She started a series this summer where each week she talks about one of the yamas or niyamas. It is an excellent idea and I’m fully loving the body and lifestyle intention of the series. However this morning as she dove in on the topic of Satya or Truth. I realized in how many ways I’m not living truthfully.
I’m sure many of you can relate to days like this. They always seem to happen to me on Sundays for some reason. It happens usually after a good night’s sleep when all the sudden you can see all the built up dust in the corners of your life. By the time I got to Deborah’s class I had already started several lists, but having one word for this buzz helped. Truth.
Maybe it is being 31 and a half because I am in this part of the year when I’m looking ahead to what I want to accomplish by my next birthday. Or maybe it is because I’m drawing closer and closer to age 35 which I’ve forever associated with the psychological/artistic/spiritual height of professional work. Most of the great novels and works of art were produced at 35. It is one of those weird factoids that lodged in my brain as a means of lessening stress around being productive.
But now that I am 3 and a half years away from that point I am feeling a little more grown up and a little embarrassed at the ways I’m still not behaving like an adult.
Now, in some ways I’m doing quite well. I’m happily married and have an amazing network of friends and family. In terms of relationships I am blessed and settled. I live in a great apartment and feel very happy renting for a while yet as we have everything we need and love our home. I get to be an artist, healthcare provider, writer and yogi for a living and design a career around my strengths and weaknesses so that I can be really satisfied with my work.
But I’m not taking my work life seriously enough. I’m a very successful yoga teacher. I’ve been teaching in this area for 6 years now and I have a very decent following. My acupuncture business is thriving and patients keep getting better. But I’m still worrying about money.
I read this article this morning about how 76% of all Americans live paycheck to paycheck. How most of us don’t have enough in the bank to go 6 months without working in case we are injured or there is a family emergency. In fact more than half of Americans don’t make enough money to AVOID worrying about money. In most American families it is probably because of high cellphone bills, extravagant cable and internet packages, expensive car payments, fancy clothing and home repairs. In my life, believe me it is not.
The truth is I spend so much time feeling guilty for my needs that I allow my business to hover right above the point of being productive, but not to the point of sustainability. After thinking a little bit about the changes that would help make my business thrive I realized how little work is necessary. How little it would affect my patients and how much it would increase my standard of living, therefore making me a better caretaker.
There are lots of ways to measure success. Sometimes one measurement is helpful to accomplish one goal, but needs to be changed in order to accomplish the next goal.
It is important in any career to think about how much you have to offer. What is your time worth? What actually goes into one hour of your time (expenses, childcare, health issues, insurance, rent)? We never second guess how much we should pay for a house, for a dentist appointment, for a gallon of milk. We need to really think about the price that defines our time and make sure it is a sustainable one.
I’m sure you recognize this pattern/need in your own life. In what ways are you not being truthful? Are you really capable of completing all of the tasks that are required of you? Is your job paying you as much as you deserve? What truths are you missing? What truths are you avoiding because changing strategies might appear selfish or greedy? Are there people in your life taking advantage of you or your skill sets? Are there other good people in your life that you push away to make room for responsibilities or tasks that don’t satisfy you or improve your life?
What is your Truth? How could your next six months be more honest? The only person who knows the truth is you. Why do you keep disappointing yourself?
Image by Charly Nelson