Each month I’ve been studying a different yama sutra in yoga. Think of a yama as ethics or a good rule for living by. A sutra can be thought of as a rule. (If you’re not a yoga person, that is ok! Just a little context for you.)
The yama asteya is translated to mean ‘non-stealing.’ Now of course we all know that the literal idea of stealing is a bad one. You don’t go to a person’s house and just take what you want, or go to a store and steal a shirt. Here we are talking about something less literal. Non-stealing is an important concept to apply to yourself and to the people around you.
Let’s think of an example.
You’re catching up with a friend at church, or a coworker at lunch and they are telling you about something that happened to them. If you jump in and say “oh yeah that happened to me once” and begin to tell your experience, you have just stolen them of their time to express what they are going through or what they may be feeling. The idea of ‘one upping’ another is a form of non-stealing. Your life and experiences don’t out weigh someone else’s just because they are yours.
Here’s an example of stealing from yourself.
You’re in a yoga class (or working out, reading, praying or hanging out with friends….whatever you do that is relaxing) and all you can think about is planning for the next thing. You’re going through your grocery list, you’re thinking about the trip you’re taking next month and the present you need to buy for that wedding. You are robbing yourself of living in the moment. It makes me think of the quote:
Life is what happens to you when you’re busy making other plans.
And how right that is! Take a minute and view your surroundings, notice the things you see, the smells, the feeling you have there; enjoy each moment.
Am I being a forklift for others and lifting them up (instead of only comparing their experiences to my own?
How am I stealing from the earth? Am I treating it like I own it, or just as though I live here? Can one actually own the earth?
Where am I giving back without expecting anything in return? Where am I taking without giving back?
This concept hit me in a new way this past week. My husband and I have been taking Financial Peace University by Dave Ramsey and working on our finances. In this final week we talked about how, as christians, the money we have is not ours. Sure we work hard and are entrusted with it, but it is our duty to give generously and be stewards of this money. This struck me as another form of asteya. We can’t hold on too tightly to money or material possessions, because in the end they aren’t ours and they aren’t going to make our lives better.
I love when two parts of my life overlap. We must live life with open hands and hearts, not taking, but giving!
What thing in your life do you have a death grip on? Is it something you can let go that might open yourself up for something even better? Are you living in the moment or stealing from yourself precious moments you may never get back?
Ponder on this and see how you can practice asteya in your life.
Have you ever thought about the word courage? This word has repeatedly forced it’s way into my path since 2019 has started. My phone background has a quote that says
Let this be the year you go after courage.
I’ve been hearing it in bible verses and in songs. I’ve been reading in my yoga book about ahimsa, and the courage to be kind to yourself; the courage to say no or the courage to be kind to all can be easier said than done. Quotes from one of my favorite movies (#disney4life) says
Have courage and be kind.
But what does it mean to HAVE courage. As I began thinking about it, the times I can reflect back on ‘having’ courage were times I felt the least courageous. Courage often comes at times when you feel low, insecure, or afraid. So for me, I don’t always remember the courageousness of my actions, but the fear that caused them in the first place.
That’s a mindset I know I’d like to change.
Having (taking/using/being of) courage is an action. When you’re fearful, you have a choice to slink away or a choice to be courageous. Saying what you’re really thinking is courageous. Standing up for yourself is courageous. Asking for help is courageous. Being a light for others is courageous.
In the midst of my husband job searching, both in our state and out, I find myself being courageous by waiting. I’m a doer; waiting for God’s plan is incredibly hard. I also find myself showing courage as I take time to work on my weaknesses and value my own strengths. Using this idea of ‘having’ courage is something I’m mulling over in my head. Courage will never be something you wish you didn’t have.
As I was scrolling through Pinterest last week I came across a quote that says
You can have courage, or comfort, but you cannot have both.
