The next Yama I am exploring is Satya, or truthfulness. It’s very easy for me to automatically say, “I am always truthful, I never lie!” However, when I take the time to truly explore truthfulness both on and off my mat, I realize there is still work to do.
I learned a long time ago that I am not a good liar, and I work towards always being honest with others so I do not have to remember what non or half truths I told them. This has not always been easy for someone who does not like to speak up for herself, cause confrontation or say anything upsetting to someone. However, I have learned it’s much easier to just be honest.
The work that I need to do is mostly in being honest with myself, particularly in what I am currently capable of doing (or not doing). I set grand goals for myself each week. I hope to get in both a yoga class and gym workout or run everyday. I am starting to realize this is pretty unrealistic and also harmful for my body and overall, unreasonable. Last week, I had a nearly week long migraine that made me get real honest, pretty quick about what I have been pushing myself to do. I tried to run 4 miles, when I really should not have. I needed to practice something I tell my yoga students often, practice with the body you have today! Not the one you had five years ago and not the one you want to wake up with tomorrow, but where you are today.
I often think about days when I used to train for marathons and tell myself four miles is nothing, but that’s not where I am right now and I need to learn to practice contentment with this and slowly work towards where I want to be.
The other area I need to work on in truthfulness is saying Yes, when in fact, I meant NO. I often over-commit to things and end up feeling drained, resentful and dreading the tasks ahead of me. I have a hard time saying no and disappointing anyone and I generally want to do everything, however, sometimes, I do not stop and look at my current commitments and how taking on additional tasks will make me feel. This will be a hard one for me, but I need to remember a great quote that I heard, “NO is a complete sentence.” I know learning to say this when appropriate will help me feel less stressed.
Where do you feel you could be more truthful in your own life?