Self-discipline is a form of freedom. Freedom from laziness and lethargy, freedom from the expectations and demands of others, freedom from weakness and fear—and doubt. Self-discipline allows a pitcher to feel his individuality, his inner strength, his talent. He is master of, rather than a slave to, his thoughts and emotions. H. A. Dorfman 

There is such a paradox in the notion of discipline and freedom. In our instant gratification society, we chafe under the idea of disciplining ourselves. We think, somehow, that it means lack or limitation or deprivation. So we buy everything and anything we want, when we want it, thinking that this means we are “being abundant.” The problem is that going into debt or using a credit card when we don’t have the money to pay for something is living in an abundant future, not an abundant present. The result is that buying on credit creates debt in our present.

This burden of debt actually limits our feeling of abundance. Being disciplined with our money is good stewardship by using our resources wisely once they are in our hands. This does not mean that we limit what is coming in, through all the many channels and ways the Universe supports us. It does mean we are thoughtful about it once we have it, not from fear, but from care. This creates a powerful opportunity for spiritual practice and spiritual discipline. The paradox is that the result of this discipline is true financial freedom! Now everything that comes in is available to use in the way we choose, not obligated to mountains of debt.

Spiritual Contemplation: Do you feel financially free or burdened by debt? What causes you to go into debt?

Affirmation: I live a free and abundant life! I am open to all the ways abundance flows into my life! I am a good steward over what I have. I am debt free!