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MARCH 2020. MONTHLY INSPIRATION
This Month: Non-Stealing (Asteya): Give your ego a break
Previous months: Monthly Inspiration.
Asteya means Non-Stealing and it’s one of the Yoga ethics. It is about integrity and reciprocity, such as answering a nice gesture with another friendly one. And stealing? There are several ways you steal from yourself, from others and the earth.
Maybe you are now thinking: “Yeah sure, but I’ve never stolen anything!”. Really? What about stealing from others, from yourself, from your own future and from the earth? How many times have you said to yourself: “Soon, soon when I have the time, I will …”? This blog is about thoughts on ego and how it gets in the way of an honest approach to life.
Thus; … Ready for the theme of March?
Non-Stealing is what we will look at this month.
So, let’s take a look at Non-Stealing closer to home.
Do you steal from yourself, others and the world?
Let’s look at:
Give your ego a break
Now imagine that I am your friend and we are having a coffee and you are telling me that you are going to travel through Southern Africa for six months. The next thing I might do is that I start telling you about that one amazing trip that I once took. Am I then stealing your joy about your upcoming trip from you?
And perhaps your adventure makes me sad and makes me feel disappointed and I will start explaining to you that I will never have that opportunity. Instead of sharing your joy, you will then have to start taking care of me. I am then stealing from you. Even not consciously, but I am. I am then making the situation about me and it wasn’t about me in the first place. It was about you and your trip.
- Do you recognise yourself in this story?
- Do similar things like this happen to you?
- Or do you do this to others?
- Do others steal from you?
- Do you steal from others?
Yes, we all do!
We all do this so many times a day.
Me included; I am no saint here either.
In what other ways do we steal from each other? By ignoring each other, by not giving any or enough attention to the other person, by bringing somebody down or by glorifying the other person. It is like Deborah Adele explains in her book ‘The Yamas and Niyamas’: “Every time you make the situation about you when it was somebody else his or her moment, you are stealing from that other person”. Whether you do this to feed your own ego or not, it doesn’t matter, you are stealing. How can this be stopped? Give your ego a break.
“Every time you make the situation about you when it was somebody else his or her moment, you are stealing from that other person”.
Non-Stealing | Reflective questions
You could go back to Walkabout 1 (January) and answer the reflective questions on Non-Violence for the theme of this month. Just replace the theme of Non-Violence by the theme of this month ‘Non-Stealing’ or choose a synonym that resonates with you.
You can also go back to Walkabout 2 (February) and use the tips for more truthfulness. These will also help you to get more insights on the topic of Non-Stealing. The tool of Non-Violent Communication (NVC) that’s explained in walkabout 2 will be very useful for you regarding being present in a conversation or conflict. And in case you’d like to know more about this 4-part process, you can also check this source of information: NVC’s 4-part process.
Or for Walkabout 3 (March) work with these next questions. It’s simply another approach. See what works best for you. Let’s look at the approach of showing sincere interest and being fully present. Can you do that for yourself and the person you are with? Can you simply be present and smile?
Show sincere interest
Let us look at Deborah’s view: “When we show sincere interest in others and when we are there entirely for the other, then the other feels supported, heard and seen”. We know we are all longing for this, so why not offer this? It is so easy. All you have to do is listen. You don’t even have to say anything. Just be present and listen.
What can you do to make sure the other person feels seen, heard and appreciated? Next time when you are with someone, ask yourself the following questions:
- Have I been able to show this person that I am here for him/her?
- Was I actively listening?
- Did I express my appreciation?
- Have I given a compliment?
- Or was I able to simply be present and smile?
Keep reflecting on this.
Perhaps at the end of your day, think back to the people you met.
Think back to how the conversations went. Ask yourself these 5 shorts reflective questions.
Looking back at what you wrote down: What’s most evident? …
Or in other words: What became clear to you and what did you learn from this experience?
As Deborah says: “Have I been able to simply make their day a little brighter?”.
I just love that!
Shortage or abundance?
Some more reflective questions on the topic of Non-Stealing. Now it’s about you and the earth. Same here. Take some time to answer these and reflect on what becomes obvious.
- Are you stealing from your own life? And if so, in what way?
- Do you live in the past or future or can you truly be present in the now?
- Are you also aware of all the good in your life?
- Do you feel the gratitude and do you express it?
- Do you thank others for what they have done for you, no matter how small or big the gesture or gift was?
- What do you see around you? Shortage or abundance?
We have so much present in our lives.
- Can you see it?
- Can you feel it?
- Are you fully aware of it?
Or do you have to continue stealing from yourself, others and the world around you (earth) to fill the void inside of you?
Give back to the earth
Lastly, are you stealing from the earth? Think about it. Think about how you can give back to the earth. How do you use the resources that you have at your disposal? Could you give back something every time you use something from the earth? Consider planting a tree for every time you travel by plane for example. Consider trading products instead of discarding them. In Yoga we also speak about only ‘taking’ something when we can also give something back. What can you give back?
Last, but not least, Non-Stealing shows us that living a life from a place of gratitude, integrity, sincerity and reciprocity means that we no longer have to steal from ourselves, others or the earth. It will make the void disappear. Being grateful for all that is present and treating it with respect and honesty from a non-violent place in our heart is the cure to fill that void. Void being that feeling of emptiness that we can feel inside of us. A feeling of being disconnected from ourselves, the people around us and the earth we live on. So, give your ego a break, don’t make it about you. Give something back by being present and smile. And it’s just like Lao Tzu states: “Be content with what you have. Rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.”
Good to know!
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With love and care,
Marianne de Kuyper
P.S. I’m a Dutch girl going global. Even though I reread everything multiple times, my apologies in case I’ve made a language mistake somewhere. Just e-mail me about it. I’ll be happy to adjust it (if I can) and learn from it!
 The Yamas and Niyamas, exploring yoga’s ethical practice, Deborah Adele.
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// I, Marianne (founder) am a Dutch girl going global. Even though (the team and) I reread everything multiple times, my apologies in case I’ve made a language mistake somewhere. Just e-mail me about it. I’ll be happy to adjust it if I can and learn from it! //