I think about how hard many of us work to be comfortable. To me, being comfortable always meant not worrying about paying bills or letting money be a source of anxiety. Being in a place where I’m comfortable, I see myself longing for more; surely there is more good to be done, more adventures to be had. Finding courage in our comfortable places is how we grow. It’s something we must work for. If courage was something that came naturally, we wouldn’t need to choose to do it.
We should all be choosing courage!
As I continue this week, mulling over how to find courage in the comfort, I’m curious to see what can happen. How can I be courageous at school? How can I push my friendships by being courageous? How can I influence my students?
How will you be courageous?
2019, it’s time for a change. It’s time for courage.
It’s the last week of school, Grad classes are moving full steam ahead, we had Mother’s Day, school carnival, baseball games, wedding shower prep, taking down my classroom, teaching yoga classes, bible study and not to mention every day things like, oh yeah, eating and sleeping.
It is so hard not to get caught in the frenzy.
One of my biggest weaknesses is being present in the moment. So often I am doing one thing, but my brain is 3 activities ahead. We remember activities based on what we give our mind to. It’s very hard to fully experience, let alone enjoy, something when you are constantly running through mental to do lists.
When I teach yoga classes I will often say, “Set aside your mental todo list, it will be there when you are done. Take this time to fully focus your mind on your body and on your mat.” I had a teacher say this in a class I was taking and, though simple, made me stop and really think. Making your last mental note before jumping full focus into an activity is a good exercise to help you be fully aware of the current experience.
I had some great counsel recently on grounding. Grounding is the act of rooting yourself and your thoughts in this moment. Think of it literally: when we ground ourselves on our yoga mat, in the classroom with kids, or in your living room with family, you are feeling the ground beneath your feet. You are rooting yourself in that location and even in a conversation. If you often find your mind wandering, your body pacing or constantly moving, you probably are not grounded. Allow yourself to settle and enjoy.
The counsel I received was this wonderful exercise. When you walk into a new room or a new situation as your day progresses, think through these 4 senses:
Take a deep breath, look around and 4: Note 4 things that you SEE 3. Note 3 things that you HEAR 2. Note 2 things that you FEEL (touch or feelings) 1.Note 1 thing that you smell
Feel free to mix and match and take time to observe your environment. If we allow ourselves to get caught in the frenzy we will be swept away by stress, doubt and sleepless nights.There can be peace and enjoyment in the frenzy. For me the goal this week is simply to ‘experience.’ As I get better at this exercise the goal will be to truly ENJOY. We all start with baby steps.
What 4321 things are you experiencing right now?
34 Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
I love when the universe collides. You know how someone mentions one thing to you and then all of a sudden you’re seeing it everywhere? Or when you’ve been reading about a topic and all of a sudden it pops up in something totally unrelated?
That’s some real life magic right there.
This month I got a Yoga with Adriene email newsletter. Adriene Mishler- the creator and teacher on Yoga with Adriene– always has an uplifting point of view. I love that she is just so real and QUIRKY. She is just so fun. I’m currently doing one of her yoga challenges you can find here.
I followed a link to a blog post about a little something called Ahimsa. This was a topic I studied in yoga training and have always enjoyed. Ahimsa, by definition, is the principle of nonviolence toward all living things. It is a building block of yoga and one of the first yamas.
Anyway, the idea of nonviolence is crucial to our happiness and to finding truth in our lives. Violence does not necessarily mean fighting or physical violence. We show violence to ourselves in many ways, and always to our detriment.
Not forgiving a friend produces resentment. Eating unhealthy foods in excess isn’t treating our body like a temple. Being angry while driving sets your day off on the wrong foot. Not taking time to rest, doubting ourselves, saying harsh things about your appearance or abilities…all these things are so common and are examples of violence.
Ahimsa is the practice of nonviolence. It’s taking the time to realize what things you need to be more kind about. For me, it has been battling negative thoughts about my relationship with friends and coworkers, or even my relationship with myself. I could sit and wallow in that for days. My act of Ahimsa has been journaling and making distinct efforts to understand my friend’s ‘Love Languages.’ I’m also being kind to myself when I start identifying more with my faults than my strengths. We all have both of those things, it’s what we do with them that matters.
