Being conquered by the disciplines

The other day I heard Rev. Nancy Allen mention that the disciplines that one may take on for Lent are not to be seen as something to conquer. For instance, if you are fasting from chocolate and "power through" the season without eating chocolate, it may seem like an acceptable way to talk about your success in "conquering" the temptation to eat chocolate. 

However, from a spiritual formation stand point the spiritual disciplines are not for us to "conquer". The spiritual disciplines are designed to "conquer" us. 

The disciplines are called disciplines because they "discipline" our mind, spirit, body and heart. They work on us over time to wear us down in order to remake us. They conquer us, in a sense, in order that we may be transformed. 

Even the non-religious disciplines break us down in order to transform us. 

Franklin-Covey and the calendaring systems they have are disciplines designed to force us to behave in a way so that our habits are different - that we are transformed into a more organized person (or so the promise goes). 

We enter the land of silence by the silence of surrender, and there is no map of the silence that is surrender…. The practice of silence…cannot be reduced to a spiritual technique. Techniques are all the rage today. They suggest a certain control that aims to determine a certain outcome. They clearly have their place. But this is not what contemplative practice does…. A spiritual practice simply disposes us to allow something to take place. For example, a gardener does not actually grow plants. A gardener practices certain gardening skills that facilitate growth that is beyond the gardener’s direct control.
— Martin Laird - Into the Silent Land

So may we be conquered by the disciplines of the season.