"Let's tell the truth to the people. When people ask, 'How are you?' have the nerve sometimes to answer truthfully. You must know, however, that people will start avoiding you because they, too, have knees that pain them and heads that hurt and they don't want to know about yours. But think of it this way: if people avoid you, you will have more time to meditate and do fine research on a cure for whatever truly afflicts you.'" --Maya Angelou in Letter to My Daughter
I found this excerpt in my Oct. issue of O Magazine to be somewhat amusing. I realize in our culture it's the norm to ask people how they are, and I've actually spent quite a bit of time thinking about this somewhat strange way we communicate. Truly, most of the time when I am asked this question, I can tell the person really doesn't want to know the actual answer, as I've noticed too often he or she is already walking away or on to another task before I've even answered. I've also felt slight discomfort when I've answered the standard, expected response of, "Fine," when that was actually not the case at all. Lately, I do tend to answer, "fabulous" or "great" when I'm feeling that way, and I often get a funny look of surprise from the person as if she was thinking, "What on earth is going on with you that you'd be fabulous?" Due to my discomfort with this somewhat odd exhange of words, I find I rarely ask people how they are in casual passing--unless I'm really wanting to know and have the time to listen to their truthful response. I also feel like every time we answer, "Fine" when that isn't the case, we aren't really speaking our truth. I know this seems like a little thing, but sometimes the little things can add up.
In yoga philosophy, the term "satya" means truth. It is so important that we use words, thoughts, and actions mindfully and are honest with ourselves and other people.
Here is your yoga thought for the day:
May we know truth.
May we speak truth.
May we live in truth.