Keep it Real

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Looking into someone’s eyes is as real as it gets. If you’ve ever been in deep love, staring into your partner’s eyes can be one of the most profound and genuine experiences. Likewise, a teacher or guru’s gleaming eye contact has the potential to communicate heartfelt devotion from across a room.

There are many examples of sayings and proverbs that refer to the eyes as the seat of sincerity:

The eyes have it.

The eyes are the windows to the soul.

Seeing eye to eye.

The eyes don’t lie.

So it seems that our eyes mirror our truth. On the contrary, what happens when we find it hard to be honest? Don’t we tend to avert our gaze? Or, how about those times when we try to pull the wool over someone’s eyes? Or, turn a blind eye?

Our eyes tell all. Yet it’s difficult for us to regulate our eye movements and expressions. They widen, shrink, water, squint, glare, roll, blink, stare and shimmer usually without our awareness. Maybe because the eyes most closely reflect what is in our subconsciousness. And, controlling how we think is much more difficult than controlling our speech or our actions.

So, how do we get our thoughts to reflect truthfulness? For me, it’s first about acceptance. Accepting the things I can or can’t change, the past and all of its lessons. “It is what it is”, or, “it’s good enough for who it’s for”, are some of my favorite mantras these days. No criticisms. Not judgements. If I don’t judge myself then I can live without judging others. This creates a pathway for truth.

In Sanskrit, the word for truth is Satya. But more than fact or reality, satya is about being virtuous or having high moral standards. The word “sat” translates to “true essence.”

Therefore, a base of satya can provide us with a pure starting point. A place of honesty, without pretense, where you aren’t criticizing your performance or abilities or obsessing on what you should be doing.

Your yoga practice then becomes a completely energetic experience, one where you can be open and accepting of whatever the postures, breath work or meditation bring to you – in this moment.

Om Tat Sat – All is truth, all is reality and all is good. Happy New Year!

As promised, I am now using this blog to supplement my new book, Yoga Posts: Building a Steady Yoga Practice One Day at a Time. This week’s post refers back to Chapter #9: Sing Your Truth. If you wish to start at the beginning of our journey, please look to my first post.

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