Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Week 2: Satya- Truthfullness

My practice in truthfullness actually ended up lasting a couple of weeks, rather than one; questions, experiements and events all piggy backing on each other.

The question I chose for reflection was: "This week observe the difference between nice and real. Notice situations where you were nice. What did this experience invoke in you. What were the results? Notice situations where you were real. What were the results? What did this experience invoke in you? From what or whom do you seek approval? Does this affect whether you act from niceness or realness?" (The Yamas and Niyamas, p.57)

I got really wound up in this practice. I observed myself in several situations being "nice" rather than "real." Why is it so challenging at times to be real? It invoked almost a guilt response in me, like there was an authority figure telling me that I was doing something that I shouldn't. Which made me wonder, what are the benefits I receive from being "nice" rather than authentic, and who am I trying to impress?!

I did notice that at times I seek approval from those that I do not know well (please accept me), from authority figures (so that I don't get into "trouble"), and sometimes even from my peers (seeking validation). In one particular instance I was meeting with a fellow yogi and found myself changing my language to fit our commentary on truthfullness! I looked at her and said, "I'm noticing myself changing my language as I talk to you, how's that for Satya!" I suppose in that instance you could say I chose to be "real" and call myself out.

I also noticed that I sometimes choose niceness when conflict becomes a possibility, in order to avoid it, I pander to the needs of the other. I also noticed that this only serves me for so long, inevitably the Truth has to come out as I buckle under the weight of the facade of "niceness."

In the book, Deb begs the question, "What are we so afraid of? What might my life look like if I were willing to contact truthfullness in each moment (i.e. do it right the first time)?"

I am sitting with that question and my experiences over the last couple of weeks. I am left with a stronger desire to practice "Doing it right the first time," and a refreshing sense of fortitude that sometimes being real, no matter the risk, is of greater benefit than using "niceness" as a crutch.

Next week: Asteya-Non Stealing