Principles to Live By

In the Yoga world, Pantanjali wrote ancient texts thousands and thousands of year ago and have become the “rules” in which a Yogi attempts to live by. Part of the texts include the Yamas and Niyamas. The Yamas focus on the ethical standards of how we should conduct ourselves in daily life and the behavior to develop during interactions with the self and others. The five Yamas include truthfulness, non violence, non stealing, non greed, right energy. The five Niyamas are constructive tools for cultivating happiness and self-confidence and they are purification, contentment, self-discipline, self study, and self surrender.

As I have been going back to studying the Sutras, reviewing these principles is always a rich self exploration, especially during this month as I have been teaching my classes around the concept of understanding the foundation of our spirit.

Over the years I have found that knowing (and living within) my values or principles is paramount for my success and overall well-being. When I step aside from them and life becomes challenging, as it often does, I am less likely to respond well.

In contemplative questions, it is useful to ask yourself what are some of the core principles in which you live by.

I like to think of the foundation of a home being what sustains the rest of the structure when storms come by, or the roots of tree that holds it upright during turmoil.

As I have been looking inward and reviewing the Yamas/Niyamas, I spent a few weeks discovering the ten principles in which I live by.

I have come to learn that when we know who we are, we can begin to show up in life through our thoughts, words, and actions in alignment with that inner truth. Knowing who we are is very different than what we are. To learn more about labels, check out this post.

I know when I am showing up outside of these parameters or guidelines because I get easily rattled, I am quick with sharp words, I am impatient and easily overwhelmed. When I am in my truth and aligned with these principles, I feel the wholeness of who I am and know that I am showing up in my most authentic self.

Have you ever thought about what guides you? What your foundation is?

After several weeks of pondering, here are my ten principles.

My Ten Principles

  1. Faith (in my purpose)
  2. Service (to do without gain)
  3. Kindness (just be kind)
  4. Acceptance (for everything)
  5. Diligence (don’t half ass)
  6. Action (necessary for success)
  7. Awareness (stay awake to now)
  8. Belief (knowing, empowering)
  9. Fulfillment (attention to good)
  10. Love (act in alignment with my heart)

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