First published on: 5th February 2020

Discipline can be a dirty word for many of us. It may imply wrongdoing, being in trouble, or some form of punishment. The origins of this seem to come from old French, around 1300. Maybe we forget the root is that of being a learner, a follower, where discipline involves educating and training. As we enter Lent again we may be reminded of the idea of self - discipline, foregoing pleasure, and challenging ourselves.

Perhaps the words self-control are more helpful. I know that many of my poor habits in life, which lead to struggle, are down to a lack of self- control. So, for 2020 this has become my focused concept. This means that my commitment to wellbeing has to be lived out in conscious decisions and choices affecting my thoughts, behaviours and actions. This impacts on my use of my time, food, drink, relaxation, diary, bodily activity and use, habits and what I look at. Indeed, there is no part of life that could not be enhanced by learning to exercise self-control. Note the word learning a continuous process, requiring time and patience, not punishment. Like a plant being transplanted we have to patiently tend, wait and watch for the rootedness which brings fresh life and vitality.

This Lenten season I will be posting daily Wisdom for Wellbeing suggestions for self-control on a Newcastle Diocesan Facebook group page. They are offered as aspects of how to develop resilience and greater wellbeing, which enable us to face whatever comes with greater capacity for thriving.They are not aimed at guilt tripping, but at opportunity for wellbeing. Some may grab you and become part of your daily lives. But remember, this is not all about being independent, strong willed disciplinarians, we are told that self-control is a fruit of the Spirit of God at work in us we have only to ask for Gods help, and perhaps help from others too.

Join our wellbeing Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/ncldiocese/

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