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JUNE 2020. MONTHLY INSPIRATION
This Month: Summary time for Yoga’s ethical guidelines: Tomorrow is a new day!
Previous months: Monthly Inspiration.
Dealing with the world around us and in us can be quite a challenge, isn’t it? This current blog is a summary of the five Yoga’s ethical guidelines known as the ‘Yamas’. They tell us more about how we can deal with the world around us. You can see them as instructions to move into a certain direction as Deborah Adele puts it in her book ‘The Yamas and Niyamas  ’.
Yoga’s ethical guidelines
In the past five blogs on Yoga’s ethical guidelines (Yamas) we looked at:
- Non-Violence (Ahimsa)
- Truthfulness (Satya)
- Non-Stealing (Asteya)
- Non-Excess (Brahmacharya)
- Non-Possessiveness (Aparigraha)
In other words, …
- Learning to love yourself.
- Honesty is best policy.
- Give your ego a break.
- Enough is enough.
- How to let go?
Speaking from experience, it simply isn’t possible to live by all of these ethical rules at the same time, all of the time. We are no saints; we live in a fast-paced world and sometimes in overcrowded cities. And not everybody lives from a place of love.
My first advice would therefore be, strive to live by Yoga’s ethical rules, but see them as guidelines. Also be kind to yourself when you don’t manage to live by them daily. Be compassionate to yourself. And learn. Keep looking at your own life.
Look back at the last 5 months. And answer the following reflective questions for yourself.
- What’s happening?
- What keeps on happening?
- What’s keeping you busy?
- Why topic is keeping you busy?
- What recurrent theme is present?
- Is there a pattern that needs to be looked at?
- What’s the lesson you keep on getting?
- What can you learn from it?
- What can you do to transform it?
- Who could help you heal?
- What step can you take today to move forward with more trust, honesty and love?
Sometimes we don’t manage to hold up all our good intentions. Being irritated, frustrated or perhaps angry about either the past, present or future will do us no good. We would simply only be using our precious energy the wrong way. But dive into the sensations! They are messages from your body that something isn’t quite right. Feel into those sensations. What’s the hidden message behind them?
Time to use the useful method of Non-Violent Communication.
- What sensations do you feel in the body?
- What thoughts come up when you notice this?
- How does this make you feel?
- What’s the need behind it?
- What needs to be expressed?
- What can you do?
- Or what could you ask for?
Check Nonviolentcommunication.com for help with this!
And what else is wise? Like a Buddhist monk once explained during a lecture that I went to: “Tomorrow is a new day”. Even he admitted that although he has been raised in a monastery that he too gets angry. His advice: “Forgive yourself and have compassion. Just try again the next day to be less angry or to not get angry at all!”.
“Tomorrow is a new day” _ Buddhist monk
That is all we can do. We try living according to our values and we try applying them daily. Yoga’s ethical guidelines are also exactly that; guidelines. They are signposts along the way. If we get off track, they can guide us back.
Looking back at the past 5 months; how did you approach and use the guidelines?
The questions we looked at were:
- How non-violent are you towards yourself, others and the world?
- How truthful are you towards yourself, others and the world?
- How non-violent are you towards yourself, others and the world?
- Do you steal from yourself, others and the world?
- How sacred is life to you?
- How can you let go of possessiveness and trust life?
The guidelines give direction on how to live a joyful life. At least, that’s how I personally experience them. They help me understand what’s happening around me, give meaning to my experiences and they give me direction.
I don’t feel limited by these guidelines. I see them as an opportunity to live life in an easier and lighter way. It’s like Deborah explains in her book: “If we do it ‘right’ the first time, we don’t need to go back and apologize!”. Now, how much easier would that make life, right?
My own experiences with these guidelines during the last couple of months remind me of what Rumi expresses so beautifully in his poem ‘The Guest House’.
_The Guest House_
This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.
Be grateful for whatever comes.
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.
— Jellaludin Rumi,
“Be grateful for whatever comes. because each has been sent as a guide from beyond.” We ALL have lessons to learn. We ALL have a life story to tell. So, do I. So, do you.
I got my lessons again.
Several times actually in 9 weeks.
The Universe clearly wanted me to learn my lessons quickly.
The Silent Treatment
What’s the lesson I keep on getting? I keep on ending up in situations where people don’t communicate with me, but ignore me. The Silent Treatment (which is emotional abuse) is what happened to me when I was younger and even today it comes up every now and then.
‘Being ignored’ and ignoring myself by not speaking up is THE theme that over the years keeps on coming up again and again. The Universe is only speeding up, because now I got it from 5 different people within 9 weeks. What is it about myself that I am ignoring as well? And I am treating people that way too? The lesson works into various directions 😉!
The challenge I need to face now is that I can and must speak from the heart to make clear how I’d like others to treat me. And I need to treat myself and others the way I want to be treated.
The next time people are telling me how to adapt to their rules, the next time people are telling me how to behave and the next time when people manipulate me via a silent treatment. I need to say: STOP! Also, I am not going for the FOG treatment anymore: Fear + Obligation + Guilt which is what people want when they ignore you.
It also means I can’t do this to others either in case I was thinking of using the strategy I’ve been taught so well ;)! Yes, we sometimes do to others what we have been taught ourselves. Painful, but oh so true. I am very much aware of that.
It always, whatever the situation is, comes back to:
- What do you NEED?
- And is there a healthier strategy to have your needs met?
- Is there one approach that corresponds with Yoga’s ethical guidelines?
I hope so!
My lessons this month taught me to trust the signals my body is giving me. Signals like an eye infection, a trembling eye muscle, throat pain and the feeling I can’t breathe. All meaning: GET OUT OF HERE! + Speak up first!
It taught me to trust my intuition. If something doesn’t feel quite right, it’s because something isn’t right. My body knows it before I’m consciously aware of it. Same counts for you.
My situation taught me I can and should speak up and it taught me to stand my ground. Even though it took me 9 weeks of reflections and trembling knees and a huge stomach ache when I did so.
I’m not a vulnerable child anymore. I am an adult.
I am so much stronger now. I have learned so much and I have grown so much.
I can deal with this. Now, tomorrow and the next time.
To conclude, the whole situation I was in, clearly showed me my pattern again. It helped me see it clearly from various angles. And it did help me to speak up eventually, even though it took 9 weeks.
And it’s like a wonderful therapist asked me the other day: “How did that feel to speak up?”.
My answer? “It felt really, really GOOD!”.
What’s happening in your life?
How are the themes of Yoga’s ethical guidelines coming up?
And remember, no worries about what you don’t dare doing differently yet.
Tomorrow is a new day!
Tell me about it.
Reach out and e-mail me.
I’d love to hear from you!
And would you also like to know how you can deal with the world inside of you? We will look at those in the next 5 ‘Monthly Inspiration’ blogs. More in the first week of July!
Last, but not last, did you know that …?
Each month I post a new blog on Yoga’s ethical guidelines. You can find it under ‘Monthly Inspiration’.
You can sign up to my newsletter to get access to the VIP Room where you can find all the monthly e-books on one page.
Or take the Yearly Walkabout Course. This is where you find everything in one place. The blogs are posted as an e-course page, you can take notes online and all the e-books can be downloaded there too. Plus, you get to try the e-course platform in return for a small donation and you get to support us with that too!
That’s a whole lot of GOODIES in one place!
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! //