The yoga sutras, the so-called philosophy of yoga, speak a great deal about the five yamas – the ethical principles for the practicing yogi. One of those yamas is satya, or truth. Obviously living our truth is an ideal we all aspire to, but these days we have to be so many different things to so many different people, it can be really hard to be authentically ourselves all the time. The answer lies in forgetting the big lofty goal and focusing instead on the small stuff – building the day to day habits that help us express our truth.
One translation explains truth according to Patanjali’s sutras: “As truthfulness (satya) is achieved, the fruits of actions naturally result according to the will of the Yogi.” Life is a journey, a unique one for every single one of our souls. Authenticity is one thing I feel very passionately about. In today’s social media world we are increasingly losing authenticity; of communication, of interaction, connecting, of reality, of life, of who we are. It takes a strong character to not feel intimidated by the seeming perfection of everyone else’s lives on social media, it also takes great character to not feel sucked into the trap of painting that same seemingly perfect picture.
Habit Two: Don’t be Afraid To Be Vulnerable
What does living my truth mean to me? It means speaking the truth, even if that takes courage, if that means making yourself vulnerable. It means having awkward conversations, and not being afraid to voice your own version of the truth. It means standing up for what is right, even when that means standing alone.
Habit Three: Trust Your Inner Voice
It means trusting your inner voice, and following it, listening to it. Because it’s always right.
Habit Four: Don’t Be Afraid To Say ‘No’
Living my truth means learning what’s right for me, and saying no when saying yes is simply too painful. It means not saying yes to please others any more, but learning that doing what is best for me, ultimately benefits those around me. To find your contentment, santosha, in doing what is right for you.
Habit Five: Open Your Heart
Living my truth is acknowledging my own needs, and not being afraid to say them, even when it makes me look weak, or afraid, difficult, or different. Living that truth, showing my inner vulnerability, has bred intimacy; loving relationships with people who can see through to your soul. It’s those people who you expose that soul to, and they still love you, who are our true ‘soul mates’. There can be so many in our lives if only we open our hearts, romantic and platonic.
Habit Six: Walk with your tribe
Living my truth means saying “I cannot do this alone”, because nothing in life is ever done alone. We are humans, and whatever it is for which we strive, there are always helpers along the path, in addition to the tribe we create in our day to day lives. It is community, love and co-dependence which gives us a healthy, happy, and whole life.
Habit Seven: Express yourself, even if it makes you unpopular
Speaking the truth is healing: carrying around unspoken emotions can lead to ill health, toxicity in the body, and by purging that verbally, it cleanses. “I’m hurting,” “that doesn’t feel good”, “I need more….”, “I need help”, “I need less…”, these are your truths. To let them go is to find liberation, our moksha. Dr Lissa Rankin MD, one of my favourite authors, says: “When you squelch what is true for you, the body releases harmful stress hormones that raise your blood pressure, elevate your heart rate, and weaken your immune system. When you speak what’s true, the body relaxes, your muscles stop tensing, your blood pressure lowers, your pulse slows, your happy hormones get jump started.”
Habit Eight: Stop people pleasing
Living my truth means that people trust me; they believe me and see me as a human with integrity. It means that I won’t always please everyone as I won’t always say or write what they want me to, but if they dislike me for my truth, I can sleep at night. If I made allies for my untruths, I could not.
‘First published on www.yogaclicks.store, home to over 40 of yoga’s most talented designers – made by yogis, curated for you.’