What Is Asteya?
What ways have I received from others lately? How does this make me feel?
Today we're looking at the third of The Yamas within The Eight Limbs of Yoga; Asteya, which means non-stealing. It would be so easy to think "I have achieved this because I have never stolen anything a day in my life", but what if I asked you to think of a time when someone asked you to help them with a task and you said no, simply because you couldn't be bothered? Or a time when you asked someone to do something for you again, because you didn't want to do it yourself? We're all guilty of this and therefore, have stolen someone else's time
Let's think of Asteya in terms of achieving a balance between giving and receiving - side note: does anyone else hear the words "giving" and "receiving" and imagine Joey writing his speech in that episode of Friends in the run up to Chandler & Monica's Wedding? Just me? Okay, where was I then? Ahhh yes, the balanced exchange between giving and receiving. Are you that person who gives so much of yourself to others and yet never seems to receive much in return? Well, then your observance of Asteya is off balance my friend. It's great to be selfless, it's a wonderful thing to give with no expectation of anything in return because it encourages us to be less anchored to our own Ego. However, to give so much of ourselves so freely and receive nothing back will only deplete us and eventually, I suspect, feelings of resentment can begin to bubble, which then lead into martyrdom and no one likes a martyr
Let's get really honest with ourselves about what motivates us to do things for others; are we coming from a place of love and compassion? We all know the saying "what you give out you receive back tenfold" therefore, it's pretty important to make sure that when we do things for others we do so with pure love in our hearts. Of course that's easier said than done, especially if we're caught in a bad mood for example, but by creating this awareness around our motivations for saying yes when asked to do something for someone else, we can begin to consciously shift over to a more positive and proactive mindset, as opposed to that which is negative and reactionary
Once we accept that what we receive is in direct proportion to what we give out into the world, we can then start to make the necessary changes in order touring more of what we want into our lives
I hope you found today's article helpful and I'll see you on Wednesday for a deeper look at how we can integrate Asteya into real life situations