Here’s a thought I’d like to share…
Busy isn’t “bad” but it can steal your soul. ~Augusta Kantra
Yoga is so much more than what we do on the mat! Yoga is an eight-limbed path where all eight limbs lead us toward freedom – freedom from habit patterns, reactivity, and the illusions created by those things. The first limb of yoga is the Yamas, or ethical restaints; and one of the five yamas is asteya, or non-stealing.
Asteya (u-stay-ya) isn’t just not taking your neighbor’s belongings or not taking things from a store; it has farther reaching tendrils than that. It means not stealing from our Earth, not stealing others’ happiness, not stealing time, not stealing from ourselves.
Deborah Adele, in her book Yamas and Niyamas: Exploring Yoga’s Ethical Practice, speaks to stealing from ourselves when she says, “All demands and expectation that we place on ourselves steal from our own enthusiasm.” And yet, we live in a culture that validates our busy-ness, or 24/7 availability, our overfull calendars. We squeeze out the space we need to fully appreciate and assimilate our lives and experiences. We go so fast, we are never fully where we are.
Several years back, I found myself sitting in my car outside my office. I had gotten there but I was everywhere BUT there on my way there. In the short five minutes it took me to get to my office, I had returned a call, made a reminder for myself, and gone over my agenda for the week. I had missed the birds singing, the sun shining, the trees blooming, and the feel of my breath – my very life energy – moving through my body. My busy-mindedness was there, but my moments had been lost. In an effort to “get things done so I’d have less to do,” I had stolen those moments from myself.
That day, in the car, I understood the heartfelt impact of the time-thief of busy-mindedness. I made a decision that has stuck with me: For the few minutes it takes me to get to work, I will notice my moments. Period. (There are still many times that I don’t do this, but ‘on my way to work’ is not one of them.)
There’s a story of a nomadic tribe that would stop every few days just to let their souls catch up with them.
When did you last stop and allow your soul to catch up with you?
Wishing you your moments,
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