Asteya – Wk 2 – Living as a Visitor & Building Competence

Posted on Posted in Self-Study, Yamas & Niyamas


Hello all. Last week was a hard week. My husband left on the 7th for training in Southern California and I’ve been sick since the 10th. I spent Thursday the 12th in the ER with abdominal pain and had to go through a myriad of tests to see what was causing the pain. Nothing definite was identified, but I know it was GI irritation from the stomach flu that is still lingering. I actually think I would be farther along in my healing if I hadn’t gone to the ER. I had a CT scan and had to drink some iodine contrast which REALLY upset my stomach further and made me feel like shit. Anyway, at least it wasn’t appendicitis!

It was lonely and scary being in that much pain with my family and husband so far away. I was able to use some of my breathing and meditation techniques while I was there so that was a comfort. I also realized how absolutely terrifying this type of situation must be for someone without insurance. I know that the cost of my visit has to be in the thousands of dollars for all the testing they did. I can’t imagine how scary that would be for someone without insurance or, for a lot of people, insurance that only kicks in after you’ve reached some insane amount of spending. In case you couldn’t tell, I believe the health system in this country to be horribly broken, but that’s a post for another time! Moving on 🙂

Living as a Visitor 

Deborah Adele writes, “…live as a visitor to this world, rather than an owner. Notice how much is available to you to use and enjoy without needing to own them (parks, libraries, concerts, sunsets, etc.).”  I love this suggestion. As a mom I’m always looking for free stuff to keep my daughter busy. I really love libraries and think they are so incredibly important to a community. I’ve always loved books and libraries, but I find myself using them even more now that I’m a mom. Our local library offers a Preschool Story Time on Wednesday mornings and my daughter loves it. I mean she LOVES it. They put out play-doh, games, blocks, more blocks, and crayons and paper for the kids to use before the actual story-telling starts. The woman who runs it is awesome with the kids and is a lot of fun. We sing, dance, read, and usually play with one of those parachute things that I know is my daughters favorite part. And the best part about all this? It’s F-R-E-E! Does your local library offer this? If you’re interested and don’t know, pop in one day and ask! Or go online, our library system has everything listed online, which makes it super easy.

Parks are another big one. As an adult I never really went to many parks before I had my daughter, but now we use them often. Living in the PNW it’s hard to get outside as much as I’d like. More than half of the year it’s raining/cold, but when it’s nice we go outside. And as Deborah suggests, enjoy nature, it’s free and NO ONE owns it, despite what some corporations might believe. Do you have something that you love to do/a place to visit that no one owns?

Building Competence

In this section of her chapter on Asteya, Deborah writes about building competence or adikara. The word adikara is a Sanskrit word that means “the right to know or the right to have”. What does this have to do with non-stealing? Well, Deborah also writes, “If we are not prepared to contain our deep desires, we can easily find ourselves stealing in all kinds of inappropriate and destructive ways.” I took this to mean that when we are prepared for the great gift of getting what we most desire, we need to have the knowledge, insight, and skill to not only receive this gift graciously, but live in a way that carries out and fulfills our dharma in regards to our gift. When we don’t have the knowledge and skill to possess such gifts or the knowledge and skill to fulfill our dharma, we may end up stealing from others in order to maintain our grasp on said gift. We can steal time, accolades, words, ideas, or even money from others when we are unprepared.

For this exercise Deborah asks us to think about our goals and dreams then make a list of things we can do/study/try that would increase our knowledge and build our competency, thus building our adikara. I’m going to be honest and say that I had every intention of doing this last week, but did not because I was so sick. I’ve been thinking a lot about it, but I didn’t actually put a pen to paper. And that’s ok, life happens. I will be putting a pen to paper and making an actual list, but in the mean time, here are a few of my ideas….

  • More YTT – I’m taking a 100 hour immersion in August (and I’m so stoked!)
  • More reading – I do this every day!
  • More Asana – Almost every day
  • More Writing! – I love this one because it gives me a chance to express myself in a cohesive and understandable fashion. Streams of consciousness aren’t always a great way to communicate a point 😉

So those are just a few of the things I can do to increase my adikara. And my goal, or dream for this life is to share the gift of yoga, meditation, and clean living with anyone and everyone. I want people to see the light that is within themselves. I want to show them how utterly infinite they are and how anything they could ever possibly want or need for themselves is indeed out there waiting for them. BUT, I’m still working on myself. I guess that should go on the list too, but since I do it everyday, it has become something that is just a part of me now. Sort of like the asana practice, but different in that it is a 24/7 process that goes on whether I’m consciously working on it or not.

That’s all for now! Thanks for stopping by. Hope you all have an amazing week and don’t forget to be a forklift! <3

Yamas book cover

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