Blog Tour Update and Yamas

Head on over to A.M. Leibowitz’s blog for the last stop on the Seven Mintues Blog Tour for a review and an exclusive interview. This gal gave a good grilling so you’ll learn some juicy things about the characters and my writing process.

Wow and THANK YOU readers for such a wonderful reception of Seven Minutes! And a special thanks all the wonderful reviewers and bloggers who have been a part of the Seven Minute Blog Tour. Reading what others have thought—good or bad—about the novella has been such a journey and learning experience.

A Blog with a spiritual message…

I’ve been practicing yoga for several years and have revisited the Yoga Sutras, more specifically, the yamas, which are defined by Desikatchar as “discipline[s] concerning our dealings with society and the world,” or as one of my teacher’s put it, “how not to be homicial.” This month I’ve been working with the second and third yamas: Satya and Asteya.

Satya is truth. The election brought out the worst in many people, and words, despite what our president-elect believes, do have power. What we say impacts those around us, just as what they say impacts us. Think about the last time someone complimented you. The last time someone said something hurtful to you. When we bring awareness to our words, this is satya.

The internal work of satya is the dialogue we hold with ourselves. When we judge ourselves or act in a manner that is not true to our self, we are creating harm—ahimsa, the first yama—and not living our truth. The quote below is one of my favorites:

Whenever you’re not being true to yourself, not saying what you need, making excuses, rationalizing your behavior, telling half-truth, or flat-out lying, especially to yourself, you’re giving your power away. Sacred Success, Barbara Stanny

We diminish our power and the beautiful beings that we are when we don’t live and speak our truth. That doesn’t mean we want to tell our friend that the gift she bought us is absolutely terrible, and we’re returning it—that’s ahimsa, causing harm, the first yama. Balancing truth and harm is tricky, especially during this time of year when stress is high.

Asteya, non-stealing, seems obvious in meaning. Pealing away the layers of asteya, it is more complex than I’d initially thought. We’ve been taught or blessed with the moral compass not to steal because we shouldn’t take something that belongs to another person. What if it’s something intangible, like time? Have you ever had someone make you late for something or been late for an appointment? Time was stolen then, and time is more valuable than any material thing because it cannot be replaced.

Asteya is also, according to Pantanjali’s Yoga Sutras, not coveting what belongs to others. This is a very heavy issue around the holidays. When so many people are in need and others get cars for gifts, it’s difficult to find balance, to not want more, to not be envious. The problem is, when we do this we are ignoring the blessings we do have, no matter how few we think there are, and passing judgment upon that person (or ourselves), which may or may not be the truth, satya.

We all have to share this planet and the best way to make it better it is to start with ourselves, watching our thoughts, words, and actions.

I wish everyone a very Happy Holiday and a wonderful New Year!