How to Change the Ways We Steal from the World and Ourselves
So far we have looked at non-harming and truthfulness in our study of the ten guidelines for relating with the world and loving yourself. This post looks at the third guideline— non-stealing (asteya). Although I frame the discussion for moms raising small children, the overall lesson applies to everyone. I hope you can find the carryover for your life as you further your study of yourself.
Believe it or not, we steal in so many ways—including from other people, from the earth, and from ourselves. In the most obvious way, we steal when we take more than what is given to us. If the cashier gives us back an extra dollar or charges us for conventional broccoli when we have knowingly picked organic, we are stealing if we do not say anything. When we point it out, the cashier will be thankful and correct his/her error. On rare occasions, the cashier lets the error go through in my favor as an act of gratitude for my honesty.
We steal from others energetically when we hold back from feeling true joy for their accomplishments or find ourselves judging them in an attempt to bolster ourselves. How many times have others shared exciting news, yet we held back expressing true, unselfish joy for them because we felt envious the same exciting thing didn’t happen in our lives? We may have smiled and congratulated them, but inside, we felt less than excited about their experience. Coveting only takes away from our energy. What would happen if we fully walked into their joy, embraced it, and truly felt excited for them? Imagine what we’d gain from that for by giving, we receive more.
We steal time from others when we are late for appointments and when we leave scheduled meetings early. We live in an age in which time is a currency, so let’s treat it respectfully and do our best to be on time for others.
Do you show up on schedule and end sessions as planned to not steal others’ time? Do you share a balance of energy by being available for someone who needs help after this person helps you? The next time someone watches your child for an hour, allowing you to rest or run an errand, do your best to reciprocate that favor with mutual amounts of time within a reasonable timeline. You’ll honor your own schedule more when you meet others’ schedules with an equal amount of respect.
We steal from the earth when we take more than is needed. For example, we can be mindful not to let the water tap run while washing dishes or brushing our teeth. We can recycle items to the best of our ability and rinse them so the recycling facility can process them fast without having to discard dirty items into the landfill.
On a personal level, we steal from ourselves when we burn ourselves out doing more than we know we have to give energetically. We can be honest with how much energy we have to accomplish a task and give what’s realistic. We rest when we need to restore ourselves, even if it’s only for 10 minutes. We steal from ourselves when we let anxiety get the best of us and stay focused on future “what ifs.”
Feel your breath, get grounded, and live in the now. Be honest with the moment in front of you. Realize the life you want to have and stay grounded to create that moment piece by piece. Set up a savings account to invest in what is important to you. Nurture the relationships that are most important to you—the real you—and let go of toxic ones that bring you down.
Remember, the opposite of stealing is investing—invest in yourself, invest in others, and invest in sustaining the environment your child will inherit from you.
Comment below how you incorporate non-stealing in your daily life. You can opt-in for my email list here to receive your Get Clear + Feel Dynamic toolkit for practices that set you up for practices that invest in your wellness as you better manage your energy.