Chapter Six: Rules, Principles and Doctrine

Very rarely in my life do I remember specific lectures that I have attended.  I am a visual learner, not really a listener.  I am much better at skim reading and getting the gist of something.  That being said, this particular lesson that I had over 10 years ago really stuck in my head.

I took a Doctrine & Covenants class from Doug Pennock at the Northern Virginia Institute of Religion.  (Oh my word do I miss those classes!) Doug was a fun teacher and a good friend.  I have used this concept in many lessons that I have taught over the years.  It's effective and it makes sense in my head.

I am a budding artist, can't you tell?  So here's the deal:

There are a lot of rules in my life.  A lot of Do this and Don't do that.  It's a dominant part of my religion and unfortunately I am finding that many of my friends grew up in a fear-based Do this and Don't do that world.  However, that is another post for another time. 

As I have thought about food and eating in general, I have come across many rules.  For example:

Do - eat lean protein, fruits and vegetables, grains, legumes, etc.
Don't - eat sugar, processed foods, sugar, white flour, etc.

Last night my friend said, "I can't get what you said out of my head."  We had been talking about the meat and dairy industry while preparing a whole bunch of crappy processed foods for our kids.  Which is also another post for another time.  

I asked her what she wanted to know and she said, "Can you just send me stuff to follow?"  Which made me smile a little bit since for the first time in my life I am not following any particular eating plan other than I don't eat anything that comes from an animal about 90% of the time.  The rest of what I eat is up for grabs.  So I told her that I drink coconut milk or almond milk.  She seemed a little frustrated.  What I have learned is that a person can't be "told" what to do and follow it unless they understand the Principle and Doctrine behind the rule.

"Yeah, yeah, yeah."  I can hear you saying this in your head.  I already talked about all of that here.  It has just been reinforced in recent weeks as people ask me "what I am doing".  The truth is, I am just listening to myself for once instead of all of the chatter out there.  I have moved past the rules of my life and maybe even the principles and have been immersing myself in the doctrine of why I do the things I do.  The truth of who I am and who I am supposed to be.  It's why I have made so many decisions of late that have been life-changing. I'm making progress. 

It reminds me of last year when I was going through the Paid to Play Academy and I learned about the Power Hour.  With that, you start off with exercise, move to studying, and end with meditation.  With the pyramid above, you move to a deeper level.  With the Power Hour you ascend to a higher level.  They go hand in hand for me.  That being said - I am terrible at meditation.  My mind doesn't seem to be capable of being quiet.  However, that is yet another post for another time.

Consider the rules that you follow.  Figure out what the principle is.  Determine the doctrine and let that be the driving force for your life.  It makes a difference.