Ahimsa. A woman I know told me her friends often complimented her on the fact that she had decided not to color her greying hair. How courageous of you!, they said. She told me it had taken some time to allow herself to do this, she wasn’t sure she liked the grey, the way it signaled the passing of time, passing of youth. And then one day she realized: There is nothing wrong with my hair color. It is my relationship to my hair color, my inability to see myself as I am without criticism that is the problem.
How many of us look at ourselves and find far more to criticize or judge than just our hair color?
Ahimsa is the discipline of yoga that calls for non-violence, beginning with oneself. Do not harm yourself or any creature around you in thought or action. A “discipline” because that is exactly what it takes to see ourselves clearly and with compassion, as we make our way through life as best we can. Opening to the possibility of a more gentle relationship with ourselves, we allow for the possibility of a more gentle and less conflict-fraught relationship with others.
So we may each of us walk this path through life with a lighter, more joyful step.