Following on from the last article, The third of the Yamas (universal ethics) in the yoga philosophy is Non stealing. A lot of us will respond to this with a very defensive and maybe confident "but I don't steal". But lets explore this, shall we?
You might not be a burglar breaking into someone's home, maybe you never planned to rob a bank, you might not particularly enjoy pick pocketing on weekends, you may even never watch pirated movies...
But have you ever presented someone else's idea as your own (or even joke)? Have you ever taken anything that was not offered to you (think hotel rooms)? Have you taken someone's time by asking questions you knew the answers to, being late to appointments, cutting a queue, taking over someone at a traffic light? Have you taken credit for something you didn't do (I know I often get catering and call it my own!)? Have you stolen someone's peace and happiness? Do you steal from your employer: showing up late, leaving early, taking fake sick leaves, not doing your best, wasting time?
Got you thinking yet?
What about stealing from yourself. If you steal from yourself any chances of happiness, of spiritual growth, of peace then make a decision today. Decide to be as kind to yourself as you are to others.
Are you hoarding? Look in your closet, see if there's anything in there that you didn't wear in the past year. What are the chances you'll ever wear it? Are you stealing that item from someone who is in need of it? By hoarding you are not only stealing from the needy you are also stealing from yourself: before you create space (physical and mental) for the new, you will be stuck with the unneeded old.