As householders from a yoga perspective, and to be speaking to folks in the world where our words might not just be understood, or treasured, just might be a pretty high bar? But maybe wanting them to be treasured is not about the beauty in the words, or saying the correct thing, perhaps it’s more about not disturbing someone, or the space that we are sharing?
For highly sensitive folks, could it be that at times we might be striving too much on the social part of things, and that the gift of the moment could just be not saying anything at all? Has that ever happened to you where you felt this way too? Does that little voice in your head say, “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all”? Because what if what you were to say isn’t going to help someone or something or yourself, so why speak at all?
As meditators we practice silence, we practice witnessing our thoughts without speaking them and in these social situations, we stay close to the gentle quiet within us that is cultivated from practicing meditation. And at the same time, remembering it’s not that we allow for a ‘shutting down’ of ourselves to occur, and to not, not speak. We all have to reconcile to safely walk the edge of wanting to say something beneficial, while remaining non-harming. And if it’s not appropriate or there is an unconscious moment and don’t catch it, for me it can look like taking a deep breath while looking within myself to ‘see’ where it is coming from. What is the root understanding? Feeling into ways that bring the conversation and folks together, rather than separating us from one another. Speaking from a deep compassion for ourselves first helps in supporting difficult conversations with others. Saying things like, “this frightens me, or saddens me or upsets me to say this, but because I value our connection and love here I am.” Sometimes silence or being silent doesn’t always work, sometimes we do need to stand tall and express our truest, deep feelings.
Each one of us, no matter where we live in the world or what roles we have, are leaders in our own right. Each of us is a contributing force in the welfare of our community and how we live. So perhaps we might live in a more peaceful and loving world when we are mindful of how we speak to ourselves and others? Sometimes when I’m speaking with someone and I remember to do it, I’ll ‘check in’ with my body to see if there might be an answer in the way that my body is reacting to the words. Like is my tummy feeling upset, is there a slight headache, or is my body feeling open and free? When we check in to our body while having a conversation with another, we can feel how our body is responding. This is one way we can individually create a better world. We are in this together, one huge, human family. So perhaps our prayer is that our voices be added to the gifts for the world. That we, and the people surrounding us, are free of discomforts, confusion and pain. And in the silence we can take nourishment from the deepest part of who we are. In the stilling of the mind and body, we can feel the world around us while still listening to the wisdom of our heart. And that any subtle and sometimes not so subtle indications of discomfort can bring us toward our own center, and bring us back to the balance that we are hoping for.
In the end, practicing yoga and meditation probably isn’t so much about being good for us as it could be considered an activity that we do for its own sake. Not leading us anywhere but to the place right here, right now. And as we bring even just a little mindfulness into our conversations we essentially join, yoke and connect ourselves within the moment while simultaneously meeting our truest self.