The second of the Yama is Satya, which means truthfulness.
I am sure most of us consider ourselves to be quite honest or truthful people.
Have you ever said you would help out with something when actually you were really busy though?
Have you ever said you would go to a party when really you would have rather done something else, or agreed to watch a film that wasn’t really your sort of thing?
These are the ‘sneaky lies’ a lot of us tell to ourselves and others which cause us to live at the edge of our time or too close our budgets and leave us feeling drained and depleted or just simply busier than we would really like to be.
Satya is the practice of speaking our truth. It means being honest with others and with ourselves. It can be difficult to stop and hear what it is that our hearts really want or need, and harder still to convey that to others.
I have personally found the methodologies of Marshall Rosenberg’s Non-Violent Communication (NVC) very helpful. NVC is a way of thinking about our needs and the needs of others and cultivating the necessary empathy to have difficult conversations in a peaceful way. For yoga practitioners I especially recommend the book “What We Say Matters” by Judith Hanson Lasater.
One of my favourite models from NVC is called ‘The Duck Index’. The Duck Index is a way of articulating to your friends or loved ones how much you really want to do something. When something is low on your Duck Index it means you don’t really want to do it. If it scores high on your Duck Index, it means you really want to do it. In fact, you want to do it with the same enthusiasm and intensity as a young child feeding the ducks. This video is for anyone unsure of what that kind of enthusiasm and intensity looks like. It’s my son aged 2 – he is 11 now and gave me permission to share with you.
What are you doing today that scores high on your Duck Index and what might you cancel or postpone that scores lower?