Satya: The Truth About Time

Satya TimeAre you honest with yourself about your time?
Time is an area of our lives where we are often not truthful to ourselves and to other people. This isn't necessarily intentional but none the less these untruths have repercussions and can cause harm (himsa) to ourselves and to others as well as raising stress levels and anxiety.

We know how many hours there are in a day and how much energy we have to do what we need to, but how often do we tell ourselves that we can get the gazillion tasks on our to do list done, take kids or family members to appointments, visit a friend, cook dinner, bath the dog, clean the house, paint the spare room twice and be in bed by 9pm? This may be a bit extreme but I don’t think I'm the only one that can be a little over-ambitious when it comes to my time!
When we are not true to ourselves about how long things are really going to take, we let ourselves and other people down. We repeat the mantra 'I don't have time to...' to ourselves and feel anxious and overwhelmed.

 

This week, the satya practice off the mat is to become aware of how you spend your time.

Notice when you lie to yourself or others about how long a task may take. Be aware of how you feel when you don't complete it on time or when, as a result, you turn up late to another appointment.
Notice if you simply over estimate how much you can do, or habitually underestimate how long things take to complete (I'm guilty of this one!).
Notice if you tell yourself that you don't spend much time on your phone playing games and scrolling, or watching TV, but really lose 5 minutes here and 20 minutes there several times a day. Could these pockets be better spent cuddling the dog, reading something uplifting, or clearing your head in some fresh air?

Time is our most valuable resource. Practicing satya and being truthful about the hours you have in a day and how you choose to spend them can make you feel in control and less stressed.
Combine this with the practice of being impeccable with your word; complete tasks when you say you will, be on time to meetings and appointments, and be honest with people around you, and you be sure to feel more confident and accomplished at the end of each day.

Satya: Be Impeccable With Your Word

4 Agreements

The first agreement in the book 'The Four Agreements' by Don Miguel Ruiz is 'be impeccable with your word'.
He states that this is the most important agreement, but also the most difficult one to honor. Being impeccable with your word is tied closely to the second yama, satya (truth).

I think most of us believe we are truthful people, but when we dig a little deeper into our daily interactions we may notice that perhaps there are more untruths present than we'd expect.

Firstly look on the inside; are you impeccable with your word or do you tell yourself untruths like 'I'm not good enough to do …' or look at another person and tell yourself that they're prettier, luckier or more capable in some way than you are?
Do you tell yourself little untruths like you're not really addicted to sugar, that this one icecream isn't doing any harm, even though you say that every single day.
Do you tell yourself you'll start dieting, meditating, exercising or reading tomorrow but never get around to it? Do you do the things you tell yourself you're going to do?

As with so many of our yogic practices, we must begin on the inside before being able to practice in our interactions with others.

When we become aware of how many untruths we tell to ourselves it perhaps isn't surprising that there are untruths told to others. A little embellishment on a story here, an excuse for being late there….

In yoga we begin with awareness. Noticing when we do certain things and being an observer of our habits and patterns without any judgment on our actions or efforts. From that place of awareness we can set a new path.
This week, steer a course for satya. Be impeccable with your word. Remember to practice satya with ahimsa (non harming) and do not use the truth to hurt others. There is a delicate balance to this practice; it is not perhaps about perfection, but about reducing the unnecessary untruths that cause us stress and self-doubt.

An Introduction To Satya

During April, we focused our attention on the first of the yamas (yogic principles) ahimsa or non-violence. As we move into May we'll be focusing on the second yama; satya.

Satya

Satya is translated as 'truth'. It should be practiced alongside the the first yama of non violence, so that we do not use the truth in ways that cause other people harm.

There are many ways that truth can be explored both in our yoga practice and in daily life, the most obvious being not to lie to people. However, if you dig into the idea of practicing satya it becomes apparent that there is a lot more to this subject than meets the eye.
Do you consider yourself to be a truthful person? Have you ever told someone you liked their new hair cut even though you didn't? Do you keep your word and arrive for meetings/appointments/meals on time? Have you ever fibbed to a child to get them to behave? Have you ever embellished or exaggerated a story to make it more exciting or to make yourself seem more heroic, clever or interesting? Have you ever denied doing something so you wouldn't get into trouble? Do you edit and filter photos of yourself before putting them online? Is your social networking profile a truthful reflection of the who you are?

Discussions around satya often spiral into the questions of whether then we should be truthful and tell our boss that they drive us crazy, or what to do if your wife/girlfriend/friend/husband puts on something unflattering and asks for your opinion. Do we need to open up the books of our lives for all to see? These discussions happen often and are the shield our ego puts up to try and prove that the truth isn't good. This is the ego's last defense because it doesn't want to admit how often we are untruthful, and how often we turn to lies whether big or small for an easy way out, to boost self-image or to be accepted/fit-in.

In 'Light on Life' B.K.S Iyengar answers these arguments by reminding us that we must be skillful and wise in our practice. 'We should not use the truth as a club with which to beat other people…. Truth has got to be tempered with social grace. We are all guilty of complimenting someone on a new dress or sari because they are so obviously proud of it. Maybe if we had reached absolute truth we would not do that, but in a relative world, of which we are imperfect observers, we occasionally make concessions.'

When I read this section of Iyengar's book, I found it refreshing to hear him concede that in the modern day practice of yoga, being nothing but truthful could potentially do more himsa/harm than good in some situations and therefore a more skillful response could be appropriate. 'Truth is not a weapon to be abused, and the sword of truth has two edges so be careful'. He acknowledges that at each stage of our lives we may not be perfect, but we should always do our best in the practice of each of the yamas.

