Continuing on with my study of the Yamas, I’ve been working on Satya, which means Truthfulness. It’s important to note that each Yama builds on top of the other. The first Yama is Ahimsa, or non-violence. Since Satya, or truthfulness, comes after non-violence this means that we should be coming from a place of kindness and love before we choose to speak our version of the truth. Even if something is true, is it really necessary to speak if it means hurting someone? Deborah Adele (author of the book I’m using to work through the Yamas and Niyamas – see my first post: http://wp.me/p4C99i-h) says, “…truthfulness always bows to nonviolence. First and foremost, do no harm”. Kind of like what (I hope) we all learned in Kindergarten, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all”.
With all that being said, it is important to identify and accept your truth. Being honest with yourself and with others means freedom. This freedom can come in so many ways: a new career path, a new partner, a new home, a new set of friendships, etc. I know it was hard for me to leave a job that paid very well even though I wasn’t very happy there, but when I finally did leave it was (and still is) so freeing. I often think of everything that went along with that job or see friends who are still working there and I think to myself how happy I am that I left. We all have reasons to stick around with people, places or jobs that don’t really fit us, but I’m here to tell you, it’s worth it to find the courage to say, “Thank you, but this isn’t for me!”.
“Nice” or “Real”
On M/T/W of this past week I worked on observing the difference in my behavior when I was simply being nice or when I was being real. I’m going to be upfront and tell you this has never been a problem for me. I’ve been described as straightforward, blunt, and direct, and a few other words that have been nice ways of saying I’m too honest. This is something that I’ve definitely gotten better at as I’ve gotten older, but in college I remember myself saying, “…but it’s TRUE!” so many times. (And almost every time I said that it was because I had just said something unkind to someone that was completely unnecessary for me to say.)
As Deborah tells us in so many words, just because it’s true doesn’t mean it needs to be said. I wholeheartedly agree. And many times, it’s not our place to say it anyway. Sometimes we observe behaviors in others that they need to address, not us. And not only that, have you ever tried to tell someone something they weren’t ready to hear? Yeah, that goes over really well every time. Anyway, what I’m getting at is, I believe it is absolutely important to be kind in almost every situation, but it is also absolutely important to be real as well. As Deborah writes, “Real, though not always pleasant, is trustworthy.”
She also asks us to note who we are interacting with when we are choosing to be nice or real. Are we seeking approval and does our behavior change depending on if we are acting from a place of niceness or realness? I honestly feel that we can all be nice and real at the same time. I’m not put in situations daily where I’m forced to choose one over the other. And in my personal relationships, if I can’t be real and am forced to feel like I have to be “nice”, I know this relationship won’t last long. I personally find it exhausting to have to be “nice” all the time. And I mean the fake kind of nice you see in movies where as soon as the person turns and walks away the other people start whispering to each other about how much they can’t stand that person. I have purposefully chosen to not put myself in those types of situations. Talk about anxiety inducing!
For TH/F/SA I used Deborah’s suggestion to spend my time in self-expression. She writes, “Make movement towards the external world with your internal hopes and dreams.” I love this. I think it is so important to express your dreams and goals. Speak them, write them down, share them with friends, etc. I have recently identified the path I’m meant to take for this life and it was so freeing and wonderful to write it down and share it with the world. I chose to do this on Instagram (IG) since it just sort of showed up one day last week.
I follow a lot of other yogis/yoginis on IG and a couple of them are running a challenge (#MovingForwardMay) during the month of May to express yourself in different ways everyday. The 2 of them (@SattvaSteff and @Nickag0g0) have teamed up and every day they offer a different theme for you to visit and reflect upon. The one in particular I’m speaking of was about inspiration. @SattvaSteff asked us to share what inspired us and how to we inspire others. For some reason this really resonated with me. As I started to post my comment attached to my picture it all just flowed out. I had never been able to put into words my thoughts and feelings about my life’s work, but it just came out perfectly that night. Being able to share this with others and to finally put it into words has really felt so freeing. It’s like that feeling of having a word on the tip of your tongue, but it’s just out of reach, then finally! – bam! there it is!
Self-Expression rocks my socks. <3
Can you observe the difference in yourself this week of whether you are being “nice” or “real”? In what situations did you choose to be “nice” and why?
Can you easily express yourself? How do you feel when you allow yourself to be honest about what you want or need out of this life?
I hope you all have a great week! 🙂