How to live from truthfulness
The practice of truthfulness. The practice of yoga.
In the recent Living Your Yoga post I mentioned that ‘Asana’ or the group of physical poses is in fact the third limb of the 8-fold pathway that is Yoga.
What has truly transformed me the most, over the years, is not whether I can get my leg behind my head (that is irrelevant!) but the spirit-fueled and often challenging lessons that the practice of yoga has offered up (sometimes by force). Yoga provides a container for deep learning, self enquiry and observation.
Yoga has intravenously fed a new perspective, attitude and approach to life… slowly… dripped into me.
So it makes sense then that, within the 8 Limbs of Yoga, the Asanas (poses/physical practice) are placed after the Yamas and Niyamas – ethical and moral codes. I guess we can view these as ‘commandments’ (ungoverned, of course) to live by. Guidelines for a spiritual life. And since first studying yoga some 4 years ago, many of these ethical and moral guideposts have found their way into my life on a daily basis – not in a forced way but moreso by encouraging me to be spiritually minded and live spiritually day-by-day and you know why it’s has stuck? Because it fits, it feels right and it works.
Today I want to share and explore with you one of the Yamas – Satya; Truthfulness. This particular Yama is a powerful one to look at and try and live from.
Satya. Truthfulness. What does that mean?
Dishonesty, lies, half-truths – to yourself and to others – is believed to be the surest way to cloud your own inner wisdom and intuition. In the yogi tradition, truthfulness is regarded as a fundamental step towards higher truth – towards a reunion with the divine.
Satya in the real world
Truthfulness to me, translates into authenticity. It’s about living your truth!
We have to learn how to be our authentic selves and be honest with who we are – including the parts of ourselves, the shadow within, that we don’t really like or want anything to do with. We have to embrace all of us. Own every part of us.
We must be prepared to step up and take ownership for our mistakes, our faults… our lies to ourselves and the ones we love. We must be willing to live, with truth as our guiding light, even when it is that hardest thing. When we lie to others, when we are dishonest to the world around us, we are lying to ourselves.
Truthfulness and honesty towards others
Well, Satya is not a creative license to tell everyone what you really think. It’s not the permission slip to tell your colleague what you think about their irritating habits or tell that bus driver you think he’s an ass. That isn’t living in your truth. That’s living in your ego. Big difference.
To me, Satya is about connecting to your own inner truth, that deep inner knowing on a soulful level. On a day-to-day basis, Satya plays out as integrity and honesty. Being the WHOLE you with utmost faith and sincerity. And giving others the courtesy of experiencing you from that space of integrity, honesty and sincerity. They deserve that, and mostly, so do you!
But who’s with me when I say being truthful and living from your soul is not always easy! After all that’s a life-long journey. Now, I don’t mean that telling the truth is hard, but living as a sincere, authentic, integrity-filled being means we have to accept who we are, where we are at, each day at a time. No judgment. No sugar-coating. No omission. No hiding. We have to be willing to see the dark and the light, the good and the bad. And LIVE from that. It’s much easier to pull the wool over our own eyes, and those of our loved ones, and shy away from the truth (or gloss it up!) than it is to step forward and be real is all our messy glory. Isn’t it? So when we look at Satya through the lens of authenticity, integrity and honesty from and for yourself, it’s a whole different ball game. It’s not just about telling the truth to your friends and family…
It’s about telling the truth, being the truth, living truthfully… and all without censorship!
Satya is about admitting when you are being dishonest with yourself. And often light is born from these shadow moments – when we face up to our darkness and we are willing to go there and get real, we discover so much goodness. As a ‘little liar’ as a child I have now accepted that part of me. The result? Today I am a firm believer in the power of truth-telling, simply because I carried the burden of my own lies for so long – the way it makes you feel isn’t something you wish you hold onto, trust me! By admitting when we are in opposite to Satya, we are gifted with clear sight, and then we can grow towards truth from there!
How does Satya show up in your life?
- Take a moment to gaze, objectively, upon you life. What role does ‘truthfulness’ play in your day-to-day life.
- Are you consciously living with integrity, authenticity, sincerity, honesty?
- If not, why not?
- How could you invite more of this beautiful philosophy of truthfulness into your life?
Share below in the comments! Let’s explore truthfulness together. Let’s get real! Feel free to answer the above questions in the comments below, or share any other insight with me.
in love, light (and truthfulness)
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