Perhaps yours is negative self talk. Today your Ahimsa could be listing out the negative feelings that constantly bombard your brain and counteract it with some TRUTH. Next to the negative things write down a truth that counteracts each of those thoughts. You can even write down solutions to those struggles.
How can you start practicing Ahimsa?
Start taking time for yourself.
Start a gratitude journal.
Show love to that odd coworker instead of talking about them in the lounge.
Take time for a yoga practice or regular walks.
Give yourself 5 extra minutes in the morning to enjoy a cup of coffee.
Allow time in your schedule for changes.
Stop and think of that thing, person or activity that reallllly pushes your buttons. Don’t let that anger or self-talk take over your day.How can you practice non-violence, or love, towards these situations? If you don’t like something then change it.
So I’ve had Ahimsa on my mind. Then that thing happened where you start seeing other connections.
Recently at BSF (Bible Study Fellowship) we were reading about showing love and encouraging others. We read in Romans 15: 5-7
5 May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus,6 that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.7 Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.
and then Romans 15: 13
13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.
These messages began to fall so perfectly together for me. The idea of being filled up with joy and peace leaves our spirits to abound in hope. When you are filled up with joy, peace, hope and truth there isn’t room for violent thoughts.
When we are filled up we are then called to do the same to others. We are to encourage and lift up those around us. It is our duty to build them up in the same way The Word has built us up.
That’s some serious Ahimsa.
Today I hope you take time to work on nonviolence. To allow scripture and words and love fill you up. When we are feeling fulfilled we can better combat those violent lies that creep in. You have to actually invest time and effort to see progress, so why not start now? It’ll only result in a happier self. You’re worth it. Perhaps your first act of nonviolence will be taking this time and making changes for yourself.
Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton
Actually this quote was part of the template, but it seemed too perfect to delete. I used to blog in college. I think subliminally I just wanted to speak and get my ideas out to world. I stopped because I took it too seriously and didn’t have enough topics to write about and wasn’t writing for the right reasons. The genesis of this blog is pretty interesting. I’ll tell how Wine Women & the Word became a bible study later, but this week it accidentally became a blog.
I’ve started writing to get the busyness out of my brain and into another outlet. It started with a bit of a dip in depression over this winter season. I think we all reach a point in our life where we just need to stop and reevaluate.
I started remedying this depression by reading encouraging books and listening to podcasts. I wanted to fill myself up with good information, so I could start sorting out the good and the bad in my own head. Books like the Five Love Languages, Cold Tangerines, Let’s All Be Brave– books I will talk about coming up soon. They are by christian authors and put so many simple life things into perspective.
I love listening to their stories. There is something I love about hearing about successful people that have the same real life experiences as us. We all struggle and we all call out for help.
I started hearing about the word passion this week. It kept popping up in unexpected places. It’s so easy to lose our passion when our brain is consumed with everything else. I read something that stuck with me- if you’re searching for a passion it’s probably not you’re real passion. A passion is something you do because you want to, not because it will get you ahead or make you better. It’s something you invest your hard-earned time for, just for the heck of it.
I have an interest in many things: design, yoga, teaching, friends, travel… but the thing that has kept me afloat these past few months has been writing. The reason why I know that writing is a current passion (and I think passions change per the season in your life) is because I don’t feel like I’m ‘wasting time.’ I’m doing it for me. It’s therapeutic and soothing for my busy brain.
I started thinking of a place I could share my thoughts. I thought about a group of women I’ve spent time with over the past year. We started a bible study called Wine Women & the Word. And, you guessed it, it involves Wine, Women and Words. We talk, pray and do bible studies together. It’s very laid back, but fruitful. When women get together with the intention of growing and learning amazing things happen!
So, here we are as the Wine Women blog. It may not always involved wine or women, but it will always contain words. Hopefully words that can inspire.
When women get together with the intention of growing and learning amazing things happen.