The fourth Yama: Asteya- non stealing
The past few weeks I’ve been working on Asteya. My intention has been, “I only take what is freely given to me, for this is bountiful. Particularly I don’t manipulate conversation for my own gains, or bring unnecessary attention to myself.” This is been the hardest yama for me so far. I am youngest child in my family with only one other sibling who is very quiet and introverted. Growing up I loved being the centre of attention in my family. As I matured, this has also become the case in other social settings, though less so in the past few years. Although I don’t fight to be in the centre of attention as I did when I was young, I am still very assertive, and tend to always have something to say. During the past few weeks I’ve tried to be conscious of when I’m stealing other people’s turn to shine or receive attention. I notice that I do it fairly often, especially in conversation with just a few friends. I’ve been trying to let go of the notion that I always need to say something, and allow others a turn to talk rather than always steering conversation in the direction that I want it to go. I think that this has helped me work on being a better listener. Rather than hearing a few things people say, and then cutting in with my own thoughts, I’ve been really trying to hear people out, and then wait for them to solicit a response from me.
Another thing I have to work on for Asteya is just trusting that there is abundance and I don’t need to spend so much energy and time worrying about money and material things. When I really need something it will find its way, or I’ll find a way to live without it. If you live with the mentality that everything you need is within you and all around you, you don’t have to obsess about these wants and desires, and you can work more at fulfilling my true needs: to reconnect with myself and spirit, to give and receive love, to sleep well, to eat well, and to practice yoga.