Satya: Listen to your inner voice and live your truth with integrity

Satya is the second tenet of the Yamas and describes the concept of truthfulness and honesty. The concept is not only about being honest in terms of not lying to ourselves or other people, but more about diving deep into our inner truth, to uncover our authentic essence and then to express it genuinely in our words and actions. Satya wants us to embrace our unique truths and to live them authentically.

Our true nature & our inner voice

Our inner voice represents our genuine thoughts, feelings and intuition. It is the voice that emerges from our authentic self, free from external influences and conditioning. When we practice satya, we align our words, actions and thoughts with truthfulness and honesty. This alignment allows us to strengthen our connection with our inner voice. By being truthful to ourselves and others, we create an environment of authenticity and integrity within us. Satya encourages us to listen to our inner voice and trust its guidance. It invites us to cultivate self-awareness and discernment, enabling us to distinguish the voice of truth from the noise of ego, fear or external expectations.

The problem is: We don’t listen

Oftentimes, we ignore our inner voice and suppress living authentically. We get so caught up in thoughts, that it becomes really hard to listen to our inner voice to follow what it tells us. the voice of our inner truth speaks in different volumes and it’s not easy to hear it: sometimes it roars like a lion while other times it very very quietly whispers beneath the hustle of our thoughts. i am sure you have experienced situations in which your inner voice was a badass and said stuff like „this relationship doesn’t serve me anymore, i deserve so much better and i a going to walk away“ or „screw my boss, i am gonna quit and build my own business. i know i can do it“. and then sometimes it is so quiet that our inner critic and our surrounding manipulate it – we get confused and choose to stay in situations whereas we already feel that something is off: „ahh, who am i to quit this job. my parents would be so disappointed with me“ or „if i showed who i really was, my partner would not love me anymore.“

When we ignore our inner voice and act in ways that contradict our true beliefs and values, we create inner conflict and disharmony. Your inner voice doesn’t originate from the mind – it resides in our heart and gut. To reconnect with it, it is crucial that we reconnect to our hearts, to our body, to our intuition and to our highest self. If we are willing to honestly question our own habits and beliefs, we are already one step closer to our own truth. For me, my yoga practice was the starting point to step into an honest dialogue with myself and it helps me every day to reconnect and to tap into my intuition. Journaling and other mindfulness practices help to. 

Satya: Is being honest really that difficult?

Yes, hundred percent! How often do we do not say what we truly want or desire? Or how often do you catch yourself not being completely honest about something? There can be various reasons why we may struggle with being honest or practicing satya. It is important to remember that these factors are not excuses for dishonesty, but rather explanations for why individuals may struggle with it. Recognizing these influences can help cultivate self-awareness and provide opportunities for growth and transformation towards living a more truthful and authentic life. A few common factors that contribute to a lack of honesty are:

Fear of consequences: People may choose to be dishonest due to a fear of negative consequences. They may anticipate punishment, rejection or conflict if they speak the truth, leading them to opt for falsehoods or omissions instead.

Desire for approval: Many individuals seek approval and acceptance from others, and they may believe that being completely honest could jeopardize those relationships. They may resort to telling people what they want to hear or withholding information to avoid conflict or disapproval.

Ego and self-preservation: The ego often plays a role in dishonesty. Individuals may lie or distort the truth to protect their self-image, maintain a sense of control or avoid vulnerability. The ego’s desire to appear flawless or avoid facing the consequences of mistakes can lead to dishonest behavior.

Lack of self-awareness: Sometimes people are not fully aware of their own truth or may be disconnected from their authentic selves. This lack of self-awareness can make it challenging to be honest with oneself and, in turn, with others.

Cultural and social conditioning: Cultural norms, societal expectations, and learned behaviors can influence an individual’s tendency to be dishonest. In some cases, certain environments may inadvertently encourage dishonesty or prioritize external appearances over truthfulness.

Habitual patterns: Dishonesty can become a habitual pattern that is reinforced over time. If someone consistently resorts to lying or deception, it becomes easier for them to continue down that path rather than confronting the discomfort and consequences of truthfulness.

Embodying Satya: Now the real work begins

In our yoga practice we connect with ourselves and give our inner voice space to express itself. Journaling also helps a lot with finding out what your values are and what you stand for.

So let’s say your found your inner voice and know your true self – what now? Well, now comes the hard part! Satya encourages us to live with integrity and to really embody what is true for us: To speak our truth and to align our actions with it. Easier said that done! Fear plays a significant role in speaking our truth: we are scared to be disliked, to be laughed at, to disappoint others or to be confronted with the shadow sides of our ego. Sharing our truth often means admitting our flaws, acknowledging our limitations and embracing vulnerability. It takes a lot of courage to do so.

Embodying Satya in our daily life

Practicing satya in our lives requires a commitment to truthfulness, both in our words and actions. Here are some ways to embody satya:

Be truthful to yourself: Start by being honest with yourself. Reflect on your thoughts, emotions and motivations. Acknowledge your strengths and weaknesses without judgment. Embracing self-awareness allows you to live authentically and make choices aligned with your values.

