NCR: Yoga > Satya > Commitment to Truthfulness
Within the Patanjali Sutras is an eightfold path known as Astanga. Within that there is the Yamas, commonly known as ethical observances. One of the yamas is Satya, which means truth. It means to share ourselves (thoughts & feelings) truthfully, first with ourself and then others.
There is a quotation I see so often on the internet, What would you do if you weren’t afraid ? It’s one of those quotes that’s become so popular to instagram, regram, tweet, retweet and gets a lot of likes on Facebook. Take a moment to contemplate it’s profundity. We now have access to so much information that I often find myself thinking… are the postulates that I live by even mine or am I simply absorbing and regurgitating words that resonate some place within my being that I’m too afraid to explore?
Well, this was exactly the case for me. I came across as confident, ambitious and “together”. Then a series of events rocked my life that made me question everything. What I discovered in this time (where I spent little to no time online or watching TV aka: Jellyvision, and a lot of time in nature and especially in the sea) was that I was terrified most of the time. I was especially terrified of showing anyone (especially those close to me) my vulnerability. It actually felt like death. I would rather uphold an image of my confident, ambitious and together self vs. letting the world see how broken, lost and alone I felt inside. I’d had at least two near death experiences. One through illness and the other just bad luck of being at the wrong place at the wrong time. My “survivor” status had those close to me bestow me with accolades that I felt so undeserving of. Because even though I was a survivor, I was also a liar. I was lying about how petrified my experiences had left me and never showed anyone around me I felt like I was living in a haunted house. That haunted house was me. I couldn’t escape the ghosts of Sima past. I had friends and lovers fooled but I wasn’t tricking myself any longer. The jig was up. I had to reveal who I really was or I was in danger of losing everything.
I began the process of slowly (and I mean S L O W L Y) peeling back the layers and revealing the real me. The English heart in my Island girl nature couldn’t bring myself to do it “Jerry Springer” styles, that too would be inauthentic. I gave myself a time out. Here’s the crazy thing… when I exposed my true self to those in my life (old and new) I gained a sort of popularity that bordered on ridiculous. Transparency is the key to happiness. All any of us wants is to feel we “belong” and every human has a desire to connect to others. Then why do we lie our way through so much of life? Why do we pretend and uphold this facade with a Lion King like pridefulness? The greatest gift I’ve ever given myself was getting real. It wasn’t easy and it didn’t happen overnight and it IS a life long practice, but it’s so worth it.
Having the courage to expose my vulnerability, the thing that felt like death to me… ended up saving my life.
So I ask you… What would YOU do if you weren’t afraid? ~Sima