You’ll remember from my July 4th blog that this summer I’m studying the Yamas & Nyamas (and the Eight Limbs of Yoga) and sharing some of that with you. Well, here’s another installment from my studies.
To review, the Yamas are the first set of yoga’s eight limbs – they are like commitments or what we might call vows in modern times.
The second Yama is Satya, or truthfulness. Practicing Satya means being truthful with yourself and others. The sages advise that the yogi practicing Satya contemplate where they might be untruthful in life and why.
There are many ways that we might be untruthful in our daily lives. However, one of the more dangerous places where we might be untruthful is with ourselves.
When we cannot tell ourselves the honest truth, or when we convince ourselves that it isn’t necessary to acknowledge a certain truth in our lives, we do ourselves a deep disservice. So, the self-care strategy I would urge you to consider today is complete, unvarnished honesty (truthfulness) with yourself.
Where are you untruthful with yourself? It shows up most often in the TRUTHS we pretend not to know (did you know you do that?). We pretend not to know that:
- Overindulgence (of any sort) makes us ill.
- Neglecting the repair of a relationship only makes the rift worse.
- Stealing from our best time for sleep will only make the next day harder to navigate.
- Carelessness (as opposed to mindfulness) will lead to unwanted consequences.
These are common places where we tell ourselves what we’d prefer to hear, instead of genuinely speaking the TRUTH to ourselves and taking the actions that will spare us the suffering our untruthful self-talk ultimately yields.
Admitting the truth to ourselves may be unpleasant. . . or, as the quote from Gloria Steinman reminds us, the truth may piss us off, but acknowledging what is genuinely TRUE in our lives brings us enormous opportunity for change. When we stop sugar-coating our truth, when we stop lying to ourselves, this is the beginning of wisdom in our lives.
So, I challenge you today, to contemplate where untruthfulness may lurk in your life. I invite you to consider if you’ve been pretending not to know something essential about your own life and choices.
What might be available to you, if only you told yourself the truth? What opportunities might open up for you if only you admitted the truth that you know, but have been avoiding? How might your life improve if you allowed complete truthfulness (Satya) to guide your self-talk and approach to others?
If you’re struggling with some truth you’d rather not know (that relationship isn’t getting any better; the weight recorded on my driver’s license has nothing to do with the weight I’m carrying on my body; I’m really not going to be 29 again next year!) I invite you to admit it. Be honest with yourself.
We all need help sometimes. Being truthful with yourself may reveal just where you most need help. Get support if you need assistance to make the change that’s going to transform your life!