Satya & Truthfulness
Written by: Jaimie Gateman & Suse Silva
Satya…Truthfulness. So many facets of this word. On the surface, it seems rather obvious: do not lie. Of course, it then becomes a question of complex ethics… Are small, ‘white lies’ ever ok? Can we lie to protect those we love? Is a lie really a ‘lie’ if it doesn’t have any negative effects? Take a few minutes and meditate on these questions. Perhaps even set some guidelines surrounding lies, no matter how big or small they are, that we will promise to fulfill. For example, we can promise to ourselves to deny RSVPs if we know in our hearts we do not want to attend, rather than saying “yes”, or even “maybe”. Our family, friends, co-workers – anybody in our spheres – will appreciate this honesty and open-heartedness.
Lies often stem from fear. One of the tricky things about lies is that they confuse our minds and the more we speak them the more we begin to believe them. We may have witnessed this in our own practice or when teaching. Sometimes we believe that we cannot do a particular pose and we self- sabotage by say lies to ourselves without even realizing it. Have you ever said or heard someone say, "I will never be able to do a headstand." ? I know when I first tried a headstand I probably said something like "I don't think that pose is for me" and the more I said it the more I believed it and gave up on even trying. As I continued to progress through my 200hrs I was taught in Level 4 the kind of power words hold and that by repeating mantras and positive affirmations we can change the way we feel and think. What would happen if we reworded this statement to something like, "I am working on my headstands and soon I will be able to successfully get in and out of a headstand safely." ? As I began to change my words, my thoughts and feeling began to change too. I began to believe that I would be able to successfully get into a headstand and lo and behold I was! Let's dig deep and search for any lies that might be buried deep within us causing self-sabotage. Let's reword these lies and change them into proactive statements. "I will never be able to ______" to "I will be able to _____". See for yourself what changes you can achieve with the power of Satya.
"I think I can, I think I can, I think I can..." - The Little Engine That Could.
In Yoga, we believe everybody has the potential to know and live their own Truth. Our Truth also known as our Authentic Self is often covered by years of lies and samskaras (habits or patterns), that is uncomfortable to dig below. Only we know our own Satya. Yoga is of course a great way to dig through our samskaras in order to find our own Truth. We can also pay witness to others who live their Truths; our yoga teachers, our Master Trainers, our pet (or wild) animals, and/or babies - Those who are not bogged down by norms or expectations.
Take this month to reflect on the complexity of Satya and the intricies of our lies and samskaras...and then the power of affirmations and positive thinking. Once realized and witnessed, we can begin to change our attitudes, one affirmation at a time. Begin to live our own Truth, because we all have it in us to live Truthfully and Authentically. Truth, just like Love, Peace, and Joy...can only really come from Within.