The Whole Truth

Jan 29

2013

My “Word” for 2013 — Discipline

by Alexis Neely - Posted in Pursuit of Truth, Truth |

Ya know how some people come up with a theme word for the year and then let that word guide them for the entire year? Well, I’ve always been somewhat resistant to the idea.

But, a lot of things I’ve been resistant to in the past seem to be coming into focus this year, so I’m not surprised that this one has too.

Before I tell you the word, I want to share some of the shifts that are happening because they are big and somewhat surprising.

First, some backstory.

In late 2009, my life began to change course dramatically.  I was on the fast-track to the kind of success so many of us wish for – fame, fortune, etc. — but, it was empty.  I knew there was something more.  What I didn’t know is that I’d have to give up everything I held dear to find it.

Jan. 1, 2010, I left LA, moved to Colorado and thought that would be the answer.

It wasn’t.

I was still locked in my office working 12-14 hours a day, at least.  My kids would come home from school, head downstairs and play video games for hours.  I had no time for the community I longed for and I began to crack.

Piece by piece, I let it all go.

First, the teams supporting my businesses.  Then, the boyfriend I loved so much.  Finally, my reputation.

2010 was the year of letting it all go.

I began 2011 with a new name.  Ali Shanti.  A new vision.  A farm, a community, a place to give birth to the new paradigm.

Little did I know 2011 would be about facing everything I was most afraid of.

My relationship with Russell ended as quickly as it had begun.  The event we planned to host together at Eden — Eden Unplugged —  had to go on in the midst of our relationship ending and Craig stepped in to co-lead with me and take a leading role in my life and within a few months he was supporting me to let go at a deeper level than I ever could have fathomed.

My greatest fear was that I would have to move onto my farm.

You see, I didn’t buy it to live on. I bought it to make into a new paradigm business venture, a community, a gathering place, a seed of collaboration.

The Universe had other plans.

Within 6 months of its creation, it began to fall apart.  Lack of understanding about how to structure ownership and responsibility, lack of clear vision, rampant addiction among the members of the community and many other short-comings on my part resulted in a hard decision to make come August.

Would I keep trying to hold it together, falling deeper and deeper into chaos, struggle and distance from my kids or would I let go another level deeper?

With Craig’s support, I decided to dive.

I gave up the big house, the fancy car, the private clients, my credit score and faced my biggest fears — living without credit and moving out to the farm.  45 minutes from town, alone (the “community” disbanded once the financial support was gone) with my kids, and facing winter.

I was freaked the freak out!

The idea of living on a farm with my kids, alone, through the Winter, was NOT part of my life plan.

I gave up my personal assistant, my housekeeper, having my best friend two houses away to help with mealtime and my personal trainer.

It was time to learn to be self-reliant.

It turned out to be one of the best year’s of my life.

I learned so much about myself, reconnected with my kids, discovered how to receive help from people not on my payroll, and how to provide value in the world just by being me.

By August 2012, it was time to come back into the world.  We left the farm and returned to the city.

Another scary transition.  Would I be able to maintain my connection to my kids and myself while at the same time moving back into the world of money, bills and “city life?”

It’s been nearly 6 months and there have been moments of uncertainty, times of feeling caught up again in the so much to do, that feeling of lost-ness.

But, something shifted for me as 2013 dawned.

Suddenly, I’m looking outside myself far less and turning within far more.  Even more than when I was out at the farm.

Thanks again to Craig, I began working with a healer/medicine woman on getting in touch with a part of me that I’ve long avoided.  A part that holds the keys to me being able to do the work I most came here to do, my soul’s work, in an even bigger way.

So instead of going out this weekend, connecting with community and generally wanting to be anywhere but here, I stayed in.  I hung out with my daughter and I connected with myself.  It felt extraordinarily good.

And then …

I decided to take a meditation class. 90 days. 40 minutes of sitting every day with a one-hour sit each week. WTF?!?

Really? If you knew me, you’d wonder.

Today was the first class.  And in the midst of it, my word for the year came ringing through.  Discipline.  My word for the year is discipline.

I re-started CrossFit and I’m going 3 times per week even though my body is screaming about it.  I’m cooking frequently – very odd for me – and keeping my room clean.  I’m staying home when my rebellious teenager just wants to go out and party.  And, now, 40 minutes of sitting meditation everyday.

These are not things the old “I” ever wanted to do.  But, some new emerging “I” really wants this.  The one who is so ready for me to do the big work I’m here to do.

It takes discipline to show myself I love me.

As I was contemplating this, it occurred to me — this is the last year of my 30s.  I’ll turn 40 in November. I’m maturing.  Less looking outside myself for what’s good and more coming within to find it.

So, I’m curious about you.  How does discipline show up in your life? How do you show yourself you love yourself by doing things you don’t think you want to do?  And what are the results when you do it?


