packaged and manipulated a food is by food science the less nutrition it contains and the easier it is to overindulge because it is designed to be irresistible. Eating healthy is a discipline that supports our greatest healing and becoming.
Learning which foods are best for your body is important for you to function at your best. Food is meant to give us energy so notice when you feel alive and energized after you eat, versus feeling tired, bloated or foggy. The latter are all signs that whatever foods were eaten are not good for your body. The practice of intuitive eating based on how you feel requires discipline especially when living in a nucleo community and all kinds of tempting sweets, treats and foods are present that are not good for your body. It takes discipline to say no. Also when eating becomes a social affair, there is a tendency to eat more than is necessary. This overindulgence results in feeling heavy, bloating and eventually leads to being overweight which is a sign of lack of discipline.
Generally renouncing added sugar and processed foods with chemicals is best practice for healing and reaching new levels of functioning.
Though culturally alcohol is a socially accepted beverage. Many people of the younger generations embarking on a spiritual path are choosing to renounce alcohol because the side effects are much greater than any benefit.
Alcohol is a neurotoxin that kills brain cells and neurons every time it is ingested. It is also a respiratory suppressant which is counter productive to importance that is placed on breathing, especially as is emphasized with pranotherapy. From a psychological standpoint it lowers inhibitions and thus people act in ways they normally would not.
Personally I chose to renounce alcohol when I chose to go deeper on my spiritual path. The turning point for me was during my yoga teacher training program. I went from drinking alcohol casually in dinner settings and on the weekends to nothing at all because when I had a glass of wine after the transformation of my nervous and energy system during the intensive training program I felt terrible, like I had been hit by a bus and that’s when I began to question why I drink alcohol. It took a few months after being back in New York City that I chose to renounce it completely because I could feel my meditations and practices were much more powerful without it, and that I could reach greater clarity and depth within myself without alcohol.
Keeping the body in shape through moving and exercising is essential to maintain a healthy connection with it, prevent disease, elevate energy levels and maintain youth. Since we no longer walk places or ride bikes, but rather sit in the comfort of a car way too much, many people become inflexible and weak and this creates a breeding ground for dis-ease to invade the body.
Exercising the body allows for the flow of energy to happen with ease and fluidity while maintaining the strength and flexibility of the body.
It requires a strong discipline to exercise regularly, more so than other self care practices because it requires an extra effort to find the time, place and space to do so.
As a healer it is even more essential to maintain the flow of energy in the body and thus exercise is an integral component to healing and freedom.
Time in Nature and Other Healing Support
Discipline is required even for the pleasurable things. Time in Nature or getting a massage also requires taking time out of your typical schedule. No one ever regretted spending time in Nature, walking a spiral, swimming in the river or having a healing treatment. They all feel great and may seem like unnecessary to healing but they are equally important. It’s important that we feel good and cultivate feelings of joy and happiness for our healing and becoming. Plus all of these activities serve to enhance our energy structure.
Discipline Allows us to be Better Healers
All of the above mentioned disciplines I feel are important to include in any self care or personal development program. The realization of healing and transformation requires organization and discipline not only for ourselves but in the process of guiding our clients too.
Especially because Pranotherapy is a ritual healing modality we need to be precise with all of the elements from the fire, light color, sound, breath, time and hand positions for the best results. We too must be disciplined enough to be on time and show up for our clients. We too must breathe regularly and be discharged regularly, as well as receive Pranotherapy ourselves to be the best people and healers we can be. We must also be disciplined enough to go on our personal healing journey and be ourselves because it is our presence and field of energy that supports the healing of others too.
The Courage and Strength to be Disciplined
Discipline is not always something other people understand. It requires strength and courage to be disciplined in the face of others who may not agree with your choices and may even challenge you for eating differently or choosing not to drink alcohol. It was interesting to witness some people get angry and triggered by my choices and often times this happened because subconsciously the person knows they need to be more disciplined for their healing and transformation.
There were times on my path when I was questioned about my food choices, and when I went against the discipline that I know works well for my body from a place of wanting to please others, I often suffered. I had to learn to be courageous and ask for the foods I needed and it was a big work for me to stand in my power and speak my truth confidently without it being a scary thing, which was a whole other growth point for me.
When I broke my own rules for the sake of others, where I didn’t feel in full agreement with my choice I have often felt regret or disappointment because of how I felt afterwards or how my body responded. Then finally when I became confident enough to be different, to say no to that which is not in alignment with my healing, and to be disciplined with my diet despite what the others said, only then did I reach the evolutionary jump to adaptability and love where I now am flexible for the sake of my values, one of which is greater harmony and connection with the others.
