Monday, 27th May 2020
With plenty of time on our side these pandemic-affected days, it’s been rather conducive to reflection time – certainly at my end…and lots of it!
I have been guided to consider, contemplate and write maniacally about all sorts of stuff that seems to be simmering gently to the surface. This particular blog though, is inspired by the first limb of Yoga, the ‘Yamas’ (moral and ethical principles to live a good life by).
“Satya” is a branch of this limb – challenging us to carve out an honest and integral life, which is far more exacting of us than it sounds.
For the past while I have been sitting in space with honesty (which I do not have a problem with…in fact, I’m so transparent you could see me long-pausing before answering, whilst also diverting my gaze and finally – not blinking. Get the picture).
Integrity; now integrity, another kettle of fish altogether, has been my long-standing rival, because I’ve forgotten along the way to acknowledge and honour my own personal values as being valid and just as important as anyone elses’. All the more reason to continue the work.
I am so fascinated and curious to my investments into ‘nice me’ and ‘real me’ and how these impact the relationships we have with both ourselves and others in countless ways.
In my observation ‘nice’ is the space we hold with ourselves when the things we say and do are intended to please others. It’s what we might be directed to do in seeking approval and acceptance, in coming across as doing for everyone else – all the while compromising our own peace, harmony and specifically our own integrity.
All too often I have felt this invested energy to be futile, exhausting and a big zapper of energy which could have been redirected elsewhere, like our own storage banks that have just been exhausted from the ‘real me’ drought.
‘Real’ on the other hand – could be considered as the authentic way in which we articulate our truth. It is coming across as having personal boundaries and values that honour YOU – first and foremost. When the things you do and say come from a place of listening deeply, thoughtfully considering and eloquently executing without any seeking out of approval, acceptance or accolade…this is a grand investment indeed. Real me is not an invitation to have a catharsis of emotion all over the place and others. Let’s be gentle!
In yoga asana, this yama might translate like this in my own personal practice. ‘Nice yoga me’ might choose only a practice and poses that are comfortable, that feel nice and safe and cosy – and, yep that is OK!
If; however, I want to progress and grow my practice and challenge my comfort zone, I’ll be required to ‘play my edge’ which becomes the ability to define the difference between safe and challenging ourselves to move a little deeper towards a place that we might not have allowed ourselves to feel; or visited for a long while (or ever) out of fear. This exploration can be exhilerating and a tad releasing if approached safely. Remembering, as in life, pain is an indication that this is not the right place for us to be visiting right now.
Honesty in our practice can open up new realities to explore our uniqueness and what stops us from moving ahead (on any level) and our abilities and capabilities which ultimately can become our building blocks to a more energetic practice both on and off the mat. This is what I absolutely love about My Yoga.
Inspired by The Yamas and Niyamas by Deborah Adele – spend one week observing the differences between ‘nice you’ and ‘real you’ and if you are inspired write about it? From whom or what do you seek approval?
Is it possible to be ‘Real Nice’ with authenticity and integrity?