  • “These are not things the old “I” ever wanted to do.  But, some new emerging “I” really wants this.  The one who is so ready for me to do the big work I’m here to do.”  I love this.  And can totally resonate.  As for the whole “self-sustaining” and integrating back into “city-life”, I’m totally with you on that one too. Such a joy reading this post Ali.  Great to hear what’s unfolding in your world.  As always, wishing you much love and joy.  XOXO

  • “These are not things the old “I” ever wanted to do.  But, some new emerging “I” really wants this.  The one who is so ready for me to do the big work I’m here to do.”  I love this.  And can totally resonate.  As for the whole “self-sustaining” and integrating back into “city-life”, I’m totally with you on that one too. Such a joy reading this post Ali.  Great to hear what’s unfolding in your world.  As always, wishing you much love and joy.  XOXO

  • Congratulations Ali. I have to say, I was surprised to read this is the first you have explored meditation. Reading what you have accomplished and the radiant energy you put out to the world, I can only imagine how much more beauty you will find and share as you delve into the depths of within. Meditation is a powerful and beautiful process. I would say, by far, the most disciplined I have had to be in my life has not been in physical training, in business or even in parenthood, but during my years of meditation and gifting that regular practice to myself. A disciplined meditation practice can make a regular workout routine seem like a walk in the park! I am excited for your 90 day exploration as it holds the potential to reveal incredible insights for you. It takes far greater strength to be soft, gentle and loving to yourself. Welcome to the inner world. You will soon be hooked! As Yogi Bhajan said, “Keep up and you will be kept up.”
    Namasté,
    Stephanie

  •  I have had to do a major redefinition of my relationship with
    discipline in the past year… It now holds much more the feeling tone
    of devotion whereas in the past the feeling tone was punishment… I
    relate to what you said about discipline being the exercise of doing the
    things that show you self love even though a part of you would rather
    just skip it. Keep leaning in…

  • Nice post Ali. I think discipline is like a foundation – to build without discipline will risk it falling apart. We are on the same track it seems; I always used to try too much and never accomplish anything. Now i make small progress every day. I started to workout every day on November 1, and I’m still going. And every day i work on my business – even if it’s only for 5 minutes. I’ve seen major changes in my life already. All because of discipline. Keep it up 🙂

  • Rjm3569

    Love this post…..get ready for your forties they will be wonderful
    Enjoy each minute
    I love you and I look forward to each leg of your journey

  • Thanks Jeffrey. I’ve always been awesome at discipline when it comes to my business, or really anything external. I studied my ass off in law school so I could graduate first in my class, as an example.  This is the first time I’m finding discipline around more internal things. I’m growing up!! 🙂

  • Thanks Jeffrey. I’ve always been awesome at discipline when it comes to my business, or really anything external. I studied my ass off in law school so I could graduate first in my class, as an example.  This is the first time I’m finding discipline around more internal things. I’m growing up!! 🙂

  • Discipline for me is not making new decisions about our basic practices. My spouse and I get up early to sit for 20 minutes, then read to each other for another 20 minutes before we discuss any of the business of the day. At least once a week when she asks me to go to the Dances of Universal Peace I say “Yes.” Before meals  we offer a blessing, including when we’re in public (despite that it embarasses our children.) I share a communal meal with friends every week. On the full moon I try to remember to disavow “all my ancient twisted karma, borne through body, speech and mind..” Lately I have been trying to be kind, considerate and thoughtful about my own needs for rest and renewal. We’ll see how that works.

  • Michelle

    That is exactly where I am at, sister. I am heading to my morning yoga mysore practice right now. I feel the need to embrace discipline in a big way. I love you, Ali and am appreciative that we are finding similar needs and meeting them. It’s great to hear where you are at.

  • Discipline is like wellness for me, something I notice in its absence and by consequence. Then the recommitment to myself begins anew with a new respect for daily practice of all sorts and a sense of provision, of coming home, of being deeply cared for.

  • I’ve tried meditation in the past, but could never calm myself enough to really do it. And I didn’t think i really needed it.  I found my meditative space in dance, and other ways.

    I’ve gotten to a place in my life where it’s now necessary. I now understand that if I want to do my big work, my Great Work, in the world, I need to spend this time connecting with myself each day.  OMG, it’s hard!!! 

    Today was my first 40-minute day and I was SURE that the guy doing the timing forgot to set the timer. What a relief when that bell rang. LOL.  Thanks for your love and support.Namaste back atcha sister.
    Ali

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for sharing your journey Alexis.  I’m working on my discipline too as an entrepreneur. Meditation has definitely helped as well.

    I love what you said about maturing and focusing inward.  I’m right there with you …

  • Haha growing up indeed! And you’re right – whenever I hear about discipline I tend to think about external goals. But I think working on the internal; being disciplined for those un-quantifiable goals ultimately impacts your life in surprising – and possible even greater! – ways.