One of my favorite Niyamas is Svadhyaya. This Niyama can be simplified to mean, self study. Svadhyaya at it's very core illuminates our realest self. This is the self that is Divine in nature. This is the self that is most connected to Source. This is the self that expresses itself from a foundation of love.
Svadhyaya encourages self inquiry into beliefs and values. Why do you believe what you do? Is your belief based on tradition, or personal conviction? Is this belief currently serving you in the present moment? By compassionatly practicing this observance one is able to begin identifying the compartments in ones of life. The compartments may look like the following examples. Only successful people (you fill in the blank). In order for me to be happy I must have (you fill in the blank). If someone really loved me then they would show me by (you fill in the blank). I always expect the worst because (you fill in the blank). The way in which you answer these questions speaks volumes about how you experience life. Sometimes it can be helpful to grab a notebook and write it down so that you can see the compartments that are organizing your life.
This principal highlights that what we observe in another we possess in ourselves. The stories we tell ourselves then create the world that we live in. That is a mind blowing thought to comprehend, but begin playing around with the stories that you tell yourself. If you always think that you are unlovable at your core, you will more than likely create relationships in which this scenario is played out. But what if you knew that your very essence was Divine, how would that change the world around you? How would that change your engagement with life?
Svadhyaya opens the proverbial can of worms in ones life. It encourages you to dig deeper, to notice your likes and dislikes, to pay attention to the language that you use to create your life, to begin observing your judgement of self and others. A wise friend of mine shared with me, if you are willing to judge another, you are most certainly willing to judge yourself.
As you begin your week, may you be curious about this principal in your life. How can self study help you to become more present in your day to day life?
May You Sweetly Seek:)