Satya- Living Truthfully
Satya is the 2nd of the five Yamas, or observances, in the yogic path to awareness. Satya means Truthfulness. Living a path of truthfulness seems easy enough yet can be complicated. Why I say complicated is because Satya calls for us to dive deeper than the surface layer of truth that we show outwardly and explore what is really our truth and essence. Satya understands that what is true for me may not be a truth for you. It requires the awareness that what may have been true for me at one point in my life may no longer hold truth for me now. Through our experiences our perceptions change and another layer of truth is gained resulting in a new sense of self.
Satya asks us to look at the ways in which we express our truth through our words, thoughts and actions. Often our outwardly words or actions do not always reflect our truth. For example, I used to say things such as “I’m starving” which in reality is not true. What would better reflect my truth in that moment is saying something like “I feel hungry right now”. Another example of not matching my inner truth with my outward truth is the need to always say “yes” when what I really want to say is “no”.
Satya requires a person to be able to live truthfully AND in accordance with the 1st Yama Ahimsa or non-violence. This can be tricky. Often we feel the need to share our opinions, gossip or say something to another and the end result is hurtful. So we then ask ourselves how do we honour our experience of truth when what we are going to say is harmful? Practicing Satya (truthfulness) is in no way an invitation or excuse to speak what’s on your mind, gossip, or offer your opinion about something as your opinion is not necessary the truth. In all of these cases the 1st Yama must be involved in order to fully live by these principles of yoga. Practicing non-violent communication and mindfulness helps us to connect with the compassion of Ahimsa so that we can speak more kindly and can use our intuition to say only what is necessary in the moment.
Here are a few questions you can ask yourself before engaging in a conversation;
Why am I saying this?
Is it necessary to speak right now?
Who will benefit from my speaking?
What, if any, is the underlying payback by speaking these words?
Will the words be uplifting or deflating?
When you start to unlock your Truth of who you really are and what you really want in life it is not uncommon to feel uncomfortable. As you move further along the path of Satya you will start to feel the benefits of a renewed energy that was bound up in holding onto a life held together by fear of exposing what is real. Think about how much energy goes into trying to live a lie of happiness when what really wants to be expressed is disappointment or sadness? Think about how free you would be if you could try what you have always want to try without the fear of being judged. Satya may be multilayered, complicated or even scary at times, however, the gift that it holds is a life that is vibrant, authentic, and real.