Beautiful sunset and living simply...Asteya
Wow wasn't the sunset amazing on Saturday? I was fortunate to be down on the West coast at my parents place for dinner so was able to nip down to Vazon and enjoy the scene - such an incredible gift from nature, free too!
As it happened it got me thinking a little more about the third Yama (ethical principle of Yoga) called Asteya, that seems to be appearing in my life quite regularly at the moment. In fact it is all a little strange.
You see it means non-stealing, taking only what is given freely and what we need in life, to live simply. While this means not stealing in the literal sense of stealing goods and material objects, it also means not stealing people's time, energy, feeling, thoughts and ideas. It is not looking outside ourselves for other people, things or situations to bring us happiness. It is not attempting to take love, affection, attention and energy from those we love when it is not freely offered. It is respecting the earth and not taking more than we need. It is awareness of our actions on others and the enviornment in which we live.
I was reminded of this in a Yoga class recently when a friend was commenting on her blue/pink mat combo and the teacher suggested that she may like to buy a pink eye pillow to match the pink mat, as she already has a blue eye pillow to match the blue mat. It made me chuckle for here was a great example of the "living simply, not having more than we need". However I did later reflect on the fact that if she had have purchased a pink eye pillow then she would have been helping support the ladies in India who make these products in the first place. So it is not quite as black and white as it may first appear - or pink and blue!!
Still, I am all too aware of the taking of people's time and energy. I suspect I have been doing this to people without knowing if for years, as a child we tend to take lots of our parnets time and energy, although it could be argued that it is always given. In the holistic world we do talk of energy vampires, of people who take your energy, I am sure they don't do it consciously, but all the same, they drain your own resources as they try and support their role as victim in their own drama called life.
And actually the strange thing was that I was running a wonderful Reiki 1 course yesterday here at home, and two of the ladies, on hearing the words "radiating an inner light..." introduced the rest of us to the concept of those who are radiators and those who are drains. Those who radiate positive energy and those who drain you of energy. Thereupon followed a discussion about the concept of radiators and drains, which I find fascinating to hear in these terms, and we concluded that we of course have the capacity to be both at times, the key is to be mindful, as always, in the moment, of the role you are playing.
Often we unconsciously assume a certain role in a relationship with a friend or colleague or whomever else, and our behaviour patterns are such that we do not realise the energetic effect of our interactions. No doubt those of us on the course will all be wondering around for the next week wondering if we are being radiators or drains. With their newly fired up Reiki hands, I doubt those lovely ladies and the one gentleman will be anything other than radiators of some super wonderful energy.
And so when one considers Asteya, one should be mindful too. E was only saying to me recently that a trip to Nepal would be much welcomed at the moment, as a reminder of the joy in living simply. I spent so much of my early thirties travelling and living out of a rucksack without a huge disposal income, that I had little choice but to live simply although typical, Westerner, I would still manage, in the course of a 2 month trip in Nepal, for example, to accumulate a lovely collection of jewellery and books, non of which I really needed, but that I felt would somehow add value to my life - and in fairness the jewellery I still wear and the books I still read. but my point is that in comparison to my Nepali friends I still was not living as simply as life can be lived.
I recall one time where my bag was lost en route from Australia to Hawaii and so I spent my two days in Hawaii with my friends with only the clothes I was wearing. It was actually a liberating experience for I had no choice about what to wear!! [Mind you I wad delighted when it finally turned up however!] I can't help thinking that half our problems these days are too much choice and very much taking much more than we need and cluttering our lives with excess and lots of dead and wasted energy.
I am very aware of it living here in Guernsey, that I fall into that trap of feeling I always need more. And E is right, that often a trip to somewhere like Nepal, living simply yourself, is a good reminder about what life is all about. You have only to go into the Himalaya and meet the Nepali people who have so little and live so simply and yet are so happy. It never ceases to amaze me and here we are in the West with all our money and all our issues and all our unhappiness.
Anyhow I have digressed. Asteya then, taking what is given freely, living simply, not stealing. Look at nature, it is so abundant, provides so much beauty, food to eat, water to drink, it is all free, how lucky are we?!!
Today nature is suffocating us with thick fog. It is funny, we have had the crazy rain cleansing the Earth (and us perhaps), and then the strong winds blowing away the cobwebs (and within us too) and now we have the eery fog, quietening things down a little (and causing chaos for all the half term travellers but that is another story) and no doubt when it clears we will have a period of clarity and ease...especially if the predicted warmer temperatures last a few days. So go enjoy, perfect temperatures to make the most of some sea swimming too!!
Thank you to the lovely Reiki group yesterday, so inspiring and uplifting, I feel great today!!
Love and light and much gratitude.