The courage and strength evolved into adaptability and confidence. It was good for me to have experiences where I broke my discipline to be reminded of the benefits of my disciplined choices. So that now I can consciously choose when to be flexibly with my discipline and often times it is for pleasure or even more union and love.
The Journey of Discipline to Freedom
Once you have practiced enough discipline, you become the discipline, the embodiment of the teachings and practices. Once a certain level of healing and growth on the evolutionary path is reached, and the discipline continues, there is an evolutionary jump and the discipline is reevaluated and rediscovered. There is a shift from rigid discipline to being disciplined with flexibility to where eventually union with others becomes important and thus intelligent adaptability for the sake of more love is chosen.
What eventually could have been seen as something that separates us from the others, discipline is the path that takes us through a refinement and transformation process, a healing and purification process, that brings us back together in a more complex way as a preparation for love and spiritual freedom.
Discipline begins as the more rigid discipline, such as doing Yoga everyday as I once did on my path, and it was useful at that time for restructuring my body and shifting my consciousness to a certain point for the transformation. Then it became a part of my lifestyle. Then came the reexamination of what I actually needed after these transformations, which was opting for a more flexible regimen of three times a week. This is an example of an intelligent rediscovery of habits. Then ultimately a level of mastery is achieved, you become the teacher sharing the wisdom but adding your color from what was learned in your personal practice. This is when union, an expanded view point of the discipline to include the others happens.
Until this level of mastery is achieved, it is serving to be rigid in the discipline and even have judgment against others who are not on your path because it is a way to protect what is being created. This was true on my personal journey up until this year. I often judged others for doing psychedelics or those who ate certain kinds of food, even though I had done so in the past. Only this year have I really embraced welcoming and unconditional love for all which has been an evolutionary jump for me as a healer and human and it is a lifelong process. Then through the prioritizing of values, mine for even more love and harmony, the discipline evolves.
Discipline eventually allows for the creation of complexity and a flexibility that allows for more union. This becomes an enlargement of our viewpoint where we do for the others through intelligent adaptability. This is when the discipline also includes that which creates harmony. This is where on certain occasions I put aside my discipline and find the best option to eat when with others, for example, for the sake of more harmony. Discipline as order and self determination. And this order continues toward the path of more complexity, and ultimately love.
My work as an entrepreneur and Spiritual Healer who travels often has also tested my strength in how disciplined I truly am. When you are your own boss, you must have the discipline to work for yourself because you make your own hours. There is no one to check on you to see if you are doing the things you need to do. Some may say this is freedom–acting on your own accord. Because of discipline I can manage even more and have the capacity to reach even more people around the world and even live in two worlds.
Where for some discipline could feel like a sacrifice, for me it is a way of life that allows me to enjoy life to the fullest.The discipline necessary for me to work for myself allows me to have a flexible schedule where I make my own hours and can work from anywhere in the world is one of my personal definitions of freedom.
When you’re birthing a business or a book out into the world, it requires discipline to realize. There are many distractions happening in every moment. For a period of time you must focus your time and energy to realize a goal and this means saying no to other things until the goal is realized. All the discipline is to keep me safe until I reached my goals, which I am still on the path to reaching, but at the culmination of this school, which also celebrates my three years in Damanhur, I’ve become the discipline, happily, and I feel empowered that I can achieve anything I desire because of it–and to me, this is freedom.
Since one way I define freedom is living in alignment with one’s values and acting beyond obligations, one reason to veer from discipline is for the sake of honoring one’s values. You reach a point of evolution where your discernment makes it clear what is the most important thing for living the moment. Sometimes what is most important for the moment is to not be disciplined. Sometimes what’s most important for the moment is whatever will create greater love and connection.
Do I eat the gluten filled gnocchi and creamy sugary flan my nonna hand makes? Yes of course because I love her and know she made for me with love. Do I feel the difference in my body, yes. And because this is a conscious choice to break my discipline based in experiencing greater connection I don’t mind suffering from some gas and bloating. It’s temporary and it’s worth it because it’s an occasion for more love.
After reaching a certain point on my healing and transformation journey, I began to see that what was most important in living the moment, even more than being disciplined, which of course have been essential to my point of arrival, was to honor my values of even more love, joy, peace, harmony, pleasure and connection. There comes a point, after the big goals have been reached, when you realize the true goal of this game of life is really about more love. Then this becomes the focus of the discipline.