“Find out who you are and be that person. That’s what your soul was put on this Earth to be. Find that truth, live that truth and everything else will come.”
– Ellen DeGeneres
The truth is, I’m thrilled to be 40! I’m experiencing a level of self-acceptance and freedom that I haven’t known previously. When I turned 30, I celebrated with 50+ friends at a 70’s themed roller-skating party. This year, I spent the weekend with two best friends who know me, love me and inspire me. We talked and laughed and danced and cried. And I will forever reflect on it as a symbol of how I want to live life…….being vulnerable and asking for what I need, showing up for the people I care the most about, prioritizing relationships and experiences over things, being fully present in the joys and sorrows of life, not taking myself too seriously and speaking and hearing the TRUTH in all things.
There is something profound about friends who can speak truth into your life.
At the beginning of Patanjali’s eight-fold path of yoga are the Yamas: the moral, ethical and societal guidelines for the practicing yogi. He instructs us that they should be practiced on all levels (actions, words, and thoughts) and they are not confined to class, place, or time. Satya is the second of the Yamas and means truthfulness.
Commentators on this sutra have interpreted it to mean that the words of a person established in satya have the power to evoke virtue in others. When we experience a person speaking from satya, we resonate with those words. Upon hearing such words, we feel that some deep, essential part of us has been seen, heard, and understood.
When we experience such profound acceptance and understanding, our soul is comforted. We feel at home from the inside out, and we are inspired to act from that place of virtue within ourselves. Beginning to practice satya by bringing awareness to our words aids us in our lives and relationships and also contributes to the well-being of the whole world. Why? To speak from satya brings out the very best in others. When we do this, we are creating at this very moment the world we want to live in, a world based in honesty, vulnerability, and connection.
So let’s take a moment in our interactions with one another and ask: Is it true? Is it necessary? Is it useful? Is it kind?
I often experience life lessons on my yoga mat that I can then take with me off the mat. But the reverse is also true. As we practice satya with ourselves and others, may it influence and inform the truth on our mats. Listen to your body. Does it hurt? Experienced yogis aren’t the ones who force themselves past their edge, the most experienced yogis take child’s pose at their body’s request. Stick to your experience. Your practice is yours. Don’t compare yourself to others. I may be more flexible but you are probably stronger. Everything you need to observe is happening within the four corners of your mat. Make sure your focus stays there. Be true to yourself both on and off your mat and see how your life is transformed.