Speak the truth: Practice speaking truthfully and with integrity. Be mindful of your words, avoiding falsehoods, exaggerations and gossip. Choose your words wisely, considering theion others. Communicate honestly, but also compassionately, as truth should be shared with kindness. A good way to start is by implementing non-violent communication – see the next point.

Practice non-violent communication: Embodying satya involves practicing non-violent communication. Express your truth while respecting others’ perspectives and feelings. Listen actively, empathize and seek mutual understanding. Find common ground and foster honest dialogue.

Live with integrity: Align your actions with your beliefs and values. Act in a way that is consistent with your inner truth. Be accountable for your actions and take responsibility for their consequences. Integrity is demonstrated by maintaining consistency between what you say, think and do. Here’s an example: Let’s say you have been eating a plant based diet for over three years because you care about our planet and don’t want to hurt animals. You work for a very successful platform that creates baking content and your company now wants you to set up a youtube account with baking videos for them – and they want you to do it. So you start creating these baking videos about baking cakes, cupcakes and brownies. It’s fun and you you love doing it! But it doesn’t really feel right for you, because you need to stick to their recipes and use tons of butter, eggs and cows milk. You can fake that smile for the clicks, but this is really not something you would bake for yourself. Living with integrity would mean not doing something that goes against your values. Time to speak up. You don’t have to start a revolution, but maybe start sharing some ideas about vegan baking with your team and the community and tell them that you don’t feel comfortable sharing recipes that you would not eat yourself – even if it risks your reputation or job security.

Living with integrity in this situation means prioritizing your core values of honesty, fairness and ethical behavior over personal convenience or the fear of consequences. It involves taking responsibility for upholding ethical standards and doing what you believe to be right, even if it’s challenging or uncomfortable.

Cultivate mindfulness: Develop awareness of your thoughts, feelings and impulses. Mindfulness helps you recognize the truth of the present moment without judgment or distortion. By staying present and attentive, you can respond truthfully to yourself and others.

Seek knowledge and understanding: Pursue knowledge and seek a deep understanding of the world around you. Strive to be well-informed and avoid spreading misinformation. Embrace intellectual honesty by questioning your own beliefs and being open to new perspectives.

Embrace self-reflection: Regularly engage in self-reflection to assess your thoughts, words and actions. Explore the motivations behind your choices and behaviors. Identify areas where you may be veering away from truthfulness and work on aligning yourself with satya. Journaling and meditation are great tools to start with it.

Satya: How to start today

Do you want to bring more Satya to your life?

? Start with your next conversation! Consciously choose to speak the truth. Be mindful of any tendencies to exaggerate, withhold information or engage in white lies. Aim to communicate openly and honestly, while also considering the impact of your words on others.

? Next time you catch yourself judging someone in your thoughts, take a step back and remind yourself that your point of view is only one way to see it – there are more truths to the story.

? Identify one of your core values, such as fairness, and think about how you can align your actions with it. For example, if you notice a situation where someone is being treated unfairly, take a stand and advocate for fairness.

? Approach a trusted friend or family member and ask them to provide feedback on your truthfulness and integrity. Ask for their honest observations and advice on areas where you could improve.

Satya and Ahimsa

While practicing satya, mindfulness is crucial. Our commitment to truth should never harm oder hurt others – this is where the first Yama Ahima, non-violence, comes into the picture again. Effective communication lies in finding ways to express our truth without causing unnecessary pain or suffering. One mantra that i love is: „i speak my truth with sweet words“. I repeat this every morning as a reminder to not just blurb out what i think or want, but to be mindful in my words when I speak to others and to myself. 

Journal Prompts on Ahimsa

I put together some journal prompts for you that can help you explore and learn about your true self and about what is true to you. This is an opportunity for self-discovery and growth on your journey towards embodying satya in your life. take your time with each prompt, allowing yourself to delve deep into your thoughts and emotions. 

  • What are your core values? Are your actions and choices in alignment with these values? 
  • Are there any areas where you feel a disconnect? How can you make conscious adjustments to live more in accordance with your true values?
  • Reflect on the various sources that shape your beliefs and perspectives: society, culture, family, friends. Are there any conflicting messages that create internal tension? Are you holding on to some believes that are not right for you anymore? 
  • How do you express your truth? Take a moment to reflect on how you communicate your thoughts, feelings, and opinions. Are there any areas where you hold back or compromise your truth? What might be the reasons behind it? 

Remember that practicing satya is a continuous journey of self-reflection and growth. Start with small steps and gradually expand your commitment to your own truthfulness in all aspects of life.

Living Satya

Together, let’s cultivate a world where truth is spoken with love and respect. let us stay true to ourselves and create connection and understanding.

As for me, i am just learning to speak my truth authentically. It’s a journey!