During the next 4 weeks we'll be exploring the practice of truth. We'll be referring to the book 'the four agreements' during this time as I believe the 4 agreements tie closely to the practice of satya. Check back daily for blog posts, inspiration and journal prompts.

Gemstones for Ahimsa and Gratitude

If you are embracing the practice of compassion and gratitude this week and wish to continue over the next weeks and months, white howlite jewelry is the perfect addition to your practice.

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White howlite is a calming stone of wisdom and insight. It calms an overactive mind, reduces stress, encourages patience, and calms turbulent emotions. It helps the wearer to let go of anger, selfishness and criticism, and develop a positive outlook on life. It promotes kindness, compassionate behavior, and peaceful coexistence.

White howlite (gloss or matte finish) is available in our online store and studio as a knotted meditation necklace, wrist mala, and in single bracelets and leather wraps. If your size or style is not available, please contact me; I will be happy to make one for you! Gemstone jewelry is a perfect gift, presented in a hand made bag with a description of the gemstones metaphysical properties.

Affirmation: Practicing Ahimsa Through Gratitude

Gratitude is a great way to respond to the little things that can unsettle our minds!

Our second mantra this week is one to cultivate gratitude.

The more you practice, the more naturally your mind finds the good in situations rather than dwelling in negative, violent or self defeating thought patterns.

Ahimsa Gratitude

Journal: Ahimsa and Compassion

Our journal questions this week are focused on the practice of gratitude and compassion. Practice ahimsa by finding a few quiet moments in your day for reflection and connection to your inner wisdom. Don't edit as you answer the questions but rather write freely without judgment.

Journal Compassion

What does being compassionate in your daily life mean to you? How can you be more compassionate towards yourself? Are there any people or situations that you could approach with more compassion?

Write about a time when your day has been improved by compassionate or kind behavior either by you to someone else, or when someone was kind and compassionate to you.

How do you show compassion and understanding to your friends?
How many of those compassionate acts could you practice to yourself?

Write a list of the day’s accomplishments and victories, no matter how small. Celebrate each one individually.

Affirmation: Ahimsa and Compassion

This week’s first affirmation is to encourage the daily practice of compassion.

Repeat this often to inspire you to replace violent thoughts and actions with ones of peace, understanding and compassion

Compassion1

Ahimsa and Gratitude

Gratitude is a beautiful counter to the negativity and harmful thoughts that can run wild in our minds!

Next time you're stuck in, for example, a grocery store queue and you find yourself tapping your foot, sighing, and silently cursing the people in front of you for being so slow, notice how this affects you both physically and mentally.

Who is benefitting from this internal violence? Who is harmed by this internal dialogue?

Practice ahimsa by taking this time to reset and find something in that moment that you can be grateful for, whether that's a few moments of peace and quiet to plan the rest of your day, or that we're lucky enough to have amazing stores that offer us foods from all over the world and convenience beyond what some people can imagine.

Meet the violent internal dialogue of impatience and anger with gratitude, and notice the weight lift from your shoulders as you step into the practice of ahimsa.

Gratitude

Developing compassion as an antidote to internal (and external) violence

We often find ourselves getting angry at ourselves or others and as a result we sometimes experience violence in our thoughts and actions. 

It's possible overcome some of this irritation in life, and the associated violence, by practicing compassion.

We're often quick to judge and get angry at someone that cut us off in traffic but (assuming there is no accident) who is harmed by the tirade of thoughts that go through our minds? The other driver certainly isn't aware or affected by them, but we arrive at our destination angry and frustrated, and carry that energy into the meeting, meal or home that we were travelling to, affecting not only ourselves but everybody we meet for the rest of the day. We replay the event as we tell others about it, bringing up the feelings and sensations of anger over and over again.

We do not know other peoples stories (even if we think we do). Their actions almost certainly were not a deliberate attack, but why do we act as if it's personal? What if that driver was rushing to be with a family member at a difficult time? What if they had spent the hours before caring for their child and had ended up being late and having to rush because they read just one more story to their favorite person? What if their thoughts were elsewhere because they were worried about a good friend or they were anxious about an upcoming interview? What if they were lost? What if it was simply an error in judgment? (What if they were just a inconsiderate person or bad driver?!)

What if we met the event with compassion?

When someone unknowingly pushes your buttons and the tirade of internal (or external) commentary begins, see if you can meet the moment with compassion and understanding.
Rather than swirling in a whirlwind of negativity and stories that only further escalate your feelings, practice compassion and let go of the need to judge and berate.

Not only will you feel the benefit of this practice, so will the person you're interacting with, and so might everyone else you encounter through the day!

Gemstones for Ahimsa and Balance

If you're struggling to find balance in your work, diet, rest, exercise, time with friends and family, or any other area, add some amethyst to your day to remind you of the practice of working towards balance.

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Amethyst is a powerful stone for the mind. It is believed to calm or stimulate the mind as necessary, as well as to help the wearer feel more focused and in control of their thoughts and actions.
Amethyst helps in the creation of new ideas, enhancing creativity and passion, putting thought into action, and seeing projects through to completion.

A gemstone to improve motivation, intuition and help with decision making and a talisman of focus and success.

Amethyst is also believed to help with emotional balance, dispelling anger, fear and negativity. It is especially supportive for those who are stressed, overworked, or overwhelmed in bringing them back to a calm center.

Amethyst Ranges in colour from a light to rich deep purple. 108 bead knotted malas, bracelets and leather wraps all available. Check out our store or message us to have a design made just for you. These also make thoughtful gifts, each one arrives in a hand made bag with a description of the gemstone's metaphysical properties

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