We have a focus of the month at Jivamukti yoga. The focus of the month gives teachers a framework to streamline their teachings… this month of August we’re discussing the concept of ‘It’s not what you say, but it’s how you say it’. Teachers are exploring different methods, such as Mantra (‘Man’ means mind, our thinking processes and ‘Tra’ means to traverse or transform), others have been exploring the notion of speaking your truth, even if it means that you are frightened of the outcome, and I have been looking at this as an opportunity to explore how we have become so ingrained in technology that when we do interact with people, it’s kind of superficial. Like when you already know that a person is married, had a baby or they’ve posted something that doesn’t align with your own values, or if you’ve seen images of their friends or family on social media, there comes a point when you meet these people in the flesh and bones, and the interaction is different. We tend not to congratulate them or just say ‘hi’ and then there is this deadly awkwardness, that doesn’t shift.
One of the tools that I’ve explored is to still the mind, still the habitual patterns of thought, perhaps remove the negativity or the doubt by thinking the opposite or connecting with the breath. Meditation is the tool that we all should adapt in our life, because the answers are there… Google doesn’t have all the answers to our deep and meaningful life questions about why people behave in certain ways. Nor does it have answers to why we feel in different, angry, self conscious, disempowered or even doubt when we encounter situations. We can all pretend, show up. Behave in a manner that is acceptable in our civilised planet, but what if we feel these things and behave in a certain way that doesn’t align with our heart.
Subconsciously, whether we realise it or not, the way we hold ourselves gives it all away. And that’s when we know when we are not speaking our truth. Those unanswered questions, comments or inquiries leave an expression in our being, and if we look closely we can see it, we can feel it and we know deep in our core being its not real, the words have depth.
The practice of mindfulness and meditation or taking time to find the words that are not shaped by social media, expectations or judgement, even ingrained beliefs, we can begin to find the truth. This truth is like seeing the reflection on a still lake, and in the same way when our mind is still and we are connected with ourselves, we can only then express ourselves more clearly and with clarity.
To really mean what you say and say what you mean comes from a place that is not inhibited with any inflictions that we may have about the outcome of a situation. For example, when we are going through a difficult time either with our friends, family or lovers, we tend to avoid the difficult conversation, because perhaps we’ve played the scenario already. And this causes us to have preconceived ideas about the conversation. What makes it worse, in my experience, is that we only see these beings through those lenses. This is where we are not honouring our voice, truth and feelings.
To find the strength to speak our truth, we must be brave to address our feelings, connect with our emotions that are not tainted by popular culture. Put it this way, none of us are getting out of here alive, so please stop treating yourself like an after thought. Eat the delicious food. Walk in the sunshine. Jump in the ocean, even if its cold. Say the truth that you’re carrying in your heart like hidden treasure. Be silly. Be kind. Be weird. There’s no time for anything else because its not real. Say what you mean and mean what you say lightens the load, as it were.