It appears that truthfulness is not trendy these days…at least by any measure of the word as it appears in popular print media. In gathering materials for the collage (shown below), the word ‘truth’ could not be found, and I literally had to construct it for myself.

I like this artwork’s metaphor of ‘constructing truth’, because
it’s….truthful. In our lives we piece together what we want to see; we
edit out what we don’t want to see, and we consistently construct false
images of ourselves and the world around us.

Constructed truth is a common experience for all of us. This article explores why this occurs, how it affects our lives, and how we can use the yogic principle of Satya to learn to live In-Truth, and ultimately in greater Flow.

These constructions are not necessarily negative or intended: they are projections of our past, our expectations of the future, and the impressions made by our current relationships, news, and social media…these things, just to name a few.

About Satya

In yoga, “Satya” means truthfulness, and it is in one of the yamas, or laws of abstention. In other words, we need to abstain from dishonesty. We practice living in-truth.

Satya operates on three levels:

· Intellectual truthfulness. It is only if you are established in intellectual truthfulness that you will be able to speak truth.

· Verbal truthfulness. Truth that has been understood intellectually and expressed in words proceeds outward into action.

· Physical truthfulness. Truth that is intellectualized, spoken, and expressed in action is a Lived Truth.

The Constructed Truths

What are examples of the constructed truths that show up in our lives?

· We edit the way we see a friend or loved one, or experience a job, to be more palatable. In other words, we choose not to see the truth.

· We tell others, or ourselves, what we want to hear. We sugarcoat the truth.

· We filter constructive criticism or deflect feedback. We don’t want to hear the truth about ourselves.

· We place ‘doing what is expected of us’ over ‘what I expect of myself’, and compromise our integrity.

What Happens When You Don’t Live Your Truth?

Two words: Low Flow. Blocked honesty shows up in our physical, emotional, and spiritual worlds. Physically, you might experience digestive or eating disorder: you are not ‘listening to our gut’. When you cannot ‘speak our truth’ you might feel a sore or scratchy throat, colds, allergies, or experience a heavy lump in the throat. If you feel you cannot express who you are creatively, you might have dysfunction in the reproductive system, or hormonal imbalance.

Emotionally and spiritually, you begin to lack energy and enthusiasm; your life begins to lack zest; and little by little, your inner light starts to dim. Ultimately, you may experience anxiety or depression.

How Yoga Nurtures Truthfulness:

Yogic breathing (pranayama), concentration (dharana), sense withdrawal (pratyahara) and meditation (dhyana) are all ways of filtering out the noise of your daily life towards connecting with, listening, and learning to trust your Deep Inner Wisdom.

Yoga poses (asana) teach you that what happens on the mat is often exactly how you roll in real life. This, in itself, exposes your truths:

· Are you being truthful about your ability to do the pose, or are you pushing past your limits? How does this relate to your experience of overachievement, burnout or never saying ‘no’?

· Conversely, do you just ‘hang out’ in a pose? How does this relate to whether or not you are showing up in life? Do you slack or take the easy way out?

· Are you doing a pose within what feels safe and natural to your body, or are you looking around the room and trying to look like someone (or everyone) else? How does this relate to how authentically you present yourself in life?

How Art Nurtures Truthfulness:

We all know the saying: a picture is worth a thousand words. I personally believe that making a picture is an opportunity to deconstruct a thousand thoughts. It is an opportunity to sit with and stay with your thoughts, to honor and give voice to your emotions, and to soften the sometimes difficult glimpse of yourself in the mirror as you begin to see yourself more honestly.

I personally believe that making a picture is an opportunity to deconstruct a thousand thoughts. -Jodi Rose

The Art and Flow of Satya

The fusion of art and yoga will develop your practice of satya:

· Yoga slows you down, helps you experience and notice your body, and helps you develop your insight (or connection with your Deep Inner Wisdom);

· Expressive art making allows you to explore the thoughts, ideas, contradictions and truths that are expressed by your Deep Inner Wisdom as a result of the yogic mind-body connection;

· Yoga and art making both allow you to develop your skills of observance and self-acceptance, such that you see yourself more clearly and with greater compassion;

· Through the insight gained, you intellectually start to sort your truths from the untruths, such that you begin to live more honestly in speech and action.

As you begin to live your life as an expression of your connection with your Deep Inner Wisdom, you will naturally begin to live in Truth. Along with feeling greater joy, satisfaction, and ease, you will begin to experience your life in greater Flow.

This story was originally published at