Don’t Play the Fool!
April Invites You to Bloom with Satya (Rigorous Honesty)
With the arrival of April, we are given abundant opportunities to reflect on how well we are living. Where else to begin but the first day. Considering April Fool’s Day, let us ask ourselves where we are playing the fool in our day to day lives. How do we individually and collectively fool ourselves into believing we are in the pursuit of peace, health and happiness only to pause from exhaustion and scratch our noggins as we swim in the many why’s, various thoughts, feelings of incompleteness, dreams of greener grass and “if only’s”. Are we practicing true honesty with regards to our connections to ourselves, our bodies, our hearts and our loved ones? Are we just running from this to that and checking off our endless lists? Are we falling for the greatest trickery known to humankind as we chase this idea called ‘happiness’ and constantly find ourselves sucked into a whirlpool of doing rather than being? How can we be more present?
The word April comes from the Latin, ‘aperire,’ which means to open. April invites us to self reflect and open to the themes of purification, renewal, rebirth and the letting go of that which does not serve us (LIES). Of course who doesn’t feel inspired by the Vernal Equinox (Spring) uplifting us with renewed energy to grow and bloom (BEYOND LIMITATIONS aka LIES). The Christian tradition observes the death and resurrection of Christ again highlighting our very real power to renew and be reborn through daily practices of clearing our minds, hearts and bodies (CLEARING the LIES). The Jewish tradition celebrates Passover and offers a message of freedom and the will to persevere with faith against all odds (faith INSTEAD OF THE LIES told by our many fears). Vaisakhi is the beginning of the Punjabi New Year. For Hindus, it is a time for humankind to purify themselves (OF WHAT? OF LIES). Ramadan, the Muslim tradition, is a four week period of fasting and acknowledges Islam’s sacred text, the Quran, as having been revealed to Muhammad by God. It is a time calling us to spiritually grow and prioritize our relationships with God, self and others (OVER PRIORITIZING THE COLLUSION OF LIES).
Each one of us has an inner voice asking for a pause, to notice what’s not right, to make changes, to grow.
I believe you will agree that these themes of renewal and purification I previously mentioned call to us daily. Sometimes we are so busy in our minds or running from here to there, we cannot even hear that voice. Maybe it shows up as a feeling of dis-ease or unfulfillment in the gut. We bury that voice of truth deeply within our self created internal and external noise! Why? Why do we do this to ourselves? Because we LIE, we FOOL and therefore we CHEAT ourselves.
Within the ancient scriptures and disciplines of the 8 limb path of Yoga, you will find the first two limbs, the practices of the Yamas and Niyamas. They parallel the 10 commandments of the Bible and the 8 fold path of Buddhism, as well as the main tenets of many other faith traditions. The discipline of Satya (the practice of truthfulness and sincerity) is the second of the Yamas.
Why is Satya foundational to a life of wellness? We cannot attain true wellness, which I would describe as inner peace, freedom and mental, physical, emotional and spiritual health, until we have learned the art of rigorous honesty. We cannot learn the depth of honesty until we make a decision to be still, to devote our time and resources to the practice of seeing and discovering the truth about our thoughts, feelings, behaviors, priorities and choices.
In our hurried lives we simply do not pause and get honest. We are conditioned into the mainstream societal currents of busyness, of disconnection, of chasing highs and escaping into numbness or indulgence in the constant pursuit of acquisition, seeking pleasure and avoiding pain. There is so much more to being human than we seem to understand. Most of us are living outside of our true potentials for joy, peace, health and inner freedom. Most of us our living in a survival state which derives from the ego mind set on a collection of fears.
Ultimately, we must get honest and admit we are looking for wellness in all the wrong places.
Ok then, how do we get honest? What I know to be true for myself and the many lives I have witnessed, we cannot do this alone! We need to learn how to interpret and apply the universal, scientific truths found in the many sacred texts that explain the mastery of mind, body and spirit. (My go to are the teachings of Yoga as they are very practical in addressing all 3 aspects.) Therefore, we need to find teachers to guide us and we also need to make a decision to commit to learning and practicing every day. Finally, we need each other! We need a community or fellowship in which we support and study together. We need to get honest and recognize that even in our busyness with others and being surrounded by so many we are in fact living in isolation. Why? Because we are not practicing intimacy (honesty, vulnerability and openness). We are not wholeheartedly connecting around what matters more than anything else in life….the transforming of the conditioned self through releasing the many pretty little lies and often huge detrimental lies, we individually and collectively tell ourselves every single day.
A life of wellness is created through the awakening, devotion to and growth of our TRUE SELVES.
This is